Lynne this is beautiful. Thank you. We are all leaders and teachers 24/7. How wisely and courageously we lead in any given moment is a reflection of how much we're trusting (feeling safe within) Divine intelligence's natural honoring all Life. As we trust kindness and respect for all Life, we realize we never left Heaven. The wisest leaders seem always to trust slow and to let go.
What does Personal Development have to do with Leadership?
What makes a great leader? Experts agree: leadership capacity links directly to the level of self awareness embodied by the leader. While we tend to associate leadership development with the corporate sector, successful business ownership requires many of the same skills.
This article was inspired by a conversation with a friend who's a consultatnt to senior engineering executives. He developed and delivers a model which demonstrates the correlation between leadership capacity and self awareness.
His model shows how leaders attract followers. Knowing their purpose, passion and what brings meaning into their life has a direct impact on how credibly leaders are viewed by their employees and peers. When they express themselves authentically there is a congruency between what they say, what they do and what they stand behind. Consequently people are much more likely to rally around them.
Not long after this conversation I was gifted with a book which shares similar views. “Who You Are is How You Lead” was written by Gail Gibson, founding faculty member of the Certified Executive Coach Program and Masters in Leadership Program at Royal Roads University. Sadly, Gibson passed away in the fall of 2010.
In the book Gibson presents a model which identifies awareness, choice and personal responsibility as attributes of Conscious Leadership, and these attributes are supported by trust and courage. The results are growing people and effective organizations.
While reading the book, my head nodded affirmatively, each point Gibson makes resonated deeply with the messages I’ve been sharing with business leaders. For example “Being conscious means being fully aware, and personally responsible for the impact you have on the world as well as being able to effectively manage the impact the world has on you.”
The term Conscious Leadership coined by Lance Secretan another leadership expert and author, is further explained in his foreword to Gibson’s book, “We are one, and the world would be a better place if we loved each other,,, Simply put, our notions of separateness are no longer appropriate in the conditions now facing humanity and our planet. As leaders we inspire when we awake to the principles of oneness.
When I pollute my backyard, I pollute the world. When I inspire just one person I brighten the world… When I teach a noble lesson I add to the progress of humanity. When I inflate my departmental budget, I constrain someone else’s… Whatever I think, feel, say or do changes the world.”
Does this sound like metaphysics to you? Secretan suggests it could be, and it can also be viewed as a pragmatic description of reality.
I was fortunate to learn these principles several years ago, and found on my own career path, self awareness and self-responsibility to be most helpful in navigating the leadership territories encountered. Being ‘leaderful’ or taking responsibility rather than waiting until I had my Director’s attention and guidance, was fundamental in quickly moving up the ladder when I worked in a large educational institution.
Taking the time to consider how my Director would view the situation and determine what was best for everyone concerned earned me his and my colleague’s respect. Being attuned to others motivations also helped me to encourage and engage the people who worked along with me and to mitigate potentially conflicted situations.
At the time I didn’t talk much about how I learned to empathize with others to determine what their motivations were. As a student of metaphysics I had learned to heal and read people’s energetic fields (auras). I figured people would think I was a bit of a flake.
Now when I hear and read about how the principles of personal development are fundamental to becoming inspiring, conscious, authentic leaders, it all sounds very familiar!
So as we all awaken and become more self actualized we need people who are equally attuned to lead us. As a coach I meet many who have left the corporate sector and are healing themselves after having worked within the old model of command and control leadership.
If you are on the leadership track, or a leader in your own business and would like to become better at engaging others or simply want to manage yourself in a more effective and leaderful way its imperative you get to know yourself better.
It’s not about maneuvering people to do what you want, it’s about knowing yourself deeply and expressing yourself authentically; being highly self responsible, responding with integrity to the best of your ability and being INSPIRING. This is what fuels motivation.
Quote: "Leaders must know themselves thoroughly before they can hope to lead others." Warren Bennis, Institute of Noetic Sciences
Learn more about the author, Lynne Brisdon.
Comment on this article
Posted by Laura Bedford, Bloomingdale, Illinois |
Apr 15, 2011
Posted by Lawrence Hurvitz, Bellingham, Washington |
Apr 15, 2011
I see typos;
“Who You Are is How Your Lead” was written by Gail Gibson,...
That 'Your' should be a 'You'.
Also, the in final quote; Quote: ” Leaders must know themselves thoroughly before the can hope to lead others:. Warren Bennis, Institute of Noetic Sciences
That 'the' should be a 'they', and the final punctuation needs fixing.
Posted by Lynne Brisdon, Bellingham, Washington |
Apr 16, 2011
Thank you! Laura for your wonderful insights and acknowledgment. Lawerence for your very helpful editing.
much appreciated, Lynne
Posted by Hunter Dickson, Richmond, British Columbia Canada |
Apr 18, 2011
I think you have hit the nail on the head. Leadership, great leadership requires a high degree of self-awareness. Anything else stems from self-interest. Good article. Thanks Lynne
Hunter Dickson www.womenofintrigue.wordpress.com
Posted by Maureen Kelly, Blaine, Washington |
Apr 26, 2011
Beautifully stated, Lynne! Authenticity and belief in self are very powerful motivators. When we walk comfortably on this earth, coming from the heart, we become an inspiration no matter what the message: Leaders through example. And as a LONG time MBTI® practitioner, you know I applaud the idea of getting to know ourselves as best we can! (The most effective way to communicate with others comes first through self-understanding.) You rock.:)
Posted by Lori Richardson, Portsmouth, New Hampshire |
Apr 28, 2011
Lynne, I just now read your article and really enjoyed it - especially at a time when I am having to work with family members due to a death in the family - this insight is true for leadership in business and outside of business.
Thanks for the well-thought out article. Perhaps a good follow up could be 3-5 steps people can do to become more self-aware.
Posted by Susan Templeton, Bellingham, Washington |
Nov 25, 2012
Thank you Lynne for your clear vision and understanding of the subtle influences our 'who' attracts our 'what'. I so appreciate all your generous advice and support these last few years! Your WHO certainly works!