Why Being an Authentic Leaders Will Grow Your Business part 2

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“Try not to be a man of success, try to be a man of value”
Albert Einstein.

Presence

Your ability to be aware of your presence in any situation or circumstances is inextricably tied to your ability to ‘simply be’. To be free to focus totally on what is going on within you, in front of you and around you, an acceptance of your space, being aware of an ending of one thing and a beginning of the next.
‘Presence’ begins with the discovery of your individual purpose, not the purpose of your business, company or organisation, but your individual purpose.

Finding Your Purpose

Finding your purpose can prove to be challenging, perhaps it evolves as we grow through each of our life phases. Not only is purpose scaled by the phases of our lives but also by our present roles responsibilities and maturity.
However ‘purpose’ is only realised through getting to know the authentic self .Not accepting the conscious reality that is presented, but rather being aware of the unconscious building blocks that have contributed to our experiences. Experiences that have caused deep reflection forcing the questions of who am I? What do I stand for? Why do I what I do, and for what purpose?

The ability to answer these questions requires us to examine our values. By reflecting on our stories our narrative, our true values emerges from the beliefs and convictions that had been tested under pressure, within these narratives. It is here we learnt what was truly important from our experiences. It is here that we emerge stronger and surer of our purpose. Such stories are a reliable indicator and predictor of our ability to find meaning in such events positive or negative.

Richard Leider, founder of the Purpose Project, author and a top executive coach. With over 30 years of researching ‘purpose’ believes to find purpose is misleading because it’s not something you go out to “get” but rather something we need to turn within and “unlock” and its power determined by its maturity and its inner growth over time.

Where is the Key to Unlock Purpose? (Richard Leider)

Well here are clues to unlocking ‘purpose’, ask yourself the following questions
• Why do I get up in the morning?
• What do I truly love to do?
• What do I feel passionate about & are important to my way of being?

What is Purpose?

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary : Purpose, is the reason why something is done or used : the aim or intention of something. The feeling of being determined to achieve something. .

Why Do We Need a Sense PURPOSE?

Without it we become more vulnerable to anxiety, depression and more susceptible to addictive behaviour and habits. The powerful positive affect of having a strong sense of purpose means engagement with working towards our purpose, less likely to experience unease because our mind and energies are immersed in achieving the purpose rather than being occupied with ‘mind chatter” which often  triggers negative thoughts and feelings. Aligning ourselves to our purpose often makes us less self centered, allows us to feel a part of something bigger and external to ourselves making us focus less on our own worries and anxieties.

This alignment can bring about the experience Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi refers to as being in ‘flow’ a powerful source of wellbeing that causes us to feel happy!
Discovery of your individual purpose brings with it a self awareness, a self regulation hence an existential ‘presence’ in the here and now.  Take your first steps of action  Just  click below for a special introductory offer.

Making Change Happen Today with Coaching2Transform

Making Change Happen Today with Coaching2Transform

An investment in time and energy, to pursue a purpose will require mobilization’ this catalyst is called ‘passion’ the subject of my next blog

Why Being An Authentic Leader Will Grow Your Business

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How many of you are able hands on heart are able to deal with the crisis, conflict and challenges your business or organisations presents with confidence, optimism and resilience while still  being able to keep your team motivated & aligned to the company vision and purpose?

It is an incredibly difficult balancing act which exists on a continuum of  ‘self-care’ and well-being  to  ‘burnout’  and maladaptive behaviour which is unpleasant and damaging.

More damaging though is we as leaders do not know ourselves!  Fewer than 20% of us have a strong sense of purpose, as a result we limit our aspirations and often we fail to achieve our most ambitious, professional and personal goals.

Failure to authenticity reflects in a moral deterioration ,  reduced sense of ownership , responsibility and deliberate dis-association from business or organisation. This failure can cause many of us emulate the behaviour and practices of others because of this uncertainty of not owning one’s personal experience and acting in accord with one’s core values, needs and preferences. Instead, we follow symbols society offers in the external world, money, fame, power and status. This pattern of behaviour may be useful as well as destructive  damaging and often unsustainable. If leaders feel trapped in such behaviour the situation needs to be changed.

