Being that it is a New Year, I spent some time over the holidays consciously thinking about how I wanted to improve my life in 2013. My husband and I spent some time talking about our hopes for 2013. We vowed to make it a year of adventure—creating experiences and memories for us and our family. In terms of my career, I spent a lot of time thinking about building teams, collaborating, and how I can bring value to my company. The time allowed me to think consciously about where I am at, where I would like to be, and how I might get there—both personally and professionally.
I began thinking that for many, even those who are very experienced, not much consciousness is applied to leadership. If you ask a roomful of leaders (CEOs, Directors, Principals) how they got where they are today, the top answer is usually “I was lucky.” Not that it’s entirely “luck” but, most of them worked hard, made strong relationships and wound up in the right place at the right time.
Leadership courses use case studies to analyze the performance of successful leaders. These courses can help people develop a set of hard skills that are necessary in being a successful leader. However, the tendency is for these skills to be technical and managerial, while human skills are far harder to teach and pass on. Well-trained managers do not evoke the same response, that a conscious leader can. For some, these skills come more naturally, for others, they do not. Developing these skills requires a certain level of consciousness. Success, practiced consciously, brings value to both the leader and the team that he/she leads.
A recent article that I read, focused on the seven skills that fit a conscious leader, organized into the acronyms LEADERS.
L = Look and listen. Do this with your senses, being an unbiased observer who has not judged anything in advance. Do this with your heart, obeying your truest feelings. Finally, do this with your soul, responding with vision and deep purpose.
E = Emotional bonding. Leading from the soul means going beyond melodrama and crisis mode, getting rid of emotional toxicity to understand the specific needs of your followers.
A = Awareness. This means being aware of the following questions that underlie every challenge: Who am I? What do I want? What does the situation demand? A leader must ask these questions of himself and inspire his team to ask for themselves.
D = Doing. A leader must be action-oriented. In whatever he does he must serve as a role model, held responsible for the promises he has made. This requires persistence but also the ability to view any situation with flexibility and humor.
E = Empowerment. The soul’s power comes from self-awareness, which is responsive to feedback but independent of the good or bad opinion of others. Empowerment isn’t selfish. It raises the status of leader and follower together.
R = Responsibility. This means showing initiative, taking mature risks rather than reckless ones, walking the talk, having integrity, and living up to your inner values. Seen from the level of the soul, a leader’s greatest responsibility is to lead the group on the path of higher consciousness.
S = Synchronicity. This is a mysterious ingredient from the unconscious that all great leaders harness. Synchronicity is the ability to create good luck and find invisible support that carries a leader beyond predicted outcomes to a higher plane. In spiritual terms, synchronicity is the ultimate ability to connect any need with an answer from the soul.
Many of these principles can be applied to how we lead in our homes, amongst our friends, family, and other organizations. Leading doesn’t require that you be in a position of leadership or have a particular title. In fact, to truly lead, people must first be willing to follow you or learn from you. This is humbling and important to remember when you are, perhaps un-expectantly, put in a position of leadership.
You can read the full original article here: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20121227230040-75054000-the-conscious-lifestyle-the-soul-of-leadership?goback=%2Enmp_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1&trk=NUS_UNIU_PEOPLE_FOLLOW-img-fllw
Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 70 books with twenty-one New York Times bestsellers and co-author with Rudolph Tanzi of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being. (Harmony) and serves as Adjunct Professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, Columbia University.