Conscious leadership

Transform into a more conscious leader with these 5 strategies.

Conscious leadership is so much more than tossing around buzzwords of the moment, adding another inspirational image to your Instagram, or tweeting a motivational quote.

The journey of conscious leadership can be thought of as a deep, continual process that ultimately brings the best of your inner self out into the world of form so that you can create the greatest impact as you inspire those around you.

Conscious leaders know that as we expand our understanding of who we are and what our unique purpose is, we’re better able to deepen our impact as our powerful authenticity unfolds, radiating from within out into our sphere of influence.

Tempted?

Here are 5 practical strategies to help you become a more conscious leader:

Conscious leadership
1. Write your purpose statement.

Knowing your personal “why” is key to your own development. You might be surprised at how many people go through the motions of each day (focusing on the “what”) without truly having an understanding of the “why” behind what they’re doing.

One of the most effective ways to get clear on your own “why” is to craft a personal purpose statement. This is just for you – there are no rules to follow, no specific guidelines you must meet – let your creativity flow and use this as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the visions you have for your future.

2. Cultivate a self-care practice.

Far from being selfish, self care allows you to reenergize you so you can bring your full presence into all that you do. After all, none of us can give from an empty cup.

When it comes to self-care, you don’t really have to “do” anything – there is no special practice to follow, no app to download, no seminar, workshop, or training to attend. Your self-care routine can involve anything that nurtures and soothes you – listen to your heart here and allow yourself to spoil the inner you.

This is the beginning of a virtuous circle around you:  the kinder you are to yourself, the kinder you will likely be to others. The more they receive kindness, the more they can give it to themselves and others. And so on. Think about it: it all starts with you.

Conscious leadershipThink BOLDLY: Today, I encourage you to expand your concept of self-care by taking a few moments out to reflect on all that you’ve accomplished on your journey. And, contrary to what some of you may be thinking, this is not blah-blah. Even HBR has researched and written about how acknowledging our achievements is a form of self-care (“Acknowledging Your Achievements Is a Form of Self-Care”).

3. Focus on the “we” – not the “me.”

The most impactful organizations aren’t solely focused on employee perks. In an article on Inc.com, Glint CEO Jim Barnett takes the concept of conscious leadership a step further by reminding us how conscious leadership can create conscious organizations.

He explains, “The vision behind my conscious leadership style stems from wanting to bring awareness, authenticity and caring to my leadership role. This means I bring my whole, authentic self to work and try to lead from a place of trust, responsibility, curiosity, integrity and ease. I work hard to create an environment with no drama, a focus on “we” not “me,” and where we believe in creating “wins for all” vs. win-lose scenarios.

So, you see: self-care does indeed fit into the greater concept of a whole conscious organization. When we’re willing to take good care of ourselves first, we lay the foundation to bring our best, most authentic presence into all that we do. Thus, we lay the foundation necessary to inspire others to do the same, resulting in a cumulative positive effect.

4. Encourage feedback.

Many leaders find they’re more focused on giving feedback rather than receiving it. Truth be told, many leadership articles focus on how to effectively give employee feedback. And rightly so – constructive feedback fuels the growth of an organization by bringing attention to what needs to change while highlighting what’s already working. This same concept can deepen your capacity to lead with far greater ease.

Inviting others to share their honest feedback with you is a win-win situation – you gain valuable insight and perhaps the chance to better recognize your blind spots that could use attention. Plus, you enjoy the opportunity to cultivate trust and deepen your relationships.

One caveat here, though: remember to balance developmental feedback with feedback about what makes us great. All of us exhibit greatness. And, as humans, all of us – at all levels of the organization – need to be reminded of it and know others see it as well.

5. Be inspired every single day.

If you’re not fully grounded, it can sometimes be challenging to navigate the often turbulent waters of life. A quick visit to Facebook, Twitter, or any conventional news outlet often yields a whole lot of drama.

Conscious leadersLet this motivate you to find inspiration in everything. When you find that a situation seems discouraging or downright disturbing, ask:

  • What can be learned from this?
  • Is there a way I can positively contribute or serve others?
  • What might be happening beneath the waterline, that is, just below the surface of human perception?

It’s so important to know that conscious leadership is an ever-evolving process of growth and deeper understanding – not a once-and-you’re-done task.

Gain more practical tips and easy-to-implement strategies to help you transform into a more conscious leader…sign up for my free Weekly Bold Moves right here, delivered fresh to your inbox each week!

Set your intentions

Set Your Goals, Live Your Intentions

The New Year, infused with excitement and enthusiasm, inspires many to look brightly to the future. It’s a perfect time to give your dreams another chance – with a deadline!

Different areas of the globe observe their own unique festivities. For many, New Year’s resolutions are willfully pledged and hefty goals are resolved – with an imaginative intention and a belief that this year really will be different.

Ah, but the best goals oftentimes wither into nothingness, and the newly-born year quickly succumbs to the same frustrations of the past. Consider, for example, those who resolve to exercise more. Gyms are typically packed in January, but completely empty by March.

So, what happened to those bold goals and lofty intentions?

More importantly, are you aware of the distinction between a goal and an intention?

Set goalsGoals Have Their Purpose – Externally

Goals are aims we establish for ourselves – but they are outside of ourselves. Goals are often about a destination. Once set, goals are useful in that they provide a roadmap of where we want to drive our lives.

Setting goals is the first step into turning the invisible into the visible.

-Tony Robbins 

Keep it simple:  keep your goals specific and realistic. Don’t fill your plate with a smorgasbord of goals just because it’s a New Year and everybody’s doing it.

Goals are very heady, something outside of our inner self, and very much IQ driven. Goals are expressly about the “what” we want to achieve – our future state.

