Posts Tagged “Leadership”

On Leadership

On Leadership

To truly create something different, to rise above the standard forms that we have been handed, to reach new levels of collective spiritual insight, we need more evolved leadership.

We may have desires to create something different, but it is up to us to take responsibility and make sure we are walking the walk of being a truly transformational leader.

To one degree or another, leaders in the past have been people who tell others what to do. They direct or inform. In moments, they might inspire, but the inspiration, more often than not, is more of a pointer in the direction where their followers should be headed.

This old model is partly born of a notion that the leader has something in his or her head that the others involved need to learn how to execute on or adhere to. What is more true is that, while a leader might know something about where the group is going, there is quite a bit that is unknown—growth requires a stepping into the unknown. The leader will be just as changed and surprised by the process as everyone else.

When we assume that the leader has the answer and the followers are merely trying to catch up or make it happen, it devalues the contributions of those involved. It creates a dysfunctional hierarchy based on an authoritarian model where one person knows and everyone else learns or follows.

While this works at certain levels of consciousness, where the divine nature, creative spark, and soul essence are not yet being expressed, once we are operating in groups with more consciousness, the old model becomes oppressive.

As a leader, it is easy to think that we have grown beyond this model when in fact we have not. It takes continual refinement to advance beyond established norms of leadership.

To be clear, to embrace new forms of leadership worthy of our collective growth in consciousness, we do not need to do away with all forms of hierarchy—in fact, that is somewhat problematic. We do need, however, to work with these structures in an entirely new way.

In a healthier, more advanced version of leadership worthy of our noble endeavors, the leader is the first person to adjust their behavior. This above all else is what makes them the leader. They do not need to tell others to make changes so that then they can change or realize their objective. They change so that others can also make changes.

As a leader, before making a request, you make the desired shift inside of yourself. If you see a problem in someone else’s behavior, see how it is showing up in your behavior or how you are contributing to its creation.

Following on this, the question when things are not working out is not what does this other person need to do to get on track, but what do you need to do to be a better leader. This rigorous inquiry and adjustment is the foundation of a more advanced leadership.

As your leadership becomes more refined, it is built on listening to what is coming through each individual and harnessing this in service of a collective vision. You are not fearlessly in front barking out commands to those following, but tirelessly attending to the full expression of what is coming through.

This part of leadership often requires sitting back. Not a resentful sitting back, creating a standoff of disengagement and fear, but the sitting back that creates perspective on what is happening, that grounds itself in the larger vision, that holds a light for others to see by.

From this perspective, it is possible to see how to maximize everyone’s potential and grow the collective work. It is possible to see how to help people contribute more and better. With humility, it is possible to put aside agendas about what things should look like and create excellence from what is.

This type of leader looks at each person and evaluates them not only on a collective standard but on their individual contribution. What wisdom does this person have to offer in their approach to the work at hand? How might what is bothering or challenging your actually be a missing piece in making it work?

Or, if a person is making mistakes, not showing up, or being otherwise problematic, the question for the other person from the evolved leader is: “What do you need to make this work for you,” instead of “why are you making this mistake?”

If, after being given the support that they need to succeed, someone is unable to rise to the call of what is needed, this is its own instruction and will most often be evident to all involved, creating smooth transitions and ongoing goodwill.

This shift alone begins to dissolve unhealthy dynamics that people have with authority figures. No longer do people need to prove their worth and value to the leader. They can trust that their worth and value is an intrinsic part of the whole. They know that the obstacles they face will be easier to overcome because they have the support of both the leader and the collective.

These more developed leaders, whom I imagine you are trying to become, do not have followers. You have collaborators who, through their deep respect for your leadership, give their all to a joint creation. These collaborators are fully empowered to be leaders themselves and are capable of being led by others they are working with.

As you make the shift to this more powerful form of leadership, what you are able to create exponentially increases. No longer does one person need to bear the burden of bringing forth the vision; rather, the vision is brought forth from the collective hearts and souls of all who are involved, making it powerful and secure beyond measure.

If you’re interested in stepping into new models of leadership and coaching, check out my Transformational Coaching Program.