Knowing thy self requires the courage, honesty and vulnerability to open up and examine experiences, narratives and stories that make up life experiences that have been stored in the memory of self knowledge.

This blog is going to be a series  that will explain WHY? Knowing yourself and being ‘authentic ‘ will grow your business and improve your company productivity and performance.

So What is an Authentic Leader?

The concept of authencity has its roots in Greek philosophy.  Throughout history the idea of authenticity has been held in high esteem:

“Know thyself and to thine own self be true”  (Shakespeare )

Modern day philosophers have focused attention on people who are in ‘tune’ with their basic nature clearly and accurately see themselves and their lives, unencumbered by others expectations for them. Such self-actualised leaders often make more sound personal choices, decisions and judgement.

The belief was self knowledge is the highest form of knowledge, all encompassing surpassing all other forms of knowledge and it is regarded as timeless!

So what is authenticity? And how do you get it?

If you Google authentic leadership you get over 2,000,000 results! It appears to be the new buzzword in leadership. I believe that authenticity begins with honouring the’ self’ to speak and act from our innermost convictions and feelings. That is according to Dr Nathaniel Branden (renowned psychotherapist) to preserve an attitude of self acceptance which means to accept what we are without any pretence about the truth of our own being. It poses the question

“ Shall I honour or betray the ‘self’?”

“ Do  I belong to myself or others?”

To be true to the self and to hold core values,  a leader must first have an insight and knowledge of those core values. This self-awareness is a prerequisite for authenticity.

By simply becoming more  self-aware authentic, leaders  construct conditions which  create high trust, where teams  are supported to build on their strengths. By providing a more positive environment, leaders are able to broaden their thinking and add value and a sense of ‘what is right’ to their decisions , improve the performance and productivity of their business and company over time. The more authentic leaders become the more the business performance improves.

When leaders, solo entrepreneurs, business owners are better equipped to withstand challenges faced by new ventures, and are still able to have a positive impact on team members. They are then able to realise the full potential of their vision. This is essential for the survival and growth of a business or company.

Nathaniel Branden quotes  “ In order to honour the ‘self’ is to be willing to think independently, to have the courage of your own perceptions and judgement. To know what we think, feel, need, can be accepted as the right to experience such feelings. The opposite to this attitude is denial, disowning, and repression “

How Can We Help You Make Change Happen?

My coaching practice combines the importance of ‘thinking’ with ‘self awareness’ we love  Nancy Kilne quote

“The quality of everything we do depends on the quality of the thinking we do first”

Our sessions are an invitation for leaders to explore their internal and emotional landscape to reveal how much they really know about themselves. Book here and lets see whether we have what you need to start your journey to authenticity.

The combination of thinking and self-awareness is what Coaching2transform identifies as Leadership Thinking the bringing together an existential awareness to the here and now combined with the leader’s presence within it.

Your Presence begins with the discovery of your individual purpose.

Making Change Happen Today with Coaching2Transform

Making Change Happen Today with Coaching2Transform

Why this matters is the topic of my next blog

Self-Care for Solo Entrepreneurs, Business Owners and CEO’s

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Do Leaders Practice Self-Care?

As a  solo entrepreneur, business owner,  or leader, do you often find yourself at the eye of the storm, fighting not only for the survival of  your business or organisation but for yourself on a very personal level.
We all know this tends to sap energy and make work- life balance appear to be a selfish distraction or a pipe dream.

Burn out is a silent killer, invisible to leaders until it becomes extreme. If leaders do recognise burn out it is often too late, and they can’t remedy it because their fundamental ability to take care of themselves is impaired and invisible.

 Self-Care Is a Business Decision!
Solo entrepreneurs, leaders and business owners characteristically deny the impact of stress. According to the Center for Creative Leadership ” Leaders aren’t even aware that they are under performing”
It is important that self-Care begins before the disaster occurs. This involves developing a vision for your life and living it. In my previous blog ‘Is Isolation Safe’ you are reminded that the replenishment of the mind and soul will improve decision making and coping skills. Learning to understand the tools and practices of self care beforehand can contribute to well-being and health on a daily basis.