On your way to reaching a goal, it can be easy to fall into an “are we there yet?” mentality. After all, goals are most often associated with a destination – somewhere we haven’t attained yet. Once the initial gratification of achieving the goal has worn off, “what’s next?” is often the immediate response we ask ourselves.

Sometimes, that can cause us to feel uncomfortable with ourselves, as though somehow we’re inadequate as we are.

For the greatest chances of success, goals need to be authentic. When you decide on a goal to please someone else – and it’s not really representative of your core self – it’s doomed to failure.

Intentions, On the Other Hand, Have Their Purpose – Internally

Intentions involve the heart and are therefore more deeply rooted. Intentions are all about the process, your process – the “why” in your life, your way of living. When you focus on your intentions, you’re keeping true to yourself, your inner values, who you are. It’s all about being present now – unlike goals that are something in the future.

A good intention clothes itself with power.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Intentions keep you true to your Self and to your strongest yearnings. An Inc.com article by Maria Tabaka cited the importance of setting intentions:

  • Setting intentions takes your mind off problemsSet your intentions. You learn to pay attention to the path of your day. The result? You’ll find you’re grateful for so many things you might otherwise have overlooked.
  • Intentions can go beyond just “me” to a more expansive “we”. Intentions don’t have to focus on you specifically, but rather upon who you want to be and how you want that to impact the lives of others.
  • There’s no limit to intentions. A study demonstrated that water can be influenced by thought. Consider that for a minute – then imagine the positive changes that can take place within you and your world by setting intentions.

The power of your intentions has a greater impact on your life than your actions.

-Debasish Mridha

Fulfilling Intentions Creates Meaningful Transformations

A few years ago, I set out on a transformation process of my own. I followed my inner voice and stepped into who I really am.

This positive transformation is reflected in my new, updated website. (Check it out here: www.boldermoves.com.)

In my own transformation process, I realized the website I had been putting out to the world reflected a version of me that was not really who I am. So I sought help in coming up with a new design (a mix of Zen and bold) and language (a blend of business and mindfulness) that let the ‘authentic’ me shine through.

I haven’t lost track of my goals. They’re specific. They’re authentic. I want to help wake up the world.

And my intentions? They keep me grounded. They’re like little reminders to check in with myself, to make sure I’m being kind to myself and those in my life. They remind me that life is a journey, and that I’ll enjoy the ride by keeping true to myself. And, anyway, if I am not loving the Work, why should anyone follow me?

Follow your intuition, listening to your dreams, your inner voice to guide you.

-Katori Hall

When you pair your goals with your intentions, it’s like linking your unique journey with the destination. And for those of us seeking greater wholeness, how much more inspiring and empowering could that be?

Get more practical tips and easy-to-implement strategies to help you identify your goals with greater ease (and set those intentions, too!)…sign up for my free Weekly Bold Moves right here, delivered fresh to your inbox each week.

Career advice for leaders , Smart leadership strategies , Career achievement moves for leaders

Leaders, Try These Smart Strategies to Reach Your Goals

Strong leaders spend a good deal of time focusing on the success of the people who work for them – sometimes at the expense of their own career achievements.

If your leadership abilities alone are not taking you where you want to go in your career, try incorporating the following smart strategies to reach your goals.

Career Achievement Moves for Leaders

Shift Your Leadership Focus – Just like the people they supervise, leaders are more effective when their work feels meaningful. Have you lost the drive for your work? Look for actions you can take to create more meaning in what you do.

Try “job crafting,” says Yale professor Amy Wrzesniewski in a recent Inc.com article on successful leaders. This means being proactive about adding meaningful tasks – however you define them – into your workday and making them part of your job.

Don’t Wait To Be Ready – Even the best of us can create excuses about why we’re not where we want to be. Yet, putting off your career goals means waiting that much longer to actually achieve them. Take some common sense advice from a FastCompany.com career advice article and “ just go for it” – even if you don’t feel ready. Now that’s what I call a bold move!

Lead by Building Up Others – While this may seem like a given, it often takes conscious effort. When you show your confidence and trust in others, you make them stronger and build relationships that can help you reach your career goals. A win-win!

Leaders Practice Accountability – According to a 2015 study done at Dominican University of California, over 70 percent of participants who sent weekly updates to another person accomplished their goal or made steady progress – compared to the 35 percent of participants who didn’t write down or share their progress. As a leader, demonstrating strong accountability skills sets a strong example for your team.

At Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com), we partner with leaders around the globe to develop effective ways to improve your leadership skills – while keeping your own unique career goals in mind.

Words of Wisdom from Successful Leaders

While we each have our own path, it’s often good to hear how other corporate leaders have achieved success. Here are a few quotes to inspire you from the Inc.com site:

  • Richard Branson: The Virgin Group founder asserts, “The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures, rather than putting that energy into another project, always amazes me… a setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.”
  • Emily Hughes: A business consultant for Google Fiber, Emily’s advice is to talk to a lot of people. “It was a way for me to recognize what skills I had, and also what skills I wanted to learn to be able to do what I wanted to do.”
  • Sheryl Sandburg: “Believe you can do anything. This is important for everyone and especially for women. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t have both a meaningful professional career and a fulfilling personal life. When you hear someone say you can’t do something, know that you can and start figuring out how,” affirms Facebook’s COO.
  • Jim Whitehurst: The Red Hat CEO states, “Find a rhythm where you can have enough time for family and friends, feel satisfied emotionally, and still excel at work, because building a great career is a marathon, not a sprint.”

As a leader, focusing on your personal career goals is never wrong. In fact, it sets an amazing example for your team members on what to do right to succeed.

Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams while making steady progress in your own leadership career? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

 

Image courtesy of freedooom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net