The Ivy House 7

At Ivy House, we believe that if we want a better world, we need better leaders. And, to make that a reality, Ivy House wants to turn traditional leadership development on its head.

Our mission is to put leadership and life skills at the heart of how we develop each new generation.

We do this through our programmes for future leaders, emerging talent and sixth formers which deliver life-changing development, the kind usually reserved for a tiny percentage of the most senior executives.

This begins with self-mastery. The principle of taking total responsibility for the quality of your life, by committing to:

  • Self-knowledge – building your understanding of yourself and developing an ever-deeper self-awareness
  • Self-empowerment – being a lifelong learner, always growing, developing and creating positive change as a result
  • Self-leadership – taking ownership for who you are, the impact you have and the life you create

Based on this foundation of self-mastery, our programmes focus on teaching seven transformational leadership and life skills. Skills, that when mastered, make a game-changing difference to the kind of leader you become and the life you create. Having spent over 20 years working with senior leaders across every sector, we know that exceptional leaders learn first to lead their own lives and then learn to lead others. It is for this reason that the first six life skills are an essential foundation for the seventh skill, namely Human Leadership.

The Ivy House 7

Skill 1. Core Strength

Our core strength is what makes up who we are – like a personal blueprint. At its heart is our vision for our life (the one that we want to live, not the one others want us to live). It includes our values, beliefs, and our driving forces; the skills and talents that put us in our element, and eventually perhaps our purpose in life.

Why is it so important?

When we know who we are and we find ‘our life’ we make things easy for ourselves. If we have a clear vision for the life we are creating, we know which direction to head in. When we understand our personal values, making decisions becomes easy. When we are doing the ‘right’ job or studying the ‘right’ subjects, we learn quicker, we put in extra effort and success comes easier. Living in this way…. knowing yourself to this level, means living from a position of strength. It means having clarity about what makes you tick and what matters to you and, from this place you can become the person you were born to be and live the life you were born to live.

Skill 2. 100% Ownership

100% ownership is about taking complete responsibility for your life and how it turns out. It means knowing we have a choice in how we respond to each and every event and that those choices, one after the other will create our life.

Why is it so important?

Choosing how we think and behave, in response to every event, is the ultimate power of being human. It is the event plus our response that creates the outcome. We can’t change the situation, but we can always change our response and in doing this we get to influence the outcome in every situation we are involved in.

Skill 3. Conscious Mind

Conscious mind is the skill of being in a state of deep awareness. Aware that you are not your thoughts. Aware that thoughts come in and out of your head constantly, but it is our choice what to do with them – hold on to them and make them into something, or let them go. Accessing our conscious mind gives us the power of choice. The ultimate human power to choose our response to anything that comes our way.

Why is it so important?

How you think determines how you feel and how you feel directly affects the quality of your life.  Spend your day focusing on negative thinking then you will have a bad day. Alternatively, deciding not to get caught up in that negative thinking and choosing to follow more positive thoughts will mean you will have a better day.

Skill 4.  Courageous Learner

Courageous learners are motivated by learning. They take joy and satisfaction in learning about themselves, others, and the situation. This comes without the need to be right, to win or defend their point of view. Courageous learners are acutely self-aware and have the ability to tell the truth to themselves and others. They proactively seek to change and develop themselves throughout their lives.

Why is it so important?

When we are motivated by being right, we are motivated by protecting our ego. For some reason we believe that when we are wrong our self-worth is affected. We believe that if we don’t win, we are a failure and if we don’t become top of the class we are not as valuable as someone who did. Put this all together and you get a world of pain and self-judgement; you end up creating relationships that become battlegrounds and leaders who are more concerned with protecting their ego than doing the right thing.

Skill 5.  Intentional Relationships

Intentional Relationships is about getting good at building and keeping relationships. Relationships of all kinds – intimate relationships, friendships, work-based relationships, as well as building an extended network. It is the skill of creating and maintaining relationships from a place of trust, respect and understanding.

Why is it so important?

Countless pieces of research tell us that we will live longer, happier and more successful lives if we create great relationships. The same research also tells us that people’s ability to build great relationships in marriages, politics, business and education is not getting better but worse. So, if we want a better world for ourselves and others the only way to do it is through better, more trusting, loving, thoughtful, joyful, evolving relationships.

Skill 6. Proactive Wellbeing

Wellbeing is, simply, the feeling of being well: mentally, physically and spiritually. It is a deep certainty, and recognition that we are okay. It’s an inner peacefulness. When we are proactive about our wellbeing, we create the right circumstances for our mind, body, and soul to recharge.

Why is it so important?

What would your dream life be like without the feeling of wellbeing?  Think about it, you have the house, the job, the relationship of your dreams but if you woke up every morning feeling life was pointless or without the energy to enjoy it, then what use would it be? You may already know. You may have experienced the crippling effects of poor mental or physical health and realised that, without it, experiencing well-being becomes virtually impossible.

It is important because when we have the skill of proactive well-being, life stops being scary and starts being an adventure. It empowers us to bring our full creative, connecting, curious selves to the world and in turn inspires greater levels of success. Without well-being our achievement in life will be meaningless. It is the essential ingredient.

Skill 7. Human Leadership

Human leadership is the practice of leading oneself and others in a way that empowers everyone to reach their full potential. No matter who, what, or where you choose to lead, it is about creating environments of meaning, growth, belonging and ownership; enabling people, organisations and societies to thrive.

Why is it so important?

It is so important because there is a better way. Individuals and organisations can’t go on as they are. The mental, physical and spiritual well-being of the nation is at an all-time low. It’s having an adverse impact on people’s individual’s experience of life and organisational success. And, the madness of it all is, when we create a world where people work in their element, develop collaborative, purpose-driven teams where people find meaning and growth, it will mean everyone – including the balance sheets will be happier.

If you can see a need to develop any of these seven key skills, we’d love to chat to you.

By Ivy House
13th March 2020


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