Barriers and Obstacles to Self-Care

There are many barriers to successful self-care that leaders face when deciding to change.

Perhaps a conflict that can also exists, is between the desire for health balance and the war with the fears and beliefs, that are somehow unconscious yet interconnected?
Can a leader’s genes, parent’s anxiety and environment reflect in leader behaviour? For example a predisposition to high anxiety, unreasonable expectations and demand of self and others.?

Welcome to Epigenetic click this link for radio 4 interview

Successful leaders who tend to be ‘guilt ridden’ or feel undeserving of their entitlement for being successful, have unconsciously felt like an outsider with regards to their family and friends and struggle with self care. Not unlike like the anxiety experience of a lottery winner.
What can ‘feel’ more natural to such a leader is their cultural environment including the family dynamics which often define the leaders’ reality and morality.
This is a leader’s only true story known, despite what the leader says or consciously intends.

Leaders feel the conflict when their reality, their story is violated, rejected, or they leave behind the unspoken norms, patterns governing their family and all that the leader used to do.
This conflict can take the form of guilt, anxiety and impacts unconscious behaviour and choices.
Such difficulties according to Michael Bader aren’t the exception but the rule, such unconscious conflict can place brakes on wishes to take better self-care, to be patient with and love the self”
Such conflict can create stress, depression, addiction, a belief that leaders really ‘don’t deserve to relax’, but to believe in the’ reality of success’

If leaders were to make that change to self -caring the first thing that they must do is to Get a coach this one simple act can:

• Improve self-awareness
• Identify areas of strength and vulnerability
• Identify stress management techniques that will work!
Avoid risky behaviour
• Discover how to approach ‘wellness’ as a business challenge with a vision and a plan
• Accountability partner

What Will Self-Care Look Like?

Science has proven that without proactive, effective self-care, the impact on the leader can be debilitating to creativity, judgement and insight. Qualities that are necessary for sustained performance, success in business and life.
Research with Leaders who opted for self-care interventions have demonstrated
• Greater productivity
• Brighter mental clarity
• More energy
• Improved ability to readily access flow and high performance states.

“When these individuals meet their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs , standing in the power of their best selves, they inspire others to realize their potential performance and productivity”
Dr C L Ackrill MD of WellSpark

We provide amazing support so the following common obstacles will not stand in your way!

• No time to focus on YOU!
• Tiredness
• Guilt

Change can often be difficult, so Coaching2Transform support leaders as they make the decision to pursue self-care.Discover what we can do for You Click  here for Your Discovery Session.

Making Change Happen Today with Coaching2Transform

Making Change Happen Today with Coaching2Transform

How do Leaders Avoid Burnout?

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Can you remember the last time you allowed your inner circle at work to reciprocate the care, you give to them to give to you?
Are you struggling to remember? If you can’t remember, be aware otherwise this is a recipe for burnout! Replenishment of energy, motivation, and spirituality comes not only internally as mentioned in my blog on when is isolation safe but externally too, from others .

UNDERSTAND THESE 4 STEPS TO AVOID BURNOUT

• Your energy levels also motivation need to remain full, and must be continually replenished, for you to function at your best
• Understand that the demands of leadership can cause leaders to become resentful as expectation, demands, of staff, company continually increase causes stress build up. Such stress often leads to rash coping strategies highlighting patterns of bad behaviour. Which can often make the problem worse?
• When leaders ‘needs’ go unrecognized and unmet leaders often become resentful.
• High work demands according to the Journal of Nursing Management (2011) have been shown to be associated with high perceptions of work family conflict which is associated with lower perception of job satisfaction and depressive symptoms.

 

HOW DO YOU LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF?

Bob Gass author of the highly successful and fastest growing Christian devotional The UCB Word for today writes: When the world you live in makes endless withdrawals you must learn to make deposits, otherwise you will end up with insufficient funds. Your cheques will start bouncing morally, emotionally and spiritually.

Now lonely leaders, solo entrepreneurs, business owners who are reading this blog may have a tendency to hide behind the busyness of their roles to avoid taking care of themselves, or perhaps they don’t know how.
Bob Gass also suggests that people generally treat leaders according to how leaders treat themselves and therefore leaders must learn to treat themselves right!

