Ok. It’s ugly out there. We thought of five traits we believe will bring you luck or at least, help you survive the recession.
1. Choice: Choose who you want to be to reach your goals. This is a great time to reflect and choose who you want to be or need to be to achieve the results you want. Discern between what you can and cannot change. You can’t change the bad weather; you can change your reaction to it.
2. Courage: We all need this to face the present and what could be happening in the future. But, don’t assume the future will be bad by what’s going on today. Stay strong in your convictions and commitments. Be honest with yourself. Be willing to confront your judgments and yourself. Know what you can and cannot change. You can’t change the stock market. Focus on what you can change. Above all, be gentle and compassionate with yourself.
3. Perspective: Listen to others and hear what they have to say. Try to silence your inner dialogue and really listen to them. They may be offering you joy, friendship or a different approach that could be the very answer to your problems.
4. Passion: What gets you fired up even when it’s zero degrees outside or sales are down? What’s that driving force that keeps you going in bad times? You want to know this and show it to your team. It’s the driver that will move you and your team forward.
5. Risk: Whether we like it or not, risk is all around us. We can’t avoid it. The key is to learn from it. Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, says you won’t always win but leaders dust themselves off, learn, get smarter and try something new.
All of these traits are covered in Success Television's corporate training video,The Wisdom of Caring Leaders. Instead of giving you more details on the lives of five well known leaders, our interviewer, former CNN anchor and speaker, Donald Van de Mark, digs deeply into their philosophies and applies what he has learned from them to live a more productive and satisfying life both at work and at home. The video shows how we can tap into our own leadership skills through choice, courage, perspective, passion and risk. We all can possess these skills or ways of being to succeed in any facet of our lives.
In the book, Synchornicity, The Inner path of Leaders by Joel Jaworski, the son of Leon Jaworksi, the special Watergate prosecutor, says it is not about what we “do” to become great leaders but who we “are” or who we want to become. Stephen Covey, the author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, who is interviewed in our video, explores this concept further saying, “Leaders are not born or made, they are self-made” through their choices.
As a leader, you are choosing to be responsible for your actions and reactions. You choose to be a gentle leader. You choose to empower others without taking the credit. You choose to be open, look for the possibilities and be aware to the many gifts that unfold in front of you. Jaworski writes, “In the beautiful flow of these moments, it seems as if we are being helped by hidden hands.” Has this ever happened to you?
In sports, they call it being "in the zone". Athletes and artists say it’s an experience when you forget time, hear no noise, and move effortlessly and successfully towards your goal. Though emotionally detached, these peak experiences are infused with a quiet joy. The great 20th Century psychologist, Abraham Maslow wrote that you cannot induce or control these "peak experiences" but you can prepare yourself for more of them. Great leaders teach us that diligent preparation by an individual or team opens up the potential for more "flow", more "peak experiences" and more success. If you are truly committed to an idea or project, those who share your passion and courage will join you, work with you, improve your product or service and open a channel for achievement.
Peter Senge, who was the director of the Center for Organizational Learning at MIT and the author of ,The Fifth Discipline, writes in the forward of Synchronicity, “My capacity as a leader comes from my choice to allow life to unfold through me.” This is a key concept because it is not about controlling life, which is so often what we want to do when we’re afraid, under pressure or lost. Attempting to control life is not only futile it is exhausting.
Senge and Jaworski say, the real gift of leadership is about creating new realities. You do that by choosing your way of being. What way of being is that? It’s the way of being you need to be to have what you want. The question is, “Who are you being such that x,y,z can occur?” Who would you have to be to create a great company, live a happy life or write beautiful music? Picture that person. What traits would s/he possess? That’s the start of your answer. From that, new relationships and interactions occur. You become the catalyst for this to happen.
Then, realize that the world is full of infinite relationships and thus possibilities. Are you open to seeing them, listening and creating? Who have you met or what opportunity has unfolded that furthers your or and their passion?
How can you apply this to your team and business? In our video, "The Wisdom of Caring Leaders," we distill five character traits that will help you and your team succeed: choice, compassion, inclusion of different perspectives, passion and risk. Now, as the economic world retrenches this concept of leadership is needed to survive and thrive.
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