The Multilevel Dynamic Roadmap to Enhance Performance.
Call it enlightenment, awakening, transcendence, self-realisation or any of the myriad terms used to describe spiritually consciousness leadership – the crux of it is this: if we want to lead others, we first need to lead ourselves.
Spirituality, consciousness and leadership are ancient practices typically used when cultivating awareness, discussing ideas, solving problems, making decisions and influencing each other. These practices are founded on love, compassion, growth, and freedom, instead of fear, arrogance, shortage and control. If we breathe spiritual consciousness into our leadership, we awaken and transcend to become a tremendously powerful force. It also gives added dimension to the relationships around us and generates infinite potential and a higher meaning or purpose for leadership efforts.
To guide you in exploring and understanding the impact of spiritual conscious leadership, reflect on the Why, How, Who and What as a measure for leading others. This will also serve as a key to identifying untapped potential among the teams you are leading. In doing this you will be able to identify what you may need to do to elevate your team’s capabilities, as well as create an environment where people are inspired, empowered and motivated to becoming catalysts for positive change and achieve exceptional results.
1. Why do we lead?
It is rare that leaders take the time to slow down and consider their honest primary motivations and purpose as leader. Many things can unfold when you look within. Upon deeper reflection you will understand the implication of power and the responsibilities that come with it. Awakened leaders understand that the power they have been given is a sacred gift that should be used for the benefit of others and not for selfish gains and personal agendas. Reflect on the following:
- What are my personal values which I will not compromise on?
- What is my deeper purpose as leader?
- Whom do my goals serve, and why?
- What are the expectations of those I serve as leader?
2. How do we lead?
As a leader, any decision and action you make will be judged in the court of public opinion. As such, consider the potential consequences of how you lead. Self-awareness is vital to awakening as spiritually conscious leader, where you are curious as to how your leadership is experienced not just internally, but by others and the world at large. These questions will help you observe your own leadership approach in order to become more self-aware:
- How credible am I as a leader in the eyes of those I lead?
- How is my integrity being communicated to others?
- Do I engage in authentic conversations and relationships?
- How trustworthy do others consider me to be?
- Am I doing enough to empower others?
- How do I manage questions relating to inclusivity, equality and fairness in my organisation?
- How do I approach tough decisions?
- How do others perceive the decisions and actions I take?
- How do I see and treat others?
- How do others perceive me?
- How do I manage and resolve conflict?
3. Who do we lead?
It’s important to understand who relies on you as leader, who you influence and that you demonstrate compassion and consideration to these individuals so that they feel respected, appreciated and understood. A spiritually conscious leader does not exclude. Rather, they include wisely and are able to bring out the best of everyone. When those you lead see that you value them as individuals, you will likely earn a higher degree of trust and respect as leader and foster an environment where people want to work with you. Ask yourself:
- Who do I need to influence in my role as leader?
- Who are the people I lead?
- How am I leveraging those relationships?
- How do external stakeholders feel about how I engage with them?
- How much do I know about those I lead or need to influence?
- How does my team function currently?
- What could negatively impact on my team’s effectiveness and performance?
- What roles are people playing on my team?
- What are the strengths and preferences of the members of my team?
4. What happens when we lead?
A spiritually conscious leader cares deeply about the outcomes, consequences and impact of their leadership. Awakened leaders align themselves with a deeper sense of purpose and have the courage to follow their conscience, doing what is right even if that means making unpopular decisions. A spiritually conscious leader considers all stakeholders in developing strategies to address problems but is aware that there may be times that evolution and progress is not always possible without some resistance or conflict. Reflect on what happens when you lead by asking yourself the following questions:
- Is my leadership style in line with the values of my organisation?
- Does my approach serve the values and dreams of those I lead?
- What impact do I have on those I lead?
- Am I fostering the culture I would like to see in the work environment through my actions?
- Am I able to meet the desired goals and objectives?
- How does my approach as leader impact performance overall?
- Do the outcomes align with both my personal and collective purpose as leader?
- How do the outcomes impact the others and the organisation?
A business’s performance is directly related to the quality of its talent, the dynamics of its teams and the strengths of its leaders. Cultivating spiritual conscious leadership is a journey that begins with a transcendent state of awareness where leaders make a personal commitment to look inside themselves, pause, reflect, and align their thoughts, feelings, purpose, values and actions to create wholeness, positivity, enhanced performance and business supremacy.
Psychometric assessments are invaluable in not only managing the complexity of talent decisions but also in providing leaders with opportunity for self-reflection and to consciously and objectively assess their strengths and potential limitations, evaluation and awareness of the impact of their approach, decisions and actions as well as the ways they use power. A robust and comprehensive leadership assessment approach will help leaders to focus on what is required of them to effectively take up on their responsibility as spiritually conscious leaders. Ideally, this should also be incorporated into leadership development programmes to develop future leaders and drive performance.
Dr Tanja Nicholls is an Industrial Psychologist and Executive Coach at MIE.