A great way to start is to have an understanding and awareness of who you are . A really good way to start is to complete a really short online questionnaire on discovering what truly gives you energy and where is your energy zapped. This self perception inventory is called a Motivational Map. The results will be emailed to you instantly and becomes an extremely valuable resource.
Leaders who understand what feeds and replenish their energy levels can surround themselves with the right people who compliment their strengths as well as their short comings. There are certain leadership styles that are prone to not taking care of themselves. An example are leaders that strive for perfection (perfection doesn’t exist) so they have a tendency to search for symbols of success and measure success by moral and ethical standards.

Also, leaders whose strategy is to continually sacrifice themselves for the business, company or organisation by being continually busy as the only way to success. Continuous withdrawals often lead to the isolated leader becoming emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained. A consequence of choosing to take care of the business, before taking care of themselves.

Andrew Kinder and others in the book Employee Wellbeing Support: A Workplace Resource Centre for Creative Leadership. Although they do not endorse such behaviour, they observed in their research on executive derailment, certain patterns in recent years have generated a perception and enthusiasm for “heroic” style leadership. Where bad behaviour, a grandiose self image and arrogance develops as a leader becomes more successful. Possibly, the result of the ‘bouncing cheques’ we mentioned above. An acceptance, that malfunctioning coping strategies and bad behaviour can get leaders to the top of their careers.

 

HOW TO AVOID ‘BURN OUT’

Although it may seem noble to sacrifice the need to take care of yourself first, over the need to take of your business, over time it is a recipe for a burn out!
Often the problems cannot be prevented by the leaders action alone and will demand an approach that involves a system thinking. This approach may prove challenging but if it can succeed it will prove liberating and trigger the changes that are necessary.
The challenge is twofold:
1. To produce a paradigm shift (a way thinking, behaviour)
2. Ensure that the shift in thinking and behaviour produces results in terms of outcomes for better wellbeing.

How do leaders avoid burn out and achieve company goals? GET A COACH someone who will focus on your personal development, share ideas and fears confidentially. We provide the much needed structure and accountability necessary while growing your company. Book Now for an discovery Session where we will discover whether what we have is what you need

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“You don’t have to feel alone as an entrepreneur, you just have to be willing to ask others for help” Phoebe Fung

Isolation is not a Business Strategy

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Lets talk about business strategy for small business, solo entrepreneurs and organizations. What is a business strategy here is one definition

Strategy a detailed plan for achieving success, the bundle of decisions and activities that we choose to achieve our long-term goals. Strategy is the path we choose. Every small business or organization has to figure out what it wants to achieve and then how it is going to make it happen, with its products, customers, and operations. (Briefcase Books .com)

The detailed plan involves a step by step approach towards the end goal. Each step is a tactical move well thought out can be tweaked when required and tested again and again. Business strategy is best created with key staff members who have bought into the leaders vision, value and purpose.

Finding Purpose Vision and Values

This is not easy to find and is often a challenge. I have seen on several occasions how difficult this can be. Simon Sinek Ted Talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action is brilliant in explaining this exact issue. Finding purpose and vision often causes discomfort and confusion as isolated leaders struggle to put into words what lies in their hearts. Purpose, vision and the values isolated leaders hold, determine the roadmap and where motivation and energy lies when sharing with teams. The question is ..How do leaders begin to find the words that convey sometimes intangible feelings onto paper and into the hearts of others?

Leaders need to take time out to be alone as they place themselves in a creative and innovative mode. This can be such a powerful experience and instrumental in reaching the common goals for small business, solo entrepreneurs and organisations.

Discomfort

Such a place of solitude will and can often causes discomfort and frustration as the leaders brain seeks answers to questions that are unfamiliar. Answers, appear and disappears like a vapour in the moment, failing to be grasped by the leader cause frustration.

Frustration, drawn from the comfort of busyness and impatience maintaining a false concept of self worth according to Gary Fenton. He says it is comfortable to believe this illusion, that leaders business activities and connectedness to others can raise leaders self worth, this he continues cannot be further from the truth, in fact it may contribute to the barriers to growth small business experience.

