5 Secrets Of High Performing Conscious Business Leaders
Leadership can be a fickle practice and one that can challenge the leader of an organisation, the culture of an organisation, its people and the multiple stakeholders that are involved in creating a successful cultural and commercial climate.
Many wish to lead, but few have the tenacity, focus, drive, insight and foresight to lead organisations in alignment with their collective values and purpose for existence.
In today’s high impact, socioeconomically, geopolitically and culturally complex society high performing business leaders have to master an array of applied skills in order to be competitive, astute and successful.
In order for a leader to be successful in todays modern society they must understand the psychology of people and groups whilst being able to foresee future trends.
The key words to grasp here are success and leadership. We cannot be immersed in a high performance environment without experiencing some form of success. So defining success in some capacity here will be useful.
What Is Success?
As a starting point, success can be understood as prioritising the process – moving with a deliberate intention to maximise the outcome in the most healthy manner possible for all involved. This is the beginning stages of defining success. Following this, we do our best as leaders to maximise and realise the projected outcome, goal or vision.
BUT, the manner in which this is done (intention) is very much aligned with organisational values, ethical and inclusive conduct and future-based sustainable consideration of both (broad) present and future stakeholders. Note, that our planet Earth in this scenario is strongly considered a stakeholder.
Today’s leader is faced with the following (and note, that this is only some of the challenges and rapidly changing factors affecting sound and successful leadership in today’s modern age:
- A highly innovative landscape of emerging and converging technologies;
- The rapidly transforming environment and climate
- Highly regulated political practices, laws, bi-laws, legislation and policy
- The amalgamation of diverse cultural groups and values coming together under one common goal due to globalisation and connectivity;
- A highly competitive corporate culture;
- Greater awareness around ethical and conscious business practices
- Millennial & Gen-Y values influencing the working day and productivity;
- Rapidly changing externalised market influencers;
- Effective and clear communication;
- Breaking the silo effect and creating team cohesion in pursuit of a shared vision;
- Satisfying shareholders and the cultural shift towards more inclusive and sustainable business practices;
- Evolving macro economic frameworks;
- Building trust in a fluctuating and unstable economy and;
- So much more
What Is Conscious Leadership?
Leadership is a broad term and when we observe leadership from a holistic perspective it can be quite complex and integrated. A great deal of pressure is often placed on our leaders – leaders of our communities, corporations, families, charities, education systems and so fourth. So how do we alleviate this pressure and allow leaders to flourish and simply be the best version of themselves and allow both the hard and soft skills to be expressed articulately and successfully?
In my Sovereign Leadership Model I have 14 tenets or principles to enhance the leadership prowess, skills and aptitude of a leader. The premise of the model is about focusing on self in order to be of service to others.
Whilst leadership models, such as: Transformative Leadership, Servant-Based Leadership, Neuro Leadership, Cross-Cultural Leadership, Facilitative Leadership, Emergent Leadership and Team Leadership to mention a few have great merit, if a leader has little understanding of him or herself thee leadership styles are not effective or as powerful as what they could be. Only once we are self-aware and are able to be confident in ourselves can we adopt externalised models of leadership to then facilitate growth and coherence in collective groups.
The Power Of Sovereign Leadership
Therefore, The Sovereign Leadership Model focuses on the self for the self and for others simultaneously through a concept I have developed known as Selfish Selflessness. Allow me to elaborate.
Selfish selflessness is one of the most natural states and postures to assume. When we move with an intention to ‘evolve’, grow and expand our capacities, expressions, minds and the entirety of our beings we are being ‘selfish’ but in a healthy, constructive, additive (adding value to life) and inspiring manner. When we couple this movement with a synergistic intent to move in this way because we realise we are of greater value to others then we increase our capacity to be of service to others and we are acting selflessly.
Marry the two states and we have selfish selflessness. We cannot be great without focusing on ourselves and as you will see below if we solely focus on ourselves we limit actualising our potentiality. If we simultaneously focus on others and ourselves, we all benefit – especially as our culture is becoming more connected, integrated and complex as a social organism.
There are 6 basic premises that underpin and support the posture of selfish selflessness, they are:
- We are relational / socialised beings.
- We are collaborative beings not competitive beings by nature. Enhancing the effectiveness of our environment actually enhances our survivability and engages directly in mechanisms of self- preservation (strength and the quality characteristics of people in numbers). Collaboration is evolutionarily built within us, not competition like some may think.
- We actually by nature / nurture genuinely care for others, there is an inherent need to give to others – we require others to enhance our lives.