How to Know When to Reinvent Yourself as a Leader

How to Know When to Reinvent Yourself as a Leader

Whether you work for a company, run your own business, or are a leader in some other group, your success as a leader cannot – and will not – be stagnant. Like any other part of your life, success in leadership requires continued work and development. All parts of our lives need to be evaluated and efforts to take ourselves to the next level need to executed. If you have been wondering how to know when it is time to reinvent yourself as a leader then this article is for you.

REASONS TO REINVENT YOURSELF AS A LEADER

You stop seeing results: This might seem obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook what we don’t want to see. A big red flag that your leadership needs some work is that you stop seeing the results that you want to see. Leadership implies a goal – if you stop seeing forward movement from your team, you should take a look at how you are leading. What is it about what you are doing that is limiting the results of your team? What can you do to change the way you are leading? What can you do to support your team?

People are disengaged: The people you are leading will let you know how you are doing as a leader, in both blunt and subtle ways. If your team is inactive or not paying attention, it’s time to reflect on the gaps in your leadership. Pay attention to how your people are showing up. Are they going above and beyond, or trying to get away with the bare minimum? While individual character traits (like motivation and integrity) will always play a role in team performance, you will be surprised at how much more engagement you can create by changing your leadership approach.

The thrill is gone: Are you feeling less-than-engaged as a leader? Is the idea of another project – or taking the next steps on your current one – less than interesting to you? Are you resenting the action that you need to take? If you are no longer enjoying your leadership, then chances are you need to find a new way of being in leadership. It is time to reinvent yourself as a leader when you feel you’ve run out of good reasons to lead. I promise you, there are more.

Ongoing conflict: Conflict is part of any team effort, but when the problems persist it is time to take notice. Ongoing conflict is a sign that something is not working correctly and, since you are the leader, it probably means that you need to adjust the way that you are holding your leadership. When you get better, the people you are leading get better. Being a leader doesn’t mean being perfect. It means being attentive and being the first to step forward when it is time for change.

You may need to reinvent yourself entirely or it may just be an aspect of your leadership that needs some updating. Remember this is not because you have done something wrong but a natural part of the process of growth whereby you become the best leader and have the most positive impact you have.

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The Integrative Transformational Coaching program is an exceptional training with top-notch resources for people who want to make a difference working with others one-on-one.

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3 Simple Ways You Can Lead with Love

3 Simple Ways You Can Lead with Love

When we talk about love, we often talk about the kind of romantic love we want to receive. We look for the partner or friend who will love us as we deeply want to be loved.

However, what happens when we reverse our desire to receive love and begin to think about desire to give love? We often forget that love is a constant our lives. Love is something we create. When we turn the love we have outwards, we can use it to create wonderful things in world.

Love is an essential part of successful leadership and positive outcomes. Staying connected to love as we grow in our ability to lead allows us to create a deeper impact in everything we do.

So, for this week’s article, I’m going to share three surprising and simple things you can do to help you lead with love.

Breathe In The Good Stuff

    When we’re lovingly connected to ourselves, we’re better able to do things that make a positive impact on our world. One of the easiest ways to plug into ourselves is to take a big, deep breath.
    Spiritual disciplines around the world emphasize the importance of the breath. When we inhale we take a little of the world into our bodies, and when we exhale we release a little bit of ourselves into the world.
    People fail to breathe when they get tense or scared. They tighten up and hold their breath. This is because breathing encourages our connection to ourselves and to our environment.
    And staying connected to ourselves is an essential part of being an impactful leader.
    Here’s one breathing exercise that can really help you anchor into yourself and to your sense of connectedness. Every day for a full week, take a few moments to draw in five full breaths at one time. Let these breaths fill up your lungs. When you inhale, imagine that you’re breathing in love; on the exhale, breathe out all the love you took in. Imagine that the fullness of your heart and the fullness of the love around you is streaming in and out of your body.

