For the past few months, I was writing about our beliefs thru the science of consciousness and extending those patterns to the business world, to suggest innovative ways of using this wisdom to lead and succeed in a business environment that is constantly evolving at a rapid pace. Once we reach a greater understanding of how our thoughts and beliefs, in addition to actions, are actualizing the world, our organizations will run differently. This realization sheds light on how the role of leadership is changing and which types of leaders will become the most sought after in the 21stcentury.
As per quantum physics, the thoughts and beliefs of people in an organization have an impact on the events that occur. In particular, when groups of people intend that a particular outcome is achieved, the intentions themselves have an impact on events, so that the outcome is more likely to occur in the direction of the intentions. An intention is a conscious desire for a particular outcome and a belief that the outcome can be influenced.
To have the highest intentions for the success of an organization, be it a business or a nation, people need to feel responsible for it. Taking responsibility for something means you understand you have a role in creating it and therefore can help create something different. Even if we haven’t taken action to contribute to a particular organizational outcome, our thoughts and beliefs are influencing the outcome of any organization of which we are part of. When we accept this responsibility, we stop blaming others for the outcomes, and naturally develop intentions for the success of the organization. These intentions then help promote success.
Our businesses and societies will therefore, be better off when people accept their responsibilities for having created the current conditions and then lend their intentions, if not also their actions, to improving conditions. Ultimately, each individual will have to decide whether they accept this responsibility and where they will place the focus of their intentions. Inevitably, leaders play a pivotal role by either helping or hindering a strong sense of responsibility in their organizations. So the question is ‘how good are our current leadership practices at getting people to feel responsible for the outcomes?’
The answer to this is complex and multi-faceted, but for now let’s focus on the degree of egocentricity that leaders possess. The reality is that most business leaders got to a position of leadership by showing that they were better than others, so it’s natural for them to continue to proliferate that feeling. Furthermore, business structures are hierarchical in nature, and top executives really are held more accountable than those at lower levels. These factors are a natural hindrance to getting all employees of a company to feel responsible for the company’s outcomes.
I must point out that I am not talking about just holding people accountable for the results of their job. There is a huge difference between a person feeling motivated to achieve specific job results vs. feeling responsible for the outcomes of the business.
Getting all employees to feel responsible for business outcomes requires that we adopt a different belief about what type of leader is most effective and then begin to choose different types of leaders. We need leaders who are humble, to the point of being understated and even self-effacing. This doesn’t mean they are not strong enough to make tough decisions, because they need to be, but they need to be able to stand in the presence of their followers without usurping their power. Business research actually shows this type of leader is more effective.
As a leader, the way you perceive the world around you has a huge impact on your decisions. The way you perceive is determined by all the life you have been living (or NOT living) until now!
There are many levels of decision making and the way you perceive your surroundings determine if you are a great decision maker or just an average Joe trying to make it through the day.
There is a new paradigm emerging. Until now mankind has allowed itself to blame anything and anybody for almost everything and thus leave huge opportunities to take responsibility behind. Huge opportunities to become better at being human beings and greater Leaders in our families, our lives, our communities and even in our countries have been left behind.
We must realize that this strategy will destroy us if we continue. Or at least it will destroy the archetype of blaming which is needed, and make a perfect transition into a new era. The old strategy was dividing everything – in me and you, good or bad etc. The new strategy which we will need to make a decent world is: Wholeness!
We have to learn to think in ‘us’ instead of ‘you or me’. Every decision a leader makes that is based solely on his or her own perception of life is doomed to fail. (S)He does not realize that even the smallest decision is a thread in a web that includes all living creatures, and anything from ‘outside’ can make their decision fail. You can’t make a decision without being aware of everything else that can influence your decision and you can’t be aware if you don’t train your awareness!! Just like you can’t play piano like Mozart without practicing!
This awareness has multiple levels. The first level is to be aware of yourself! You have to be aware of your emotions, your thoughts, your (determined) actions, and your behavior. You MUST know why you have the feelings you experience. You have to know why you think the thoughts you are thinking. You have to know why you are acting the way you are acting. You have to be able to watch your self from outside your self!
The next level is the same but your awareness now includes other people’s thoughts, feelings and behavior. The ability to be aware of other peoples’ lives is much easier if you know and understand what is going on inside your self. First it is our family and close colleagues. Next it is those that I don’t know personally but they come and go in my life. It is people from other departments in my company; it’s the people on the street and in the shops. Those I see but not necessarily talk to.
The third level is to apply the same awareness to the whole world. Be aware of everything; All the time. And make decisions accordingly…
We are going to change evolution. This is not an easy task. But on top of the biological evolution we now have to focus on the evolution of consciousness; We even have to add the evolution of consciousness.
We all have a responsibility for this planet. It is not just those we pay to run our country that has this responsibility. We ALL have! And the only way we can do it right is by training our personal awareness skills.
One of the absolute key traits of The New Leader is Self Awareness. Know thy self. This kind of personal mastery demands having a heightened understanding of one’s own behavior, limitations and motivations, skills and a mindset of Global awareness.
The patriarchal leader is on his way to extinction. He did not make it through evolution of awareness and now The New Leader evolves and takes over the world stage. The old leader was disciplined and there were no room for emotions as they could negatively influence decisions – well some people really believed this stuff! On our way to Leadership at the World Stage, Awareness and Leadership becomes wholeness. The outcome is Impact, Power, Insight, Integrity, Ethics beyond measure and Social and Emotional Intelligence. Creative Intelligence followed by Spiritual Intelligence will also be active ingredients in Leader Skills in the future.
The lessons we learn from scientific and business research can give us great insight into how to improve the leadership of nations. Here is a radical statement but one that is supported by research: stop making governments responsible for the economy. The science and business research show us that we are collectively creating the conditions of our economy and, furthermore, that getting everyone to take responsibility for it will improve the conditions. Yet we are continually expecting our leaders to fix it and then blaming them when they can’t.
I have no desire to get into a discussion of which political ideals are more correct. However, I do think John F. Kennedy was on the right track when he said “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”. These words reflect an understanding of the importance of each person taking responsibility for the world we are creating.