- Consciousness provides us with a sense of an individualized self; whilst connecting us and assisting us in understanding who we are.Intent and awareness is crucial when it comes to moving through life with an authentic measure.
- From an evolutionary perspective our brains are hard-wired to feel rewarded more for magnanimity and selflessness than for meanness and selfishness – giving support is part of a feedback loop that makes giving social support rewarding to the giver. This is a generous biological design that is probably a key to our survival and wellbeing as a species.
When a leader grasps this concept he or she is empowered to move forward and lead with great momentum! With this said, let us observe 5 of the 14 tenets or principles of The Sovereign Leadership Model that can improve dramatically the performance, cohesion, connection and output of any leader.
“Sovereign Leadership is a symbiotic gift we choose to give to the world the moment we decide to pay attention to who we truly are”. S.Sifandos.
Below are 5 postures that high performing business leaders can implement regularly in order to maximise their success and their influence.
1) Being Of Service
We have leaders not acting selfishly, but socially. A second aspect to this is an emphasis toward service with a primary orientation toward using moral authority. Finally, the approach emphasizes certain positive values such as trust, honestly, fairness and so on.
This powerhouse secret is about being of service to ourselves, to the evolution of ourselves, to our authentic self, to what we want in life, to our heart’s desires and being of service to those around us is a powerful posture of sovereign leadership.
When we speak to being of service we are firstly speaking to being of service to the self and the highest most authentic needs one requires for growth and evolution.
We give enough to self so that we have an ability to give to others and that’s a key principle of being of service. It aligns with that selfish selflessness notion we addressed earlier, where we must be selfish enough to give to ourselves in such a way that nurtures us and assists us to understand life in such a way that we can then give to others with purity of intent.
When we speak to being of service we speak to two components. Firstly, we are speaking to being of service to the evolution and growth of our own skill set and mindset, and expanding that mindset, praxis and consciousness. Secondly, it is also about being of service to the path that others tread – supporting our employees and all relevant stakeholders to achieve their professional and personal goals.
When we often make reference to being of service, we exclude ourselves and we often think of only others. We think it must be towards or for someone else. If we do too much of this it causes an imbalance in self and in our own careers. Likewise, when we focus on too much of the self, there’s an imbalance in the self as well, because we are not then being of service to the needs of others. In this day and age, it requires team cohesion and clarity in collaboration to be outwardly successful in the market place.
2) Immersive Creativity
We do not need a canvas to be creative. How we behave as leaders, how we treat our people, how we treat stakeholders, partners and associates – that is our expressive creative. When leaders are creative, they are shaping the culture of an organisation and importantly they are
Creativity in any organisation is crucial. Leading from the front with creative flair demonstrates to others that the organisation has courage to innovate, go against the grain, take calculated risks and take the organisation to the next level of growth.
An empowered leader will promote and advocate for individual, collective and connected expression and creativity in every member of the team. They will create the circumstances conducive to creative expression, which will ultimately lead to growth, recognition in the market place and increase competitor advantage.
3) Infinite Vision & Intuition
I make mention of this as it is an understated value and quality when it comes to leadership. When we observe some of the great leaders of history, many will make reference to that gut feeling or I just had to follow my heart. Neuroscience is also supporting an intricate connection between the ederic system, the heart and the cognitive brain and that by increasing connection and cohesion in these areas we increase our ability to read and understand situations with greater efficacy.
Leaders must learn to trust themselves and following that inner voice. Having the ability to foresee events as they unfold requires careful attention to detail and beyond that a very visceral connection to self and one’s surroundings. This is what makes empowered leaders unique.
This is not simply a spiritual notion or a spiritually existential notion, this is also becoming and unfolding deeply into scientific fact. Intuition lays a strong foundation for us to engage in having an infinite vision on and for self and for others in our lives. With respect to vision, clarity in purpose brings about an opportunity for us to take action that is in alignment with those values and with that purpose.
As leaders, we are not wasting our time or the time of others – crisp intuition leads to clarity in decision making, transformative action and execution. In order for our intuition to be accurate, we must know ourselves. What does that mean? That means being clear on our vision and purpose and that means being clear on our values and what is most important to us as leaders.
Science and neurological studies demonstrate that one of the most powerful intuitive factors to contribute to effective leadership in any individual is our capacity to be compassionate – but first, we must begin by being compassionate towards ourselves. We must begin with our actions demonstrating nurturing, giving and energising towards our own being first. That selfless action; developing that self-esteem and that self-compassion and; being kind to self. If we cannot be kind to self how are we going to be kind towards others? That’s a big question to ask. Rigorous empirical studies and data support the view that compassion is healthy. Without this posture how can leaders expect others to follow them in to the fire? After all, it is connected and bonded team that creates success.
