Leadership in 2019.
Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower
What does leadership mean to you?
Whom would you consider a true leader?
Personally, I see a leader as someone who has the ability to inspire, motivate and empower someone else to be a better version of themselves.
A leader is someone who makes an impact on other people’s lives, for the better.
A leader is someone who has a vision greater than themselves and a mission to SERVE others.
But how many people you and I know, who is in a leadership position or with a grand title but doesn’t act or embody the values and what a true leader would do?
You don’t make an impact or empower someone by operating from a place of fear or hurt.
You can’t motivate someone or cultivate intrinsic motivation within your people if you are constantly on a power trip.
You don’t automatically become a leader because you have been a management and C-suite position for X number of years. (Sorry to burst your bubble but you are not fine wine, you don’t age with time)
If organisations truly want to make lasting and real changes - start with your leaders.
If you want to truly make an impact, make your mark and move the world - BE THE LEADER you’re called to be.
Right here, right now.
A leader takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” Brene Brown
I emphasise on real because I see so many corporations are trying to embrace the “future of work” but not at the core level.
It doesn’t matter how advanced or sophisticated your technology is - your people and your customers are still the most important element of your business.
And the common denominator of that is?
They are still human.
And human connects better through HEART over mind or any other technology (or data they can provide you).
OK - let’s put this into perspective and using wellbeing as an example.
You have Apple Watch or the latest Fitbit to tell you how many steps you take per day, what your heart rate is and what you *should* be doing to achieve optimal health.
Then, you have the Oura ring to tell you your sleep patterns, how well and how deep your sleep is and how much you *should* be sleeping to achieve maximum productivity.
I am sure if you really want to - you can pull together a spreadsheet of data to give you the trends of daily health activities.
BUT - those data is useless unless you do something about the data.
And to do something with the data, you must have the right mindset AND do the work to achieve the outcome you want to achieve.
Also - by analysing the data of your health activities and spotting all the cool trends is pointless if you refuse to acknowledge the real change you have to make (such as establishing a nighttime ritual so that you can have better sleep… incorporating more activities into your day to day life and MAKING time to make those happen) and the actions you actually have to take! And most of the time, these actions usually fall in the “too hard” basket, it is extremely uncomfortable and you are probably not gonna see an immediate result (ie, no instant gratification or ROI to justify your actions)
Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right.
– Professor Warren G. Bennis
How does this relate to leadership?
Similarly - you can have all the latest HR technology, data and processes to make sure you hire the right talent (on paper!), to spot the retention and engagement trends or even to have the perfect onboarding program or process. It will tell you where the gaps are, what you should be doing or even further data for you to track your employee’s heart rate or brainwave to measure how engaged they are.
BUT, without the right mindset and right people, without the connection between you (the leader) and your employees, your best data will be useless.
I think in the age of digital transformation, technology and AI (and all the buzzwords one can think of), we have forgotten the simplest and most basic fact that we are all humans after all.
Maybe if we can start with simply being human, lead with your heart, connect through your soul and emotions, THEN support all these with additional data - your employees might be more engaged, motivated and actually want to stay in your company past the probation period.
And, this is why it is so important for leaders to start with self-leadership and self-mastery.
You first need to know who you really are, be clear on your values, EMBODY what you preach before you are able to influence and empower others to do the same!
This is the reason why I am a HUGE fan and advocate for Brene Brown’s work -
“To build courage in teams and organisations, daring leaders have to cultivate a culture in which brave work, tough conversations, and wholehearts are the expectation. In other words, courage is how leaders behave and show up in difficult situations, which ultimately strengthens care and connection between leaders and their team members.”
After reading her book Daring Greatly at the start of the year, learning more about being courageous and vulnerable then apply it into my business and life - I have gone through a major shift and transformation, not only in my business but my personal & spiritual life too!
Was it hard and uncomfortable?
Damn straight it was. But was it worth it - 1000%!
WHY DO I FEEL SO STRONGLY ABOUT CONSCIOUS LEADERSHIP AND LEADING FROM THE INSIDE OUT?
I have been very fortunate to have met a few incredible leaders (whom I see as mentors) throughout my corporate careers and also very unfortunate to have worked with a few who have made me feel less of myself (because being a manager is nothing more than a power trip to boost their ego).
The great leaders have helped me thrive, stepped into my full potential and fuelled my internal motivation (which I am forever grateful to. In fact, one of them has inspired and encouraged me towards entrepreneurship!)
Likewise, the bad managers have made me felt insignificant, questioning my worth and capability, doubting myself and felt the need to constantly prove myself. It felt like you’re in a cubicle prison - where you’re unworthy until you have proven your worth. Corporate politics is one of the worse cycles that you can put yourself through and the effect stays with you long after you leave!
Truth to be told - when I quit my corporate life, I didn’t hate that lifestyle, I simply hated the managers who told me what to do (simply because…) and refused to take suggestions and ideas.
I felt like my true potential was being suppressed and I couldn’t be who I really am.
Again - I am very fortunate and grateful that I am independent, that I have no problems challenging the status quo and I make things happen. I also happen to enjoy entrepreneurship.
However - not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur.
My greatest mission to redefine 9-5 and help millennials find fulfillment in the work they do so that they are able to do things that matter to them and make their mark.
And I do so by building and supporting purpose-driven entrepreneurs and visionary leaders to start leading from the inside out and amplify their impact so that we can all increase the ripple effect.
First, we do the deep, shadow work to unveil your true self, at a core and soulful level - then, we see how can we make the impact.
One person can go far, but together we go further.
I am keen to know - what does true leadership mean to you? Let’s start the conversation around conscious and transformation leadership in the comments below!