Leadership Strategies

Leadership Strategies

True leaders have an opportunity to lead brilliantly when their employees or constituency know where they stand. When thinking of well known leaders, charisma is frequently a quality that draws individuals to that person with magnetic force. In fact, charisma’s modern definition would be personal magnetism.

Charisma, however, is not enough. The danger of charisma can be seen when rogue leaders have inspired people to stop thinking and embrace a sheep mentality. Case in point: Hitler’s Germany. Well meaning ordinary people succumbed to a hypnotic trance that left millions dead and a nation decimated.

The precursor of that level of stupor and contraction was simply victim consciousness made manifest. The victim always points the finger of blame, looking for a scapegoat; handle the scapegoat and the victim’s life is sure to be improved. A manipulative charismatic leader carefully chooses the object of that blame and creates a scenario that supports his or her cause. We don’t have to look far to find such examples in history. Unfortunately, the cause is not always what it seems. [Read more...]

Business Obstacles: Expectations Vs. Reality

Business Obstacles: Expectations Vs. Reality

And the winner is…
I don’t know about you, but some days unexpected obstacles surround me in the most unlikely places. It frequently isn’t the obstacle that stops us, but the thinking and expectations around the event. When expectations get in the way of reality, reality wins every time. Resistance to our current reality makes us miserable and opens the door to fear and failure.

Here are some simple strategies to help you deal with obstacles and get yourself back on course.

1. Stop. Pay attention when things don’t go your way. Your environment is giving you feedback. If you’re stuck in the office, get up and move, grab some water, or close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. The idea is to change your state of mind by doing something different. Do you want to run? Maybe you need to met the obstacle head on – but then again maybe not. Stopping in your tracks long enough to size up a situation is a fabulous way to set yourself up for success. [Read more...]

Leadership & Critical Thinking for Building Business Success

Leadership & Critical Thinking for Building Business Success

Critical thinking - what is it, why is it necessary?

During a recent interview with Tom Martin Media, we discussed effective business building strategies in any environment. Here’s a short synopsis from the call. My friend Amy Frost calls this the GRACEE method for critical thinking.

When broken down into it’s key components, critical thinking is a set of simple skills. All that is required is the willingness to develop them, use them, and follow through.

G for Goals: Make sure your goals reflect your vision and purpose. When the challenges arise, and they will, a strong enough reason will give you to momentum to get you through to the other side. Some people call this your why. I call it my north star. When your goals are compatable with your deepest internal values it is easier to stay the course. Write them down! Refer to them often. [Read more...]

The Leadership Continuum and Consciousness (Part 1)

I’m reading a fascinating and extremely insightful book called Heart of Europe, a Short History of Poland by Norman Davies.

It’s filled with marvelous insights into the history of the Polish people, their rich heritage, and the chain of events that led to their fall into an abyss of ineffective leadership – and the country’s resultant collapse into mediocrity, poverty, and despair.

Unfortunately, leadership principles may be simple, but not always easy to follow, as evidenced by those who fought and died for their dreams of a free Poland and free Europe during WWII.

Poland is a marvelous laboratory for the dissection of corrupt, ineffective leadership, and a reminder to us that a mighty country, culture, or corporation is not immune to the influence of negative leadership expression.

What happens to the part, eventually overtakes the whole. Leaders may have abandoned Poland to her own personal hell, but when we turn our back on our allies (or various divisions, departments, or people within our constituency), who shall we turn to in our time of need? If we do not sow loyalty and integrity, we cannot expect to reap a bountiful harvest.

Here, then are some musings that arose about conscious and unconscious leadership as it pertains to the leadership continuum.

For the purpose of this post, I define conscious as being aware of oneself and others. Generally speaking, a conscious individual is aware of their impact on people and the world. They know themselves and their ego/personality is under control. Generally speaking, aware individuals find satisfaction through offering value and/or service to others.

Conscious leadership includes win-win relationship building, open honest communication, transparency, and positive attributes such as caring, honesty, patience, discipline, encouragement, and willingness to stand for the greater good of all parties concerned.

Unconscious is defined as being unaware of oneself and others as part of a connected whole. Such a leadership style is outer directed. An unexamined ego/personality driven consciousness seeks to add to itself at the expense of others, a win-lose scenario. Unconscious people are generally unaware of their inner terrain, and how it impacts their actions and thoughts. Greed, envy, jealousy, retribution, anger, and other negative expressions are frequently present as part of the leadership style. Blaming, shaming, and controlling are used and there is no developed ability for self reflection and self knowledge.

Rather than label people as conscious or unconscious however, learn to speak in a way that they can hear, and pay attention to your intuition while doing so! When we approach life with a focus on curious observation, rather than judgment, we cultivate compassion for those that are at different places on the leadership spectrum.

View consciousness just as you would view the growth of a child. We don’t condemn a toddler when they won’t share their toys or punch another child. We educate and offer consequences for actions that are harmful to another.

There are many levels of conscious and unconscious behavior, and every one of us has our blind spots. That is precisely why others are mirrors for us. We can neither like nor dislike what we see in another, unless the potential first exists within our self. Let’s not be quick to judge others, lest we be judged ourselves.

To paraphrase Michael Jackson’s song, The Man in the Mirror, a conscious leader looks in the mirror every time (s)he looks at another, recognizing that what is seen in the other is nothing more than something that already exists within themselves….and if they want to change the world, the only place to start is with the world within. Consciousness sees itself reflected everywhere it goes, whether aware or not. The aware person sees, while the unaware person is yet to open their eyes.