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spark reading focus |

Book reading is spark CHAPTER 4

Understand how self-evaluation drives excellence
Explore why accountability is so rare
Recognize how by owning our mistakes we inspire others and create a culture of candor
Realize that every path to overcoming challenge starts with accountability

READ Chapter 4, provide one insight from the reading that you found interesting or helpful and why you found that point significant. Then, answer at least 1 of the following questions from the chapter

The authors state that blaming someone else (for problems) has become a cultural norm. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Share your perspective.
Can you recall a time in your life when demonstrating accountability was challenging? What were the circumstances?
What are little things you can stop or start doing to develop your ability to demonstrate accountability?
Sean shares a story of how he felt after making, and having to disclose, a significant mistake to his team (when he had failed to plug in his g-suit, causing him to lose consciousness when flying). Can you relate to this story? Share an example of a time when admitting your mistake was difficult for you, but valuable for others.
A leader’s actions under stress are mentioned again in this chapter as Courtney shares, “Stress has a funny way of bringing out unhealthy, unproductive emotions.” How does stress impact your personal behavior as a leader? How will you become more accountable to minimizing others’ exposure to your stress reactions?
At the end of the chapter, the authors share that, “The more consistent your ability to be accountable becomes, the more consistent success becomes for you and the teams you are a part of. ” Why do you believe there’s such a strong connection between accountability and success?
We have reached the midpoint of our SPARK Experience. How is this book and/or our group having an impact on you?


Reading Focus:

Why intentional action matters
The importance of imagining a future that is consistent with your values
Awareness that continuous learning allows you to clarify your path forward
By understanding we have limits to our capacity, we recognize we have to say “no” to some opportunities in order to say “yes” to others

READ Chapter 5, provide one insight from the reading that you found interesting or helpful and why you found that point significant. Then, answer at least 1 of the following questions from the chapter

In this chapter of SPARK, the authors are encouraging us to envision the difference between where we are today and where we want to be. Angie, Sean and Courtney discuss how they don’t support a “quit your job and change your life” mentality. Instead, they suggest deep reflection on how you want to direct your life so you can achieve a better future. Then, you can make the small choices necessary to get you closer to living the life you want to lead.
What are simple aspects of your life that you’d like to change?
What are the commitments you recognize you need to make in order to move in this positive direction?
If you think about your professional self five years from now, what’s one thing you want to be true? How will you go about making that happen?
Was there a story or example in this chapter that you could relate to?
Why can it be difficult to imagine or re-imagine our future?
The authors talk about how humans are not machines and that we have maximum capacities. Do you find it challenging to say “no”? What are your best practices for saying “no”?


Reading focus:Chapters 6 & 7 explore the concepts of service-based leadership and confidence. From the reading you will:

Learn how by understanding and meeting the needs of others you’ll build the trust needed to lead.
Realize that service to others can happen in the simplest ways.
Become aware of how insecurity can often accompany success.
Recognize that confidence comes from within as well as the steps to build it.

After reading the Chapters 6 & 7, provide one insight from the reading that you found interesting or helpful and why you found that point significant. Then, answer at least 1 of the following questions from each chapter

What did you know about service-based leadership prior to reading this chapter? Is this a practice that you’ve heard promoted before?
Our instincts for self-preservation and self-focus can be pretty strong. Overriding these instincts and instead working to understand and meet the needs of others can be challenging. Why do you believe it’s challenging for you to be a service-based leader at times?
Angie shares the story of “Coca-Cola,” a tough, demanding — yet compassionate — leader who had no problem holding others accountable to performance standards. How did this story impact you?
Courtney shares that the presence of service-based leadership can be palpable. Have you ever worked for a manager who was also a service-based leader? How was that experience valuable for you?
Angie, Courtney and Sean challenge us to create our own leadership laboratory and focus on serving others for at least ten minutes a day. What would you do and what type of impact do you think it’ll have?
One particular challenge of being a service-based leader is follow through. We can have great intentions to take action on behalf of others, but then neglect to do so. Why does this happen, and how can we prevent it?

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