“We can only lead to the level of our own consciousness.”
To that point, we can only really live to the level of our awareness. Humanity has handled a lot these last couple of years. We know that burnout levels are up, mental health issues are on the rise and more and more of us are reevaluating what work means in our lives. Studies show employees are putting up healthier boundaries and seeking companies that exhibit confidence in managing the turbulent road ahead. We also know that organizations and leaders are a bit confounded about how to navigate an evolving and complex world with changing employee needs.
We have been taught certain leadership skills and while many are still highly relevant, some are just not working the way they used to. As I partnered this week with a team and listened to their leader speak, I found myself excited and thinking, “he has it right”. And yet very few leaders are positioned to be effective in this new environment.
Getting it right in this new era means
- Raising your level of consciousness
If it’s true we can only lead to the level of our consciousness, then great leaders must continue to gain awareness and insight. They must always be growing and developing themselves. When you stop having “ah-ha” moments about your own skills and deficiencies as a leader, you fail to grow into something better. You suffer, and those around you suffer. Raising your consciousness means continuing to learn about yourself and your effectiveness as a leader. Assessments, such as 360’s, personality/style, and emotional intelligence, can be critical in this process. Coaching, leadership training, book studies and other methods are necessary areas for leaders to focus time and resources.
- Letting go of getting it right
The leader I referred to above shared with his team, “we might not get it right. The budget might be wrong, the environment will likely change and often, we are just giving it our best guess”. The beauty of this perspective is that he continued to share what they will do to correct their course of action if and/or when they get it wrong. They will shift gears quickly, they will integrate new information and make the changes needed to stay on course. They will set up a structure to warn them when they are wrong so they can adjust. Being right is getting more and more difficult as the variables in our environment become more complex. Changing your mental framework and allowing yourself to be wrong, but still stay on track, offers a lens of flexibility.
- Fail fast and fix it– Along with the statement above, leaders have to be able to make decisions quickly. This means having the best possible data (which might not always be the best data), integrating it rapidly, gaining stakeholder input and buy-in and moving to action at record speed. Sometimes, it’s okay to have a solution that only gets you 80% of the way there (not always, but sometimes). The path changes, so leaving yourself some space to adjust can serve you.
- Build hope– There is a formula for cultivating hope and hope helps employees to maintain optimism, focus and engagement. Have a vision for the future that is inspiring and attainable. Offer people a path towards that vision- there are many roads to the same destination. Allow people control over their role in taking you forward. People want to feel valued, important and a part of something bigger. Give them that chance.
Growing our consciousness is all about looking at the world with a different lens. It is a constant journey of uncovering ourselves, our values, our identity, our place and responsibilities to the people and world around us and finding an authenticity that serves.
Many times organizations and their leaders need help to begin moving in the right direction, we would love to be part of your journey. Contact us to schedule a free consult at admin@InnovativeConnectionsInc.com or call us at 970-279-3330.