Are you a real leader or all talk? What does this question evoke in you? How does it make you feel? Annoyed? Defensive? Intrigued? Curious?
What was the first thought on your mind? “How dare you Mike, questioning my integrity as a leader!” Or …”Mmmhhh, that looks interesting, I wonder what this is all about?”
The Frame controls the Game!
“Does the thought have you or do you have the thought?”
Whatever was on your mind, it influenced the quality of your thinking and how you’ve experienced this thinking. Consequently it led you to take action and open this reading.
And not just that, it influences the quality of what you getting from the following content of this post. Are you reading with a closed and judging mind? Are you comparing it to what you already know? Are you discounting what I am sharing with you?
Or are you reading it with nothing on your mind? A mind that is open and curious for fresh thought, for new insight, and for seeing new possibilities?
The frame controls the game. As human beings we have the ability of cognitive thinking. We can bring meaning to the world out there. Living in the world of thought means we can interpret and evaluate what we see and what we hear out there in our external environment. Not just that, we have to ability to make assumptions about our assumptions about it.
Living in our assumptions means we see and experience life through a distorted reality. It shows up in our behaviours. In the way we feel it in our bodies and the way we act. It shows up in the way we engage with others.
Here we can get into trouble! This can create major blind spots for us. Most people do not understand the nature of cognitive thinking and how it drives our understanding of how we think life works. This creates a false reality based on our assumptions that we hold true. The thing is, we always live in a false reality. In the world of thought there is no escaping from this false reality, nor is it a bad thing. None of us is immune to this.
However it becomes a problem when we think that our reality is the only reality. Then we act through the limits of that reality and project those limits onto others. Here we can easily buy into our thinking and that of others and being reactive to it.
Get out of your own way and see a world of possibility!
The trick is to get out of your way, to step back and see your reality for what is. It’s just your made up reality. It exists and is only true within the confines of your thinking. When you have that level of awareness you can gauge for the usefulness of what occupies your mind. You can act on it or not. You can question it. You can expand on it. You can explore it. You can step above it.
The more perspective you have, the more ways you can see the world in, the more choice and flexibility you have in dealing with what life is throwing at you. The ability to step above your thinking allows you to see with greater clarity and possibility. Here we operate through the richness and insightfulness of our thinking and engage with that of others in harmonious ways.
Real leadership is transformational leadership and it starts with YOU!
Transformational leadership is about engaging people’s minds through understanding, valuing and connecting with their higher level needs or intentions, which I have written about in previous reflections. Chip Conley, the founder of Joie De Vivre, founder of California’s biggest boutique hotel chain tripled his business during the Dot.Com crash and 911 by doing exactly that. Watch his TED talk on ‘Measuring what makes life worthwhile’ here.
It begins with you, how you lead yourself. In involves your ability to question and to step above your own thinking and to expand it. Your willingness to explore and to operate from your highest intentions. And to lead the way for others to do the same.
When you begin to do that, you’ll change the name of the game. You’ll find yourself operate in a state of flow. You’ll experience greater clarity of mind where solutions to problems miraculously appear. And you’ll connect and collaborate effortless with others. That is transformation in play!
So, are you a real leader?
‘A vital ingredient in a disruptive world!’
Many years ago I heard a great definition for a leader.
“Firstly, a leader has followers. If nobody is following you, you are not the leader. Secondly, what is the reason why people follow someone? Because they think that the person they follow knows where he or she is going!”
People generally follow someone they trust. Someone that stands for something! A person that has a sense of purpose and vision and that inspires people through that purpose and vision. Someone that leads through people and that shows them the way!
This is a vital ingredient for a real leader leading in a disruptive world. A world where being creative and innovative is the key to staying competitive and sustainable. And the ability to be flexible and adaptable to the changes that come with it!
This has to be done collectively and collaboratively, through people. A real leader’s role is to bring out the best in their people. To give them a sense of empowerment and create a space where employees can tap into their full potential.
Leaders who do not focus on bringing out the best in their people are a reliability to their organisation. They are costing their organisation and holding it back!
How do you bring out the best in your people and tap into the collective wisdom of your workforce?
It all begins with the assumptions that you make about people and how the world works. And how these assumptions either limit you or empower you in the way you engage with them and the quality of the contribution they make.
The clue is here! Are you a disempowering or empowering your people? Are they working against you or for you? Are you holding your organisation back or are you driving it forward?
What are the underlying assumptions that either hold you back or drive you forward?
If that resonates with you and you want to know how to connect with your people, bring out the best in them and to tap into their collective wisdom read on. If not, I like to thank you and I look forward to serving you with my next reflection!
to your best
About Mike Schwarzer
Mike is a Transformation Professional and an Internationally Certified Trainer in Applied Neuro Synergy & NLP with the Global Association of Applied Neuro Synergy, GAANS. An experienced facilitator and coach, with an ability to connect and align people, he helps leaders and organisations to solve the problems that they have not been able to solve elsewhere and create the results they want to achieve.