Friday, April 20, 2007

On Becoming Fearless

I had the pleasure of speaking with Arianna Huffington this week for an upcoming episode of The Mojo Mom Podcast. After reading her book On Becoming Fearless and talking with her, she impressed me as a force of nature and a mistress of reinvention. Mojo Mom qualities for sure!

Arianna takes on many types of fearlessness, ranging from money to love, work and relationships. As her book progressed my connection with the topic grew even stronger. I wanted to cheer as she talked about finding one's voice and becoming a leader. Arianna speaks from hard-won experience. Working through the challenge of her Greek accent to become the head of the famed Cambridge Union debating society, and having the fortitude to withstand her friends' disapproval when she shifted politically to the left, are two experiences that give her the crediblity to speak of courage and transformation.

Arianna wrote the book after observing that her teenage daughters were starting to experience the same fears that once burdened her, but at age 38 I feel that the challenge of fearlessness is just as personally relevant as ever. Especially as Moms, we need the courage to withstand the barbs slung at "uppity women" and create a new vision of leadership that acts independently from the status quo power structure of masculinity and titles. Arianna speaks of "internal leadership" that "is generated by an inner force that compels us to try and make the surrounding world...a better place." This brand of mojo doesn't wait for permission from others to manifest itself. Arianna's mother serves as an example of a women powered by internal leadership. She was an independent-minded woman who was not afraid to convene a kitchen table conversation between a disgruntled plumber and the Prime Minister at Great Britain when the opportunity presented itself.

Fearlessness, power and voice. These are the raw materials of leadership that are available to each of us. I hope you'll read On Becoming Fearless, follow the the other stops on Arianna's MotherTalk blog tour, and take the opportunity to share your own stories through the Mother-Daughter campaign on The Huffington Post.

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