This work is about Authentic Leadership
I asked you the question in our first group coaching call “Why is the shift from fear-based reactive behaviours to outcome-focused creative behaviours - so important for leaders?”
At the heart of all your answers though we might not have used the word at the time, was "Authenticity". I try not to use this word a lot as I feel it is already in danger of over-use. However, it is indeed the overarching concept for Morpheus and deserves to be underlined. You are learning through all this work to become a more Authentic Leader.
There are many books and courses and studies on great leadership. Harvard Business School has analyzed over 1,000 of those studies and were startled to find there really is no one formula for success. Instead the challenge is to understand who we are so that we can discover how best we can then serve others.
So the word “Authentic” added as a descriptor to “Leadership” reminds us of the real definition - this quest for leadership is all about you being who you are, not emulating someone else.
And being who you are means connecting with your opinions, practicing your values, playing to your strengths, leading with your heart as well as your head. It’s about you trusting your experiences to-date and establishing meaningful relationships and reflecting on how all of that now informs your intuition and then acting on that - from the inside out.
Instead of hanging your worth on something outside yourself like waiting for approval, or needing to be seen as the smartest or special or in control and in charge. Because when we do any of those admittedly very human things, it makes it easy to blame all that's going wrong - on outside of ourselves- for all the reasonable reasons things might not be working optimally. And doing that as a habit is all part of a necessary phase of adult development - for all of us. And we will all continue to be hooked by these tendencies because we are such social creatures - meaning other people’s opinions do and will continue to impact us. But to be truly driven by all that? That disempowered stance is no longer enough for you. It’s not authentic nor leadership.
As we have been working through your results and getting clear on what you want to work on and why, it is probably becoming clear to you that there really is no shortcut to greatness. Developing yourself as an authentic leader is not easy or instant, it is transformational and as such takes great effort and usually involves discomfort as we learn to pause and choose instead of just react. And in the choosing, we make mistakes along the way and learn from them.
Empowerment is the ongoing change you are working on, the process of learning how to create what matters most in our life through our work. The organization cannot grow if you are not growing. and the only way you authentically increase your capacity and grow is by doing this kind of exploration.
"This exploration—the discovery and reframing of beliefs that prevent us from creating what matters most—is the deeper work of personal transformation and part of the path to genuine organizational transformation. It is perhaps the most challenging and rarest of all the disciplines of leadership. And, therefore, it is the most essential."
Bob Andersen, CEO & Founder of The Leadership Circle
John Mackey, Founder and Co-CEO of Whole Foods recently echoed the same perspective: "The company was unable to grow until I was able to evolve — in other words I was holding the company back. My personal growth enabled the company also to evolve." And that company brought in more than $11 Billion in revenues last year.
If you want to read more about reactive-creative insights from Bob Anderson himself you can find his article "Mastering Leadership" here
If you want to hear more about John Mackey's experiences building conscious business, check out his new book Conscious Capitalism