Every human on this planet is in a leadership position on some level. From children who tend to take the lead on the playground (aka bossing the other kids around) to our teachers to a visionary entrepreneur who has a service or product that can positively impact lives. And yet, I’ve noticed that many of my entrepreneurial clients don’t see themselves as leaders.
They are wrong.
If you are making a difference in someone elses life, you are a leader.
Now for all of those small business owners who don’t yet recognize the impact and influence they have on others, I’d like for you to explore a way of being a leader that I call Awakened Leadership.
Awakened Leadership is a style of influence that has a positive, uplifting effect on the people served. Its more than being authentic. Its bigger than developing a high performance team. Awakened Leadership is about the responsibility to serve in a valuable way.
Over the last 25 years I’ve worked with leaders of all kinds – from corporate CEOs to ministers of huge congregations to visionaries who are inspiring millions with their movements. What I’ve witnessed is that many are thrust into a position of leadership but have no idea how to really serve. Bumbling along, these leaders often instill fear instead of inspiration. Well meaning as they are, they burn through great talented people because they still act like they are the lone wolf instead of a team of 100. Not to mention ego and its effect. Ego can kick in with that surge of power and the leader develops amnesia when it comes to authenticity.
In my own journey and as a mentor to many high profile leaders, I’ve witnessed 6 qualities that convey awakened leadership:
The sad truth is that there are many people in a position of leadership that abuse their power. Whether its ego or just a lack of awareness, if you are focused on personal gain at the expense of people you serve or your strategic partners, then you will lose respect and trust. An awakened leader is deeply aware of the value of relationships and strives to honor win-win-win outcomes. There is an on-going track record of delivering on their promise and ensuring excellence in anything they do.
2. Bold Stand
An awakened leader understands on a deep, intrinsic level that they have a HUGE, significant mission to complete and to do so they must take a bold stand for what they believe in. Often that bold stand will NOT be understood or be popular with others in their life. Taking a bold stand will feel uncomfortable. But deep down inside the awakened leader knows they MUST stand the stand. An Awakened Leader lives in boldness. Bold action, bold commitments, bold ideas. By being bold, the awakened leader demonstrates their commitment while inspiring others to be bold with their goals and dreams.
3. Clean Communication
Communication is the life blood for an awakened leader to serve at their best. Clean communication is making a commitment to be honest, work out issues quickly, and always strive to understand the other persons position instead of forcing your position. At this level of leadership its easy to slide into reactivity — and that cost will be far too high. An Awakened Leader must develop a practice of proactively setting up so systems and procedures as well as being willing to do the right thing. From proactive and timely communication with their team to being “clean” in their communication with others, choosing to develop an ongoing dialogue that keeps people informed will allow them to earn respect and move at the speed of light.
The ability to make good decisions quickly can be the lynch pin of success. Awakened Leaders take the time to really know what priorities and values are at stake and develop strong decision making strategies to deliver a high payoff. Digging deep, an awakened leader develops a trust with key advisers as well as hones their ability to recognize their intuition. To make good decisions one must know when to listen to external input versus when you have to go with your gut.
5. Being the Example
One of the most important attributes of an awakened leader is their recognition of the level of influence they have over others and their commitment to do good. Awakened Leaders strive to be an excellent example of powerful, honest leadership. So they do the personal development as well as continually improve their performance so that they inspire greatness in their peers, strategic partners and customers. Its crystal clear to those in the presence of an awakened leader that the leader is grounded, determined and committed to being of service to the world.
6. Consistent Leveling Up
In order to be an example, Awakened Leaders consistently improve their game. People who are called to be leaders at this level make a commitment to do their inner work. Storms will always surface in the pursuit of a big mission. To stay the course, positive mindset and resourcefulness must be the root. Investing heavily in personal growth, coaching and peer-level networking allows them to keep their fire stoked. An Awakened Leader is always growing and exploring the realms of possibility so they know they must keep their energy high and consistently expand their perspective.
Awakened Leadership is more of a state of being than a leadership style. In order to activate it, all you have to do is decide. Whether you believe you are a strong leader or have resisted the idea of being a leader ask yourself these three questions today:
- Do I have influence or impact over others?
- Am I willing to be an even better, more positive impact?
- Is there any place in my life or business that is getting in my way of my mission?
I’d love to hear your comments below…