Create a Wave of Kindness

    Scott Adams once said: “Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
    We’ve all seen how our kindness can have a big impact on the world around us. People feel good when you’ve shown them kindness. And those good feelings can ripple out into a much bigger wave.
    When we’re kind to those around us, we lead ourselves and others towards a way of interacting that’s full of thoughtfulness and care.
    For each day this week, do one kind thing for someone in your life. Do a favor for a co-worker. Or give some one you love some extra support. If you want to challenge yourself, do something kind for someone with whom you have a difficult relationship or for someone you’ve been neglecting.

When All Looks Dark, Choose to See the Love

    There’s no denying it – there’s a lot of suffering in the world. It can seem like the things we do to improve the world don’t seem to put a dent in the suffering and despair we see all around us. But even in the worst of times and the worst of places, there are glimmers of love. And it really is within our ability to see them.
    No matter where you are, or the current state of your life, take a few minutes every day for the next week to notice the many faces of love around you. They might be small – like a blade of grass through the pavement – but they are there.
Co-Creative Leadership and the Power of Engagement

Co-Creative Leadership and the Power of Engagement

I’ve learned a LOT about leadership while growing my business. I cannot say these have been easy lessons. I’ve probably made every mistake in the book. I’ve been too hands off. I’ve been too rigid. My standards have – at times – been out of reach. In those moments, I’ve let my frustration get the better of me.

I know that there are people who choose leadership roles to boost their ego. Yet, I’ve found that leadership is a profound and often under-appreciated form of service.

This post talks about co-creative leadership, and explores the skills necessary for it. I believe these are skills that become more and more essential in our lives as time goes on.

Co-Creative Leadership and the Power of Engagement

We all need to learn leadership skills. However, how we put those skills to work differs from person to person and from goal to goal. While some people want to command authority, others want to inspire and engage. While some people think of leadership as a solitary act, others see it as a part of a broader group effort.

Co-creative leadership is about engaging others to tackle the task at hand. It’s about facilitating growth and change while accomplishing a shared goal. With your family, co-creative leadership can be used to make a group decision about a family vacation. If you’re a part of a team, it might be used to make a joint decision about when and where you’re going to practice. And, in your business, you might use it to find new ways to be more efficient, so that you have more time to spend with family.

Creatively Contribute to the “Whole”

    In co-creative leadership, you’re not managing people; you’re managing projects. This is a powerful distinction.

    The fact is that people don’t need to be managed most of the time. If they need to be managed in the workplace, they might be more of a liability than an asset to your business. If they need to be managed at home, you might be missing an opportunity to empower your children or to partner with your spouse. And, if your friends, colleagues and acquaintances need to be managed, you’re either taking too much responsibility for those around you or you’re not with your peers.

    People need to know “why” they’re doing something. This means that they need to support the vision and understand their role. They feel engaged in making contributions to the vision and feel empowered to grow it. This usually happens when people help shape the vision and when they’re put in roles where they’re experts and respected as such.

Changing Yourself to Engage Others

    We cannot facilitate co-creative leadership without first taking a good look at ourselves. What I teach people in my programs is this: if you have an issue, you will keep running into that issue. And leadership magnifies your issues.

    So if you’re in a leadership position and experiencing difficulty with the people around you, pause and take stock of yourself. Effective leaders are able to take a candid look at themselves. They have a strong sense of when they’re in integrity and they’re able to make adjustments and apologies for where they’re not. Leaders tend to run into problems when they take too much or too little responsibility for the problems at hand. They also run into problems when they take too much or too little responsibility for the actions of others. As in all other areas of life, leadership demands that we first look at ourselves and assess our contribution to the situation in order to be most effective.

Opening Communication and Bridging Divides

    Communication is a necessary part of any relationship. It becomes particularly important when in a leadership position. A leader must be able to effectively communicate with all parties involved. They must also be able to facilitate communication between individuals and within groups. Communication requires compassion and clarity. It also requires a good measure of personal development work.

    Strong communicators have the ability to understand others and use the words necessary to express concepts and plans so that there can be as much engagement as possible. Unfortunately, many people have had negative experiences communicating with others. They’ve had conversations where they did not feel seen, heard, or respected. Because of this, many people do not show up to the conversation. A leader is able to bring everyone to the table, open the channels of dialogue and facilitate involvement. A leader also enables team-members to grow their skills so that they can adeptly handle tasks on their own. This takes a combined effort of personal development enhanced communication skills on the part of the leader.

