We have all had that one great teacher we think back fondly of. His or her classes were the ones you would always attend because they were fun. This teacher understood what it meant to be an adolescent, would make the lessons interesting by telling stories you could relate to and knew what was going on with you.
Later in life you might even have had one boss you feel the same way about. But this, sadly, is not the rule. Mostly you hear about the boss that is stressing you out, is expecting too much and is only interested in targets and never in you as a person. How has this become the rule and not the exception?
With that great teacher you felt save and valued. You were not afraid to ask for help. The results were that your grades were up, or at least the best they could be and you were feeling good about your effort. Now we see managers thinking short term and they are target oriented. Will this assure a strong commitment for the future or will it drive talented people away?
When you don't feel valued you don't give it your all, right? Chances are you will be constantly looking for another job, are feeling stresses out or burned-out. You will certainly not be enjoying your workdays. And we should enjoy our workdays. After all we spend a lot of time doing something or other that is work related. We commute an average of 2 hours a day, then work 8 hours and we sometimes work late. This means that on an average day you spend 10+ hours on work. If you need 2 hours to wind down and sleep for 8, the 'job' takes up 75% of your awake life! So we better make the most of it.
In order to make us enjoy what we are doing a few things need to happen.
We need to feel valued
We need to feel save
We need to feel inspired
We need alignment with our own purpose
Find your purpose!
It all starts with awareness. Having a greater and more realistic sense of self, knowing who you are and what you truly stand for are the foundations of great leadership. Let's take a look at what the focus points of Phase one of our ALP program are.
Our own emotional foundation is the personality structure we operate from, our blueprint so to say. Much of it is formed at the very start of our existence and early life experiences. Some of us are fortunate—born into families that shower love, protect and provide us with opportunities. Unfortunately, many of us grapple and have developed persistent patterns to cope with life. But there are ways to detect these patterns, to rebuild patterns that no longer serve, or fortify your foundation.
Your model of the world is different to that of others, purely because everyone has a unique way of interpreting reality. This interpretation is based on experiences that we have had in the past, we filter our actual experiences internally and we will interpret them accordingly in our own unique way.
How would you feel if your time and energy were aligned with the most important things you wanted to do, see, or experience in your lifetime? Awareness of one's purpose for existing and the most important things you want are the start of something miraculous. In order to work effectively with others we need to get closer to their model of the world so we can properly understand them and motivate them.
Of course when you've completed Phase one of your journey there is more work to be done, but being aware makes for a good foundation.
Maybe being that high impact leader is not for you. Maybe managing a large team or company is not what makes you happy. But finding your purpose will. It is all about what makes you happy. Knowing who you truly are will make it easier to choose your direction. When you have to make a life changing decision, knowing who you are and what your true purpose is, will ensure that whatever you decide will be what's best for you. Be that great leader and know how to lead yourself.
Knowing who you truly are comes with a lot of benefits. You will have resolved past issues and you know what triggers you and makes you tick. You are able to set goals for yourself that will make you happy.
Don't play the part, be the part!
Great leaders, just like that great teacher, inspire action. They have a powerful impact when it comes to shaping our world. Great leaders don't play the part, they are the part. They make us feel valued and save. They are authentic.
Aligning your company goals with the personal goals of your people will make them feel valued and safe. If you are a leader of leaders, you will be free, feel confident and will able to shine and shine your light on others too. People will follow you gladly, feeling safe and protected.
Your best people will stay with you instead of becoming your strongest competitor.