Leadership comes with the responsibility of self-awareness. Not only must we be aware of our team and our organization’s purpose, but we must also be aware of how we share what we do and how we are to the world around us.
When leaders are in their consciousness and giving freely, they are inspiring others and serving as role models for growth. The signal is: I am here, I am present, let’s work together toward excellence.
Conscious leaders are willing to be vulnerable (more on that later) and step back, evaluate and adjust or clarify when their message does not get across; because their ultimate goal is to create, engage and collaborate. It is difficult for a team to disengage from a leader who is present in this capacity.
What is being broadcast enables honest response. When leaders are defensive and afraid, their teams can be defensive and fearful as well.
Setting tone for the culture — and for the team
Individuals within organizations have to navigate corporate culture and often take their cues from the individuals around them. Effective leaders have to lead and set the tone for that culture and that team.
Both have to take charge and determine how to do this. It is an individual responsibility. Each of us needs to see where we are living up to our values and where we are sabotaging our achievement to reach our goals. Instead of looking around, let’s look inside.
Now, if living a more conscious and authentic life is not something you are intent on focusing on at this time, this book may not be for you. Yet you picked it up; something drew you to do so.
Perhaps you feel you are not achieving the levels of success that are possible. Perhaps you’ve tried other avenues to achieve your goals and found them unsatisfactory or incomplete. Perhaps you are merely curious. In working through these pages, you may discover something about yourself, who you want to be and who you really are and how you can take steps toward greater leadership.
In my experience, conscious awareness is a powerful catalyst for change, and for success. Don’t worry, if we do not have a strong sense of conscious awareness, we can create it. That is what this book is about. How do I get where I want to go? What steps can I take that will effect real change?
I want to reiterate that the journey into creating consciousness, while it may seem simple, is not always easy to do. If undertaken honestly, this journey may, in fact, be a challenging process. The rewards, though, are generous.
Zen practice has a saying, “Every step of the journey is the journey.” Each step along the way provides immense growth and peace if pursued with diligence and intention.
Beginning the path to self-awareness
The best way to become self-aware and tune into what we are broadcasting is to consider a number of questions.
Answers to these questions may not appear overnight. As the underlying reasons behind many of our feelings, beliefs, and associations become conscious and we begin to see what could be stopping us, we may discover a myriad of other questions that can lead to further insights.
Awareness is not an end goal, it is a process that is always continuing: discovering what blocks our ability to lead consciously and courageously, to be fully present and connected to our fullest potential. This is the case whether we are alone or working with others. Once we go through this door of self-awareness and building a deeper consciousness of what goes on within, we have entered a room of endless possibilities.
We can never go back, not really. And, would we want to, if our goal is to continue to grow? Would you want to go back to feeling stuck or that there was something more you could achieve in your life or career?
In any event, we would not go back and stay there for very long, if we have set an intention to develop our awareness, to see others as equal human beings and have a better understanding of others and ourselves. Change will have been set in motion. We can continue to move the journey forward.
Where are you in your development as a leader?
An important first step in self-awareness is that we must recognize who and where we are in the present. I don’t mean geographical location, but where we are in the journey of development as a leader and as a person.
Let’s begin with your present job. Start by asking the question: “Do I give the best that I have toward the common goal?” The answer may be sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. It is important to focus on and identify the “sometimes I don’t.”
- Why are you holding back?
- How willing are you to do what it takes to give your best?
- What price are you willing to pay?
- Do you believe it is “easier” to leave the responsibility for your career to someone else, when deep down you know you are holding back and could be contributing more to a positive outcome?
These can be tough questions. They are meant to be. It is how we begin to get ourselves out of our inertia. We have to stir up the hardened, daily trampled-on dirt. There is no telling how much richness you will find in the soil beneath.
Focusing on your conscious learning
Remember, this is a process, part of a life-long journey. We do not achieve consciousness or self awareness at one point, and then keep it forever. Consciousness does not happen on its own. It takes focus, and is a deliberate choice that we need to keep making.
Choose daily to understand where you are, and the message you are broadcasting. Choose daily to learn. This is the first step toward becoming a conscious leader.
Reprinted with permission from Conscious Leadership in the Workplace - (A Guidebook) To Making a Difference One Person at Time, by Rosalie Chamberlain. © 2016 ROSALIE CHAMBERLAIN. Conscious Leadership in the Workplace is available at Amazon.comnscious Leadership in the Workplace is available at Amazon.com.