Creating the Win/Win/Win

    A win/win is a two-sided victory. We need to be willing to create wins for every party involved. As a family, this means that the family trip can’t be just about making the parents happy or the kids happy. In business, this means that we need to think about how what we offer benefits our customers, employees, owners, community, and environment.

Yet, most critical to this aspect of co-creative leadership is the collective development of new ways of thinking about partnership and responsibility, participation and benefit. As leaders, it’s important to put concerted effort towards understanding how things can benefit as many people as possible. When our goal is to support others, we co-create opportunities that have the maximum potential benefit for all involved.

Bringing The Passion Back To Your Life

Bringing The Passion Back To Your Life

You have probably heard me say this a bunch by now but your life is what you make it. If it is lacking passion then, it is your job to bring it back.  Sometimes, this requires a mental shift. Sometimes, this requires taking action to create more of what we want in our external life. A little of both can go a long way.

Recognize that passion wears different faces:

Pay attention to what a passionate life really means to you. Maybe it looks different in different parts of your life. Maybe passion at work looks different than passion with your lover, or passion about a topic. How do you know you are passionately engaged with each aspect of your life? Write it out so that you can clearly see when things are what you want them to be.

Be vulnerable:

It is hard to feel passionate when we are under lock and key. If we are afraid to be vulnerable, we lose out on feeling connected to ourselves and really known by another person. Sometimes, showing love and showing joy can be as vulnerable or even more than when we need to show weakness. Are there places where you have a hard time being vulnerable? How can you open up those parts of your life?

Clean up your messes:

Baggage weighs us down and holds us back. When we live with a lot of unresolved stuff it stops us from being present and passionate in our lives.  What grudges are you holding onto? What pain from your past is it time to let go of? Find a way to clear your past so that you can be in the present.

Let go of limiting beliefs about what is fun and what is not:

Work is not fun. Vacation is fun. Even if we don’t totally buy into that idea the vestiges of it –like I was mentioning in my note- are there nonetheless. If we think more about an attitude of passion or joy instead of an experience giving it to us then we might be a lot happier. What does an attitude of passion or joy mean to you? How can you cultivate it?

Express your anger:

Anger and passion are on the same continuum. If you have totally shut down your anger, it will be very hard to experience a passionate life. This does not mean that you should be ranting and raving all the time. It just means that if you tend to say that you “never get angry”, you might want to take a look if what you are really saying is you don’t let yourself feel angry or that you are actually being apathetic.

Make time for it:

Everything important deserves its time. If you want more of something in your life, make a point of scheduling time to bring more of it in. Just by answering these questions and making some quick changes you will see a passion infusion in your life.

How long has it been since you leaped out of bed and excitedly entered your new day? Have you stopped thinking that was even possible? Being passionately connected to our lives is possible and here are some practical ways to do it. Join Dr. Kate along with special guest Sexual Empowerment expert and thought leader, Amy Jo Goddard as they discuss ways bring passion to every area of how you live on this weeks Real Answers Radio.

5 Skills of Really Amazing Listeners

Most people like to think what they have to say is important. If you or I make the effort to share thoughts, feelings, or knowledge, then we want to believe the intended recipient is listening. But honestly, many people are too distracted to really take it all in when someone else is doing the talking. What’s worse is that so many just watch mouths move, waiting for the chance to chime in.

Great leaders understand the value of active listening and get the most benefit from what others have to share. They understand that if you want to be heard and understood, the first step is learning how to listen yourself. The following are actions shared by those who truly know how to listen. Integrate them into your conversational behavior and you might be surprised what you learn.

1. Be present. Being “in the moment” is not just for yoga or Grateful Dead concerts. If you are going to take in what someone is saying, you have to truly focus your mental awareness on the person. Push distractions aside. Give a person the gift of your attention. Put down the smartphone, turn off your computer screen, put down the book or magazine, and look at him or her with a neutral or pleasant expression. Most people are so accustomed to having half of someone else’s focus at any given moment that this gesture alone will make them feel important and it will allow you to actually hear what they are saying.