The Value of Solitude

Alfred Montague in his book The Supreme Philosophy of Man states, do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make progress. Research, supports that leaders are more creative when they can be alone. The alone I talk about is called solitude not isolation. Solitude is a space for productivity, creativity and discomfort. New habits are formed and behaviours developed.

How Do Leaders Create This Space?

Often with difficulty, the process will take time! I find it almost impossible although my presence can be still, my mind exercises what mindfulness terms as monkey brain jumping from one thought to another. Solitude is NOT Isolation. It is the ability to be alone with your thoughts, it is one of the most important necessities of true leadership.

Coaching2transform offers you a safe space and an outside voice to explore the first steps in making change happen

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When is Isolation Safe?

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Isolation is safe when it is called Solitude

What do Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, J K Rowling, Oprah Winfrey Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln have in common?
They and many, many others have taken the time out meditate and embrace the gift of solitude. This Solitude and Meditation is a practice that encourages the mind to slow down and also benefits the body and soul.

Isolation versus Solitude

You see, isolation and solitude both imply being alone but that is where the similarities end. They are opposite states in every other important way. Solitude is usually a personal choice that comes from an inner yearning.
Although isolation as a leader can be actively avoided, it can be forced from the role or the position leaders find themselves. Choosing Solitude enables leaders an expansion and freedom of thought, providing them the chance to soar above the ordinary in order to come back to the world refreshed and reinvigorated. Isolation contracts the walls and makes a prison, draining the will and leaving leaders stressed, drained and exhausted.

Do You Need to Be Alone?

We all need times in our lives to be truly alone in order to gain a new perspective and discover who we really are, but most people fear the state precisely because solitude and isolation get confused. Little is scarier than the thought of being emotionally, spiritually, and physically cut off from the vision and purpose of the business or organisation.
The feeling of isolation can arise when not connecting with the people that surround you and depend on your leadership for guidance, abundance and joy!
In the case of ‘solitude’ leaders can ascend to the mountaintop with assurances in the back of their mind that those people who are connected are waiting for you in the valley below. Isolation offers no such promise, creating devastating psychological consequences.

Connecting with Others and Preparing for ‘Storms’ Ahead

A lot of mal adaptive leadership behaviour can be viewed through a psychological lens as a desperate attempt to create some form of connection, bridging the gap of isolation by making others recognize their existence and significance. This recognition often comes at a terrible cost for everyone involved.
Solitude and meditation prepares leaders for the storms ahead. Often leaders can become battle weary, shipwrecked and depleted because they fail to take stock, exercise patience and seek expert advice from trusted peers, friends and family. It is often easy to be guided by the circumstances they find themselves in, this too can be a mistake and end up costing a lot in effort and money.
So What Is The Answer?

By stepping into character, focusing on growth and increasing positive human connection if you feel isolated. Conversely giving yourself time for solitude, if you feel connected.
There is a huge difference between being alone and being lonely, raising leaders conscious awareness about where they actually are, helps guide their behaviour and set the conditions for their further growth and happiness.
The benefits are certainly there if leaders approach such a quiet place, not with a sense of duty, but as a time for returning to self. It becomes a gentle place of reassurance, reassessment, replenishment and peace.

 

Here are 6 Key Benefits That can Change Your Life

Time spent in silence and solitude on a regular basis can affect us all in the following ways:
1 Sharpens our sense of clarity about the life we are living and the choices we are making;
2 Enhances our attitude of simplicity;
3 Increase our humility and help us avoid unnecessary arrogance by allowing time to examine the defences and games we play (these often surface for us to see during quiet times);
4 Lets us enjoy our relationship with ourselves more;
5 Decreases our dependence on the reinforcement of others;
6 Enables us to recognize our own areas of anger, entitlement, greed, cowardice (given the opportunity to quietly review the days activities and our reaction to them);
Are you heading towards a financial, business or a personal storm? If so how do you stop getting shipwrecked?
Explore where your energies truly lie and how you can develop them in isolation or in solitude?
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Connect with us and Make Change Happen Today!