Compassion is expansive and growth promoting for us as individuals and as a collective society. By definition, compassion is the sympathetic awareness of others, while self-compassion is the sympathetic awareness of self. There is deeper recognition there. It is actually empathy coupled with pro-social action to improve the overall evolution and condition of ourselves and of others.
There are 6 core attributes of self-compassion. The first is that we must be able to notice and recognise suffering whether that be suffering in ourselves or in others. The second is our ability to then feel moved enough and be able to connect with others and with ourselves. So there needs to be a motivation there to do so.
Next, there needs to be an inspired state that we are able to rest in and be in – to be moved enough within to be able to connect with others and ourselves with direct relation to compassion or that emotional state. Following this we observe the posture of self-kindness.
The practice of being gentle and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical and judgemental. The fifth attribute requires recognition of our common humanity. Feeling connected with self and with others in the experience of life rather than feeling isolated and alienated by our own suffering or heightened emotional states. Therefore, we must be able to connect deeply to that suffering and to ourselves, but also recognise that there is a commonality there.
Finally, we require a mindfulness and attentiveness that we hold our experience in a balanced awareness and perspective rather than ignoring our pain or even exaggerating our pain. When leaders utilise these 6 core attributes they gain fans in the workplace. It is the power of a cohesive many that fuels the fire of success.
5) Inclusive innovation
This is simply our ability and astute willingness to stay abreast of all the innovations that are happening in the world today. Not only from modern scientific enquiry, the world of technology and innovation, or even materially, but also the innovations that are occurring at a socio cultural, spiritual, psycho-emotional (both interpersonal and intra-personal) level.
To choose to be deeply attentive and aware of these constantly fluxing innovations and then adapt, be robust, agile and become one with these innovations that serve our growth is what allows us to experience the richness of life. It is here the leader can be highly effective and successful in gaining market traction and progress.
Further, inclusive innovation is about also evolving these practices that set the standard for our future, to enhance their potency and potential. As sovereign leaders it is about being at the forefront of these innovations. Innovating ourselves, others, current thought paradigms, systems and culture to enhance and expand our reality in such an interconnected and meaningful manner.
This is what the connection between sovereign leadership and inclusive innovation represents at its core. When teams observe this quality in their leaders they are deeply inspired to be better, to expand and to empower themselves with greater knowledge.
Inclusive innovation for the sovereign leader is understanding environmentally, economically, technologically, globally, connectedly, culturally, spatially and through our humanness why these areas of life are crucial to our collective development.
As a sovereign leader we need to understand and be familiar with our environment, emerging and converging technologies and both hard (material, physical, hardware, systems, political doctrines, etc.) and soft (culture, mindset, self, social norms, ideologies, beliefs, etc.) innovations.
The exponential growth of technology, the process of innovation and how it is affecting our cultural practices and how we are treating each other and how we are evolving is such a powerful factor in contributing to the well-being of society in general.
It is so important to gaze ‘forward’ and understand how innovation on all levels is affecting the entirety of our being. We are effectively understanding how inclusive innovation interacts with global trends analysis and how global trends affect us as individuals, but also affect us as a community. This tenet is more in alignment with future thought.
It is futurist based and it is calculating what is occurring in the world today and where we are projected to be in the near future, for the sake of our sustainable and inclusive wellbeing, and how that then impacts and influences our capacity to know ourselves. How we can also be of service to other beings and how that future projected understanding impact us, others and our entire cultural paradigms.
We achieve this by leveraging knowledge around very influential and powerful current trends. That extrinsic component in our lives is technologies and ideas. Inclusive innovation isn’t just about physical technologies. Inclusive innovation is also the the innovating of ideas and innovating of our own creativity, both individually and collectively.
Technology and human life cannot be separated in this modern globalised era, nor does it need to be that way. We need to understand how it operates at both the subtle (microcosm) and gross (macrocosm) levels. By understanding the role of technology and by applying an inclusive attitude towards life we realise the power of leveraging technology to evolve our Earth.
We all have an opportunity to excel in life. How we choose to live our lives and share our wealth of wsidom will be dependant on what we value most. If we value being inclusive by nature, giving, being selfless and leading from the heart for self and for others we will truly excel.
One is always glad to be of service.
Relational Alchemist, Speaker & Author
Relational Alchemist, Speaker & Author