2. Turn down the inner voice. Internal analysis of any conversation is unavoidable and necessary, but often it’s at the expense of objectivity. That voice can actually take over in your brain to the point at which you are no longer listening to the person talking and instead simply listening to the diatribe in your head. There is plenty of time after a conversation to assess the value of what you heard, but first you have to hear it. One technique for quieting the inner voice is simple note taking. Writing down even key words or short phrases will force you to absorb the information coming in. Then you can process it on your own outside the presence of the speaker. As an added benefit, you’ll have a more accurate representation of what was actually said for later discussion.

3. Hold up a mirror. This is a technique many psychologists and counselors recommend to help alleviate conflict. When the opportunity arises, speak up and describe for the person what you have just heard him or her say. It is OK to rephrase in your own words. Be sure to end with a request for confirmation: “So what you’re most concerned about is that the new hires lack training. Is that accurate?” The speaker then knows you are paying attention and fully engaged.

4. Ask for clarification. During a conversation, hunt for areas of interest where you might further inquire. Without derailing his or her train of thought, ask the speaker to expand and clarify: “What do you mean by ‘interesting?'” or “Why do you think that is so important?” The speaker will appreciate the interaction, and you will gain better understanding of the person’s perspective as well as your own perception of the information.

5. Establish follow-up. At the end of any conversation, discuss and determine if there are action steps required. This check-in will alert speakers to your actual concern for what they said, and help them assess their own relevancy to your needs. Express appreciation for their sharing, and let them know what you found to be valuable from the conversation. Making them feel heard increases the odds they’ll truly listen to you when you have something to say you believe is important.

reblogged from Inc.com. For more articles by Kevin Daum sign up here.

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Leadership Skills: Decisions, Decisions

Leaders need to be decisive and stay tenaciously on track. Fundamentally this means maintaining a persistent focus on their goals as much as possible and doing all that they can to motivate others. The list below describes what many of the most decisive and persistent leaders do in practice to achieve this:

  1. Conveys a sense of urgency in achieving the desired results; shows others how to act quickly and responsively.
  2. Demonstrates clear purpose, enthusiasm and commitment to own goals. Directs his or her attention fully on the task; minimizes distractions; focuses on results, not just activities and long hours.
  3. Doesn’t give up easily, even when his/her work is not utilized, or fully adopted and continues to produce and thrive even when his/her ideas are met with resistance and/or disinterest.
  4. Encourages employees to set ambitious goals; rewards efforts and achievements; gives credit where credit is due; serves as an example to others in personal performance terms.
  5. Handles multiple projects effectively; isn’t upset by too many things up-in-the-air; shifts gears quickly and comfortably.
  6. Has a broad perspective on what is important; participates in setting own personal goals.
  7. Inspires others through own drive and determination to meet ambitious goals and objectives; Mobilizes people to accept tough challenges willingly.
  8. Is able to effectively manage time to set and achieve demanding deadlines; projects a sense of urgency and brings issues and projects to closure.
  9. Is not easily discouraged by lack of progress; tries another tactic cheerfully and willingly.
  10. Is persistent and dogged about meeting deadlines, even when faced with unexpected obstacles; follows through with work to completion; doesn’t let things drop.
  11. Maneuvers well around roadblocks in a complex, ever-changing environment. Pursues everything with energy, drive, and a need to finish; perseveres in the face of adversity.
  12. Pursues opportunities for self-improvement on a continuous basis.
  13. Requests assignments that will build his/her skills and knowledge base.
  14. Sets definite time-frames for task and project completion and holds him/herself and subordinates accountable for deadlines.
  15. Takes the initiative to push beyond what is expected; works hard to improve performance and test own limits.
  16. Understands how the organization functions and can get things done through formal channels as well as informal networks.
  17. Understands that people are driven by different factors (i.e., challenge, money, doing well, etc.); knows how to look for that motivation and then applies appropriate motivators differentially.
  18. Works effectively in ambiguous situations; steps forward to establish a structure; seeks out unstructured situations as opportunities to demonstrate leadership.

reblogged from readytomanage.com

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