Supporting Leaders through Ancestry Work

Supporting Leaders through Ancestry Work #23 #cong21


How knowledge of our ancestors helps us lead in today’s world.

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Key Takeaways:

And To borrow from Bruce Van Horn on Leadership

  1. Leadership is a choice.
  2. Leadership is an endurance race.
  3. Leadership is a team effort and the word Company comes from the root word companion, united and working together for a common goal.
  4. Ancestry impacts all of us in our roles as leaders of our families, our companies and our lives.

About Ginger Aarons:

Ginger is the founder of Time Travel, LLC … often called Time Travel Tours. She offers bespoke travel to Ireland & The British Isles. Also offering personal, bespoke requests for family genealogies. Passionate about what she does by offering a way to learn while you travel, introducing the best of the best in Ireland in what they do, offer and teach with common philosophies, ethics and goals for the world. She is also a travel and foodie writer for several magazines and online magazines. Often referred to as the one that knows everyone, she is a connector and one that is always making a connection for someone, because to her, that is what it’s all about.

Originally from South of the Mason Dixon Line, and after 30 years, she has become an all-around Portland girl that loves the fact that she gets to live and work in two of the best places in the world, the Pacific Northwest and Ireland … what could possibly be better?

Lover of music (it DOES make the world go ’round.. not money), a supporter of the arts, do-gooder, Masterpiece Theater watcher since the age of 12, a supporter of the historic house, genealogy nut and avid antique collector..

Contacting Ginger Aarons:

You can connect with Ginger on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Time Travel Tours or you can email her.

Supporting Leaders through Ancestry Work

By Ginger Aarons

In my career I have had the opportunity to work with great leaders in the tech, automotive and the entertainment industry as well as many others. In my role as a tour operator and researcher, it is my heartfelt wish to support these leaders in a way that gives them more purpose by allowing them to talk freely without any bias on my part about their fears, wishes and discoveries in their ancestral line.

When researching someone’s ancestry the best way is the holistic approach of homing in on why someone wants to do this ancestral work in the first place and bringing their family story to light. Sometimes it is surprising for these leaders to realise what came before them and what their own role in the world is. As they peruse what came before and have that ah ha moment about their impact on the world down the road, I feel a sense of accomplishment of helping someone be a good leader by helping them see what might be affecting their leadership from the legacy of the ancestor.

When you can reach back to include the discovery of the new world and the role of the ancestor, the stories impact people differently depending on their experiences and views. Were they attacked by Indians? What does that mean in our current climate of inclusion or exclusion? Were they new world leaders that held slaves? Were they ministers that led their congregations across the Atlantic Ocean to find religious freedom? Were they founders of Harvard or some other institution that still impacts the lives of many? Were they founders of towns in the new world? The first to make landfall and establish a new way of living? Fighting for Freedom against tyranny? Were they musicians? Did they forge the way in the Golden Age of film in Hollywood? What impact did the ancestor have on present day?

Or should we wander all the way back to early Ireland, Scotland and England and the fight for the throne? Did they flee as Earls or as followers? Were they involved in what led to the Flight of the Earls? Were they Red Hand O’Neills and how does that affect your predisposition for tyranny or brutality? Were they once the King of Scotland or notorious like Marie Antoinette? Does their legacy still exist in a thatched cottage or a castle that offers a way to go and feel what that ancestor might have felt, seen or experienced?

All of these ancestors left a mark on our DNA and sometimes it is etched in memories or what I call existential genealogy. This manifests itself in present day as we feel their echoes in the fears we harbour and as we feel their presence in the places they walked. You may not know why you are drawn to your neighbour, your client, even your wife as the discovery sometimes leads us to realise, we are very distant cousins, or our ancestors experienced something traumatic together. We have always travelled in packs and that otherworldly realm impacts how we lead and are in the world.
Supporting clients in these trying times through ancestry work has helped them guide their businesses and employees in some of the most trying times of their careers. It has taught some of them that tyranny is not the way and it has taught others compassion for the ancestor experience in the time that they lived, thus helping the client navigate present day quandaries in leadership surrounding such things as virtue signalling and critical race theory. It has taught critical thinking minus the trigger verb attached to the action. Why? Because knowledge is power and insight.

So, what is your leadership style? Has your ancestry impacted the way you feel and think about certain events or people? I personally think that carried over beliefs of our ancestry is a huge trigger in present day Ireland. It impacts the way I do business in Ireland and how I choose to guide my clients with their ancestry research. My style of leadership is one of inclusion because I am American and that affords me a very different viewpoint from the norm. For example, when on tour I make sure that both Catholic and Protestant viewpoints are offered. As I watch events unfold in real time, I am often hit with the very lack of knowledge Ireland has of its shared history that dates back centuries, not just the just the 100 years of freedom. Will we take this opportunity to lead people using compassion and inclusion? Or will we be one that helps tyranny win because we know no different way other than our experience of being abused and thus become the abuser?
In closing and as a thank you for Frederique Murphy’s fantastic leadership guidance this week to get me into writing this all down. In her new book on leadership and shifting the narrative, Lead Beyond the Edge, she says…

‘Knowledge gives us the confidence to move forward. Gaining more awareness about something makes it more tangible thus increasing its reach and your ability to work on it. The more aware you are, the better you are at leading your life where you want it to be’

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