“All I hear is Applause…”

Jul 14, 2014
Tagged with: “All I hear is Applause...”

Typically I work on the computer, researching or writing, for four to six hours a night. Frequently the topic of focus concerns my walking program, my efforts to walk-device free, and its related impact. My desk is usually covered with piles of paper and I am watching or working from multiple screens on my desktop computer. One screen will contain an article draft. Another will have a research article that I am perusing. Yet another screen will contain the scrolling text and conversations from virtual forums for writers, social workers, educators, or a related subject that I am contemplating.

My most recent topic of interest is Transformational Leadership. Transformational Leadership is defined in existing literature as “a relationship-oriented, principles-driven, empirically supported form of leadership.”[1] The concept promotes engagement between people to elevate motivation, conduct, and aspirations. [2] Literature defines Transformational Leaders as people who “inspire their ‘followers’ to shape their motives, aspirations, values, and goals.”[3]

I have had many Transformational Leaders touch my life. In October of 2013, I met my friend and mentor Lynda. Lynda runs an interactive forum and chat on the topic of Spirituality. I came across her work on one of my research missions.

At the time, I was trying to prepare for a presentation about my walking program and my efforts to walk device-free. The presentation was not coming together in the manner or the format that I wanted. My anxiety level was high. I sat in front of the unfinished PowerPoint Presentation and Handouts close to tears. The angst I was feeling over the presentation swept over me like a wave. I struggled to maintain my focus and composure.

During this moment of difficulty, I started to study new topical forums online. One was Lynda’s forum. I entered the computer-generated forum and introduced myself. I then watched and listened to get a sense of the environment, protocol, etiquette, and the topic of discussion.

As I listened, I was drawn to Lynda’s charismatic presence. I learned that the facilitator of this forum was an Entrepreneur, a Teacher, and a Minister. The feeling in this virtual environment I had entered was one of peace and structure.

I watched as Lynda engaged with her nameless audience through a keyboard and a Webcam. As minutes passed, the angst and negative emotions I felt about the looming presentation slowly receded. I sat at my computer completely absorbed by the facilitated discussion on faith and spirituality.

Lynda skillfully drew me into what she called the ‘meet and greet’. I no longer felt like a nameless person observing from a computer. A door had opened. I engaged, connected with, and related to Lynda. I knew from listening to the discussions and virtual chat that she is a talented speaker and storyteller.

During that October evening, I watched as she masterfully stimulated, directed, and paced the conversation in her forum. Her presence was confident. She was witty, clever, and gracefully relayed examples, analogies, and metaphors on the subject of faith.

I learned later that she is also a talented writer. Since I love to write, having a shared skill made me relate to Lynda more. I was soothed by her cadence and appreciated the graciousness and genuineness that she conveyed.

When I was asked about what brought me to the forum, I felt the wave of angst start to rise again.   My throat became constricted. I typed a response about the presentation and the fact that it was not coming together properly. I felt, despite my best effort, tears start to form in my eyes.

I blinked several times and heard Lynda’s soothing and compelling reply to my comment, “All I hear is applause…” In that instant, a woman that I had never met, connected with me and pulled me out of the presentation slump. In that pause following her reply, I recalled a bible verse I heard as a child,

“”Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12.

A woman who was hundreds of miles away became an anchor and a catalyst. She engaged me and elevated my motivation and aspiration to succeed.

Nearly a week later, I returned to the forum. Once again, I was drawn to Lynda. She saw me enter the forum and asked “How did it go?” My new virtual Mentor waited for my reply. I reported that the presentation was well received and that people did applaud.

Over the next several months, I returned to Lynda’s forum. I became one of her ‘followers’. In the context of Transformational Leadership, Lynda used her combined talents as a Teacher and Minister to pull me up. She intuitively knew the questions and fears I was grappling with that October night. I was afraid to fail.

In a virtual environment, over a Webcam and keyboard, I gained a new supporter. Lynda knew that I needed to be given a picture of success. She also knew that I needed to be coached. Her response of “All I hear is applause…” rang in my ears and set the vision for success. The presentation would be successful and I would succeed.

I am not sure if my friend is aware of the extent of her influence on me. She has challenged me to become a Transformational Leader in my own right. I also want to set an example, to elevate motivation, conduct, and aspirations. [4]  Lynda has become one of my sources of “inspirational motivation” to conquer my challenges with a simple end vision—success.

Lynda once said that an effective Mentor is “a person that relays lessons from their experience and allows the Mentee to take and learn what they can from the experience.” Lynda is more than a Mentor. She is a Transformational Leader. I am empowered by her example as a Teacher and Minister. I am empowered by her leadership, guidance, and sense of confidence. I am also positively challenged and steadied by it. I am thankful for the day that I stumbled into her virtual forum and world.

Lynda has reminded me about faith and expectation. In a state of worry and fear, I was calmed. I was calmed by a respectful presence and an environment of positive expectation. The set perception of “All I hear is applause…” restored a faith and belief in me. It ignited a sense of self-motivation and mobilization. Through an authentic and gentle push, I became equipped to achieve a successful result.

Tell me NCHPAD Readers, who are your Mentors and Transformational Leaders?

 

 

 

 

 

[1]Gabel, S. (2013). Psychotherapy and relationship-based change: It’s about leadership. Journal Of Psychotherapy Integration, 23(4), 345-358. doi:10.1037/a0034362

[2]Gabel, S. (2013). Psychotherapy and relationship-based change: It’s about leadership. Journal Of Psychotherapy Integration, 23(4), 345-358. doi:10.1037/a0034362

[3]Watts, M., & Corrie, S. (2013). Growing the ‘I’ and the ‘We’ in Transformational Leadership: The LEAD, LEARN & GROW Model. Coaching Psychologist, 9(2), 86-99.

[4]Gabel, S. (2013). Psychotherapy and relationship-based change: It’s about leadership. Journal Of Psychotherapy Integration, 23(4), 345-358. doi:10.1037/a0034362

Author: Kerry



  • bobl07

    How fortunate for you that Lynda has been that special mentor in your life. How fortunate for us that we have you to share this impact. Continue success in all your endeavors.

  • Kerry Wiley

    July 15, 2014
    Good Afternoon Bob:
    I have been fortunate to have a number of Mentors in my life like Lynda. Effective mentors can truly inspire their mentees to succeed! Thank you for your support and encouragement.
    Kerry A. Wiley