It’s Passover again, the time of year when Jews around the world gather around dinner tables to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt.

The Passover Seder is rich with meaning, from the matzoh (bread baked in such haste that there was no time for it to rise), to the salt water we dip our greens into to represent the tears of the Israelite slaves, to the charoset (chopped nuts and dried fruit) that represents the mortar the slaves used to build with.


As we ponder how our ancestors had to make tough decisions before fleeing for their lives, one of the questions often asked at a Seder table is:


“What are you leaving behind, and what are you bringing with you?”

In this way, just as buds are appearing on the trees around us here in the Northern Hemisphere, Passover becomes an opportunity for us to start fresh.

I made this metaphor of leaving something behind very concrete this past week, when I lopped off fifteen inches of hair!

 

These are locks I’d been growing for the past three years, since the start of the COVID-19 shut-down.

Back in March of 2020, I had a pixie cut, which is how I’d worn my hair since 2005 — that’s fifteen years!

 

Little did I know that sometime during those fifteen years, my straight hair had gone curly!

#GiftsOfCOVID


At some point during the awkward emotionally excruciating growing out cycle, I set the goal of donating at least twelve inches of hair to Children With Hair Loss.*

I was tempted many times to get a stylist to clip my untamed mane into submission, but I stayed committed to my goal.


And on March 29, with the longest strands falling past my waist, I finally got that haircut I’ve been longing for since April of 2020, and sent off not just twelve, but fifteen inches of my hair to be made into a wig for a child in need.


You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) at the push-back I got on my Facebook profile when I shared the countdown to my upcoming Big Cut in the nine days before I donated my hair.

While most people were impressed and grateful that I was doing something for a good cause, several implored me not to cut my hair.

They had a lot of feelings about my hair.

Me? I feel liberated.

Not only is it a lot less work, but my shorter mane is finally free to curl in ways it couldn’t do with the weight of all that hair.


I could only get there by leaving that fifteen inches behind.


What do your leaders & HiPo’s need to leave behind?

This week I also wrapped an Improv Leadership Training I’ve been running for the first cohort out of four I’m leading for a creative agency.

Some of the takeaways the participants shared at the end of the last session were:


✅ Using the concept of “yes, and” to accept and build on others’ ideas


✅ Tightening messages down to an easily consumable (jargon-free) headline


✅ Using the activities we did to help them think on their feet, and respond with agility to unexpected questions and situations

Participants had time in between each session to practice what they’d learned, through “experiments” that they ran and reported on.

Are they experts now? No. But they’ve discovered and strengthened some muscles that have already proven very useful in their jobs (ranging from Recruiting, to Accounts, to Creative).


And this has required them to leave behind an old identity, and start to step into a new, bigger identity for themselves. 

It’s the metaphorical equivalent of chopping off fifteen inches of hair, so their true, curly selves can show up. 😁


Oh, and all this transformation and learning has happened while having a blast!

 

At the end of our last session, I asked everyone to share a word in the chat that described the feeling they were taking away with them from our time together. Here’s a direct copy-and-paste of what they shared:

 

Comfort

Encouraged

Motivated

Ready

enriched

Energized

excited

 

I don’t know about you, but these are definitely the kinds of feelings I like to see people sharing at the end of a training (especially a virtual one)!

 

Are your leaders and HiPo’s ready to step into their full potential? Let’s talk!

 


*Why this particular organization, rather than others that may be better known? Other organizations actually sell your hair, but Children With Hair Loss never does. They create wigs that they give to children at no charge, and each child gets a new wig every year until they turn 21!

In addition, CWHL accepts all types of hair — including grey and color-treated hair! — as long as it’s in good condition.


They also only require 8″ to donate, though they prefer 12″ or more, since most kids request longer wigs.

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