September Newsletter: The Fundamental State of Leadership

This month’s newsletter focuses on the fundamental state of leadership.  It is a concept I began to develop some years ago.

A prime assumption is that most leadership development efforts focus on the wrong things.  They focus on developing knowledge and skills.  Leadership is less about knowing and doing and much more about being in a state of learning and influence based on expanding virtue.  It is about attracting people to purpose, integrity, love, and learning.  People in the fundamental state of leadership turn normal organizations into positive organizations.

It is natural for each of us to be in the conventional state.  Our default option is to be comfort centered, externally directed, self-focused and internally closed.  Leaving this normal state can be frightening and might even pose risks to our job security.  However, when we choose to leave the conventional script and enter the fundamental state of leadership, we start to see our best self emerge and the following new behaviors guide our choices.

  1. We are results centered.  That is, we venture beyond familiar territory to pursue outcomes we genuinely care about.
  2. We are internally directed.  We live according to our values.
  3. We are other focused.  We put the collective good first.
  4. We are externally open.  We learn from our environment and recognize when there’s a need for change.

These new behaviors cause us to gain a sense of purpose, authenticity, empathy, and co-creation.  We create a unique self that now exists in enriched relationships.  Our consciousness expands and our influence skyrockets.

Ryan Quinn and I just published the second edition of Lift: The Fundamental State of LeadershipThe book explains the fundamental state of leadership and how to apply it.  In this issue, Ryan describes a new software package that allows organizations to systematically use the concept in leadership development and culture change.  In the What Lifts Me section of the newsletter, you will find illustrations of people who chose to leave their normal script and enter the fundamental state of leadership.  I hope you find the material inspiring and are able to use it to create more positive relationships, teams, and organizations.

If you’d