Experiencing the World as an Ally | Committments of Conscious Leadership #13
In the quest to be a conscious leader, ask yourself how you tend to view people and circumstances when challenges arise. As the Conscious Leadership Group (CLG) points out, conscious leaders see these as positive opportunities. Whereas reactive “To Me” leaders see them as either on their side or standing in the way of getting what they want. Reactive leaders identify the person or situation preventing them from reaching their goals. Then rather than seeing a lesson to be learned, they see the challenges as either too difficult or a reason to push harder to overcome them. It becomes a “with me or against me” mentality – which is how our brains are wired.
This skill to identify and sort is positive in everyday life to keep our brains from being overwhelmed but the “with me or against me” mentality can become a negative view for leaders. It takes a great deal of energy to always be trying to prove you are better or to keep those you see as less than you below you.
Conscious leaders make the shift from seeing comparison and competition to viewing everyone, including themselves, as valuable allies in learning and opportunities for growth. It may be that a coach, networking group or advisory board will provide the relationship of being allies. But CLG encourages leaders to go expand even further. Include those people and situations that might be seen as adversarial. Then turn that around to viewing them as “for you” and as prospects for your personal growth.
When you view the world as “for you” and everything and everyone as an ally, your perspective on life becomes one of learning and growth rather than one of obstacles and being “against you”. When involved in negotiations, view the person on the other side of the table as a facilitator to help you clarify what you truly value. Challenges that arise within your team may offer insight into your management skills or willingness to make changes/adjustments earlier. Before you start to resist in these kinds of situations, rather be grateful for the opportunities to become aware of new chances to learn and keep growing as a leader.
Reactive leaders feel pressure and frustration when coming upon obstacles that they feel are getting in the way of their reaching their goals. Conscious leaders see that pressure can be beneficial as it may alert them to actions that need to be taken or it allows new ideas to develop. These leaders also realize the value of pressure and that it can provide the catalyst for lifelong learning, change and growth to help them fully develop their potential.
Obstacles – whether coming from people or situations – can also be the force needed for new ideas to spring forth. When old processes and procedures break down, view it as a cue that new ones may need to be developed. Think of that particularly exasperating client that was just the wake-up call you needed to remind yourself that they were not your ideal client and it became a lesson as to why you need to focus on only working with your ideal clients. Or maybe the communication breakdown on a job that alerted you to the need for changes in your processes.
To practice the commitment of seeing all people and circumstances as allies aligned to help you learn the most important things you need for your growth CLG suggests you ask yourself this question: “Would I be willing to see this person and these circumstances as an ally for my learning?” If you can answer “yes”, then they offer additional questions to ask yourself, such as “What is it that I could not have experienced without this person/circumstance?” They also offer possible reasons you attracted these persons/circumstances into your life, such as “This is a pattern you want to break.” Or “There is something you’ve been unwilling to face.”
Becoming a conscious leader is a choice. Further your commitment to being a conscious leader by choosing to look at life through the perspective of learning and growth and in particular viewing challenges and obstacles as instead being allies in your development.