Four dimensions make the fabric of a modern leader.
Think of each of the dimensions as a part of a flywheel: Improve on one dimension and you will automatically improve in the other dimensions. Framed differently, if you neglect one of those areas the others will suffer.
Self (Awareness) -Leadership
We only rise to the level of our awareness.
Self-awareness is the most important currency in your life. If we are not aware of our own scripts, drivers or attitudes they control us.
This journey goes via different routes: self-reflection, working with mental models to facilitate this journey and creating spaces for reflection for your environment to mirror back to you how you are being perceived (gold standard — a 360* degree assessment).
Markers of high Self Leadership:
- Self-awareness = time for self-reflection x quality of your mental models x depth of your mentors and coaches
- Understanding of your drivers, limiting beliefs and scripts
- Understanding of your purpose, strengths, typological preference and career anchors
- Structured overview highlighting your reactive and creative tendencies (measured by self and others)
Mental & Spiritual Leadership
The journey from reactive to creative needs mental training
The plateaus of personal development go in stages. Without mental and spiritual training we necessarily will get stuck in the first stage — reactivity.
By integrating contemplative practices only we will embody the wisdom it takes to become a creative leader. With practice we will even reach measurable hallmarks of “integral” leaders — measured by exceptional grades in mentorship and purpose.
Markers of high Mental & Spiritual Leadership
- Resonance in all three relationships in your life (career, loved ones, self)
- Ability to tap into responsibility through trained and sustained focus and mindfulness
- Self-regulation ability through constructive mental practices
- Wisdom and Meta-cognitive System awareness through de-constructive mental practices
The only constant is change
Each organisations follows its own logic. Each has its unique DNA that needs to be nurtured. What’s more, each level of development asks for new skills. Start-ups need you to build. Scale-ups need you to leave building the product and build leadership teams and organisational culture. Larger Corporations need standardisation. And if you ever you make it to a Board rooms you should better be equipped to deal with the logic of political spaces. From working on a product to working on an organisation to nurturing an exceptional high trust-high leadership culture — organisational leadership asks us that the only constant is change.
Markers of high Organisational Leadership
- Vision, Strategy and Communication
- Building and nurturing High Performing/ High Trust Teams
- Designing an Organisational Culture and framework fitting the stage of the organisation
Resonance is how you can assess your success
Relationships are the fabric of leadership. This is why the newest trends in organisational development are all relational:
An organisation is people in relation. If you aren’t aware of the various forms of relation and your own competence in them — chances are you are not getting the resonance out of relations that you could be.
Markers of high Relational Leadership
- High scores in Relational Competences (measured by others)
- Living Efficient Communication Frameworks: e.g Non-violent Communication
- Knowledge how to self-regulate yourself when you are below the line.
- Embodied understanding of Drama dynamics and how to evade them.
- Understanding and self-regulation
The Essence of Leadership
We often get leadership wrong. Taking the essence of above four dimensions of mindful leadership those truths emerge:
No 1: Leadership is assuming responsibility and not a birth right
More than anything leadership is a commitment. It’s a commitment to show up, to change, to take on responsibility, to be challenged, to question yourself, to serve and to be humble. If you stop reflecting — if you are below the line and falling into reactivity you are leaving the path of mindful leadership.
No 2: Leadership can only be verified by others.
Like in the South African concept of Ubuntu — it is only through the lens of others that we become leaders. If we shy away from harvesting the feedback of others we will forever tap in the dark about what we could be to others.
No 3: The only constant is change
The logic changes with every evolution. Leadership is a sensing a listening and then becoming something new. It is also a deconstructing, unbecoming and unlearning.
Like Britney Spears sang “Im not a girl, not yet a woman” — you will forever be in a bardo state of becoming and un-becoming a new leader.
No 4: Resonance is the marker of success
We all fall trap to cheating time just to realise that we cheated ourselves being everywhere and nowhere at all. Taking a take from modern sociology — the marker of the quality of the things that matter to you will be how deep you go into resonance. How resonant do you feel to your self, to your career and to your loved ones. And how much resonant do they feel with you?