Connect with us and Make Change Happen Today!

Overcoming Those Lonely Moments

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Sanusi Lamina Sanusi was the governor of the Central bank of Nigeria. He was asked to resign his position when he brought attention to the mismanaged and unaccountable government funds. This action required courage and a strong moral conviction. I can only imagine that he was ostracised and possibly labelled a troublemaker it must of been apparent that his circle of influence was rapidly reduced.

In such a situation, would isolation feel safe?

Unfortunately, not especially when the consequences can take the form of , disillusionment, humiliation, formation of an “anti-leader” group, loss of position, questioning of the leaders mental health, the use of vindictive tactics to make the leader’s work more difficult and/or insignificant and assassination of character .

This can result in the leader feeling heavily burdened, stressed and on a path of extreme burn out and self destruction.

How do leaders survive these moments?

Connect with family, friends, community and an outside voice like a coach. The capacity to understand and the ability to modify behaviour will always be helpful and an asset to the business/organisation but this cannot be done alone.

If you are a Leader and ready to Make Change Happen, connect with us request a Discovery Session . We will explore where your skills, spirit and energy lies, we will discover what boundaries you hold on negative thinking. We prepare you for handling such moments..because they WILL come up.


Leadership Thinking The Art of Being Authentic (Part 4 People)

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When you are in a crowd and you stand out from the crowd, it’s usually because you are being carried on the shoulders of others”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

This is part 4 People in my series of being an Leadership Thinking & The Art of Being Authentic!

PEOPLE POWER

Leadership thinking and the art of being authentic involves ‘people’ whom I prefer to refer to as your ‘tribe’. I use the word tribe because according to definition: it encompasses a social division consisting of family, friends, community linked by social, economic, religion or blood ties with a common culture similar values or interests. This translates into anyone you impact, mobilise and influence.

Humans are ‘tribal’ we are ‘pack’ animals. We just function better when we are inside groups rather than outside.
According to Judith  E.Glaser the author of “Conversation Intelligence’ there is no switch we can turn off and stop wanting to be included, appreciated and to have a status in our tribe it impacts our mental well-being!
For example: when we communicate with others and the communication feels ‘good’ this is when we have a sense of cooperation, fairness and open expression. Such feelings tend to buffer against stress and produce pleasure. On the other hand if our communication causes us to ‘feel sad, fearful, and anxious, we experience a fight or flight response and guess what? Our stress hormone increases and can linger in the body for days, months or years (not good).

IS THERE STRENGTH IN NUMBERS?

Only, if you can be open to co-creating partnerships, where members of your tribe are on the same or similar wavelengths as you. If not negative influence can result in diminished strength.
So how do we navigate the complexities of relationships whilst keeping our vision clear, focused and true?
Firstly, by mastering the Art of Being Authentic (see my previous blogs on the subject ) it involves being consciously aware of your ‘state’ , mind and emotions, check in and ask yourself
What impact are my words having on others? What body language am I communicating?
This links nicely with the essential premise of emotional intelligence which requires the effective awareness, control, management of your own emotions, behaviours, and intentions whilst honouring those of others appreciating their capabilities and knowing that everyone has value.

POWER, VISION

Bringing in the energies of the tribe to accomplish the vision and goals requires decision making, this is a process. Power is often used in one way or another directing the energies of others to action.
Leadership thinking is a special form of power according to Nannerl O Keohane,’ special’ because the linkage of power to leadership is intimate and complex. This can be a dilemma when power is abused.
Effective leaders need members of the tribe to share the vision and support the leaders in pursuing them

“A leader. . .is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”

― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom 

Know your Presence and align your vision which is borne out of your Purpose, your values, your life stories beliefs and convictions. Passion mobilizes energies to pursue your purpose, your interaction with your People ‘your tribe’ . How you tie these strands together will affect the outcome.
Our final P in this series is PERMISSION  ‘”To thine own self be true,” says Polonius in Hamlet.  the subject of my next blog

Let’s talk if this makes sense to you, feedback and comments are welcomed.

