The first stage of stepping into authentic leadership is building your Agility of Mind leadership muscle. As I work with leaders to step into discovering what is authentic leadership and making that a way of life to lead their lives, professionally and personally, from good to great; I find that from good to great is a 5-stage journey. Each stage is about elevating one’s consciousness by developing a specific leadership muscle. Each subsequent muscle requires the preceding muscles to be at the highest level of fitness.
Here are the 5 muscles in the order in which they need to be strengthened. Actually, the right word really is ‘can’ be strengthened and not ‘need’ because human consciousness can only be elevated in that order as below:
Gear 0 - Good Life. Good Business. A vague sense of emptiness; and disconnect with oneself and others. Living life as a Victim or a Fighter. Stress and not being at the highest level of fitness is an accepted part of life.
Evolve to Gear 1 by strengthening A. Agility of Mind™ leadership muscle
Evolve to Gear 2 by strengthening B. Being of Service™ leadership muscle
Evolve to Gear 3 by strengthening C. Communicating in the world of others™ leadership muscle
Evolve to Gear 4 by strengthening D. Delivery on your word™ leadership muscle
Evolve to Gear 5 by strengthening E. Excellence™ leadership muscle. Great Life. Deeply Fulfilling Successful Profitable Business. Loving Harmonious Relationships at Work and at Home. Happy Responsible Kids with their Genius Joyfully Expressed. Nourishing Nurturing Me-time. Highest level of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual fitness. Making a Difference. Creating an Impact. Making a Dent in the Universe. Peaceful Warrior.
The above is the journey from being a Victim or a Fighter, both limiting ways of Being, to being a Peaceful Warrior, a Gear 5 Leader.
The way to evolve is to work at the level of habits across the 4 bodies of our Being - physical, emotional, intellectual / mental, spiritual. Bit by bit working at the level of habits across the 4 bodies of our Being, we grow from inside out, get connected to our own authentic self experiencing coming home to ourself. Our consciousness evolves when we go beyond understanding a concept intellectually to experiencing it viscerally and living from there.
Before moving forward, let me explain what is a Distinction. Imagine an Object inside a ball. How many points are there on the ball to view at the Object? Numerous, isn’t it? At each point on the ball to view the Object from, won’t the Object look different. At two points on the ball, the views will even be contradictory. Then, which view is the Truth? What if I tell you that the Object inside the ball is Reality. View from which Point, alternatively which Point of View of that Reality is the Truth?
The point that you choose you stand at determines what you see. What you see determines your actions and therefore your outcome.
How do you decide which point to stand at?
The point from where you can access your inner power (Power to Create™) to fulfil your highest intentions and realise your greatest dreams is the point to stand at to view the Object called Reality. That Point of View is called a Distinction. My job as a coach is for you to discover the Distinctions on your own as your own Truths so that you become them instead of you learning them by heart because I tell them to you. Though I will still tell you the Distinctions so that you know what you are looking for. You know you have discovered a Distinction when you get an INSIGHT (sight turned inwards instead of outwards), an AHA or a Eureka moment when you discover something about yourself that you hadn’t known before and that gives you the missing key to unlock part of your inner power. The discovery may be as quiet as a ‘Hmmm’ and silence afterwards. Coaching is a skill for you to access insights, uncover Blind Spots and discover Distinctions to live from a place of power.
A leadership muscle is a state of consciousness defined by a level of physical, emotional, intellectual / mental and spiritual fitness achieved through letting go of limiting habits and taking on growth habits across the 4 bodies of our Being. By consistently working on habits on a daily basis, Distinctions associated with that leadership muscle begin to become a way of life.
Today, lets discuss what is Agility of Mind™ and its relationship to Leadership Development. This is the first stage of leadership development. Your Agility of Mind™ leadership muscle is fully developed if you can live moment by moment the below 5 Distinctions, or 5 Distinct Ways of perceiving reality:
a. I am responsible for all that happens in my space.
b. Being able to experience one’s own self as whole, complete and perfect with nothing to fix or change. Living in the authentic experience of - I am extraordinary and I love myself. Being able to make the choice to be happy and fulfilled, irrespective of situations and people.
c. Being able to see 360 degree view of any reality. Being able to stand in a place where you can see that your deepest beliefs are really your points of view; and that contradictory beliefs are just as valid. To live in the joyous experience of - Your point of view is just as valid as my point of view.
d. Being able to recognise your own upsets and have the agility of mind to drop them by recognising that the source of your upsets is not out there but in here, that you are not upset because of how people are and how they are not or because of adverse circumstances. You get upset because your expectation didn’t get fulfilled, what you want to communicate you could not, your intention didn’t get realised. When you can understand that your expectations, communications, intentions belong to you, not to others; then you can laugh loudly when Upset tries to take you in its grip.
Being able to recognise your Small Mind™ hiding behind every upset and strengthening your Agility of Mind™ to shift it to your Big Mind™.
e. Recognising all your complaints as your Small Mind™ in disguise and being able to use your Agility of Mind™ to see positive aspects instead of giving in to complaining.
There are 3 levels of competencies in strengthening your leadership muscles. Before we start our journey of inner leadership development, we are unconsciously incompetent.
a. Starter: This is when we live from the Distinctions of the Leadership Muscle or Gear of Evolution only 20% of the time. The reason you progress is that 80% of the time when you are not living the Distinctions, you are aware that you have fallen off your path and get back every time. You fall off and yet you make the choice to come back to the path. This level of competency is also called Conscious Incompetence.
b. Champion: At this level of expertise, you are living from the Distinctions of the Leadership Muscle or Gear of Evolution 80% of the time. The 20% of the time you fall off, you make the choice to come back to the path of living from the Distinctions. This level of competency is also called Conscious Competence.
c. Mastery - At this level, you are living from the Distinctions of the Leadership Muscle or Gear of Evolution 100% of the time, without even being in conscious awareness of it. You become the Distinctions. This level of competency is also called Unconscious Competence.
Inner Leadership Development can only happen at the level of habits across the 4 bodies of our Being. Let's explore few daily habits that will support us to strengthen Agility of Mind™ leadership muscle to elevate our consciousness to Gear 1 of Evolution:
i. Exercising - Yoga, Martial Arts, Functional Training
iv. Acknowledgements - Viscerally experiencing your wins
v. Gratitudes - Viscerally experiencing your blessings
vi. Buddy Conversation - Experiencing being listened to by a committed listener
vii. Reading Books if you don’t read books and stopping to read for some time, if you are an avid reader.
viii. Identifying what you resist, fear, hate to do, get embarrassed doing, don’t want to do, makes you uneasy and uncomfortable; and then doing exactly that.
The journey to your highest self, to the highest expression of your inner genius is a journey which is both deeply fulfilling and joyous. Wishing you the strength to choose that path.
May you choose this gift of Life. That is my intention for you. That is my prayer for you.
Further Recommended Reading:
1. How to use Gratitude as a Leadership Tool for Business Growth?
2. How Reverence for all of Life Supports you to Lead your Business from Good to Great?
3. Without Integrity, nothing works; not even your business. Why, and What to do about it?
4. Why Must You Deepen Yourself in Mastery Consciousness to Lead your Business to Market Leadership?
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