Persistent Passion

Aligning Purpose with Passion

As mention in my last blog alignment  brings about the experience. Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi refers to as ‘flow’ . In those moments, you’re so caught up in an activity that time somehow seems to be altered, you’re attention is fully focused without you’re having to work at it. You’re deeply aware, with out being self conscious, you’re stretched and challenged, but without a sense of stress or worry. When this happens something happens in our spirit as we connect with a reality beyond ourselves. This type of activity is conceptualised as a consequence of ‘passion’

Passionate Leaders

Not all activities are as fulfilling and in flow, only those activities that are deemed or perceived as particularly important, enjoyable and develops into a self defining activity. These activities become passionate activities. These activities are defined important enough to invest significant time and energy. Meaningful and resonant with how leaders see themselves, creating a special bond between the ‘self’ and the activity. This activity becomes the passion for the leader. It has to be meaningful and a part of the leaders identity for it to be a passion, for example, passion becomes a part of ‘who’ they are, a part of their life,  even becoming integral in conversations with friends and family.
Passionate leaders engage in the pursuit of this achievement on a regular basis, not occasionally! There has been alot of philosophical thinking around passion. One contribution is its duality.

A Daily Dose of Passion

Passion can be good for you, for example when leaders freely engage in the activity without any contingencies attached, accepting that the activity is a part of them and who they are. This is called Harmonious passion. Harmonious passion produces a motivational force to engage in the activity willingly, with control and with a personal endorsement, openness and wellbeing. Research demonstrates regularly engaging in passionate activities provide recurrent doses of happiness.

In contrast a passion, where leaders are engaged in the activity because of intra or inter personal pressures, attach to the activity the desire for social acceptance or they develop a sense of uncontrollable excitement when engaged in  the activity, an example; a gambling addiction.

Here the leader is not completely in control of the activity since it is not considered properly integrated into the leaders identity, this  results in an uncontrollable urge to engage in the activity. Here passion controls the leader and is associated with higher levels of burnout we call this Obsessive passion.

Staying Power!

Entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders that have harmonious passion tend to be more persistent, have higher levels of enthusiasm and experience a decrease in family versus work conflict and experience high levels of work satisfaction. This determined persistence or passion ensures success, prevents drifting in life and creates confidence in others, as everyone believes in a determined leader, they believe in what the leader sets out to do. They believe in a leader who keeps his compass pointing to his Northern star. This persistent of purpose is the staying power that is necessary to be successful.

Here is a really good example of determined persistence or harmonious passion:

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, is currently the second-richest female entertainer on the planet, behind Oprah. However, when Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book in 1995, it was rejected by twelve different publishers. Even Bloomsbury, the small publishing house that finally purchased Rowling’s manuscript, told the author to “get a day job.”

At the time when Rowling was writing the original Harry Potter book, her life was a self-described mess. She was going through a divorce and living in a tiny flat with her daughter. Rowling was surviving on government subsidies, and her mother had just passed away from multiple sclerosis. J.K. turned these negatives into a positive by devoting most of her free time to the Harry Potter series. She also drew from her bad personal experiences when writing. The result is a brand name currently worth nearly $15 billion.

Her opportunity finally came  when the editor at Bloomsbury Publishing company sat down to read the manuscript. And so did the editor’s 8 year-old daughter. The little girl loved the opening chapters, and begged to read the whole thing. This made the publisher agree to publish Rowling’s novel.  We all need an opportunity, often from unexpected places and people. In JK Rowling situation the editors 8 year old daughter !

JK Rowlings probably felt she had nothing more to lose. What remained was to be true to the ‘self’ and to hold on to her core values and her belief that she was without any doubt  a great author.  Her insight and knowledge of those core values, belief and determined persistence  created a self-awareness , a prerequisite for authenticity.

By simply becoming more  self-aware authentic, leaders  construct conditions which create high trust, where teams  are supported to build on their strengths. By providing a more positive environment, authentic leaders improve the performance and productivity of their business and company over time. The more authentic leaders become, the more the business performance improves.

“You stand out in the crowd only because you have these many, people carrying you on their shoulders.”

Desmond Tutu

This brings me onto the subject of my next blog ‘People’

If this makes sense to you book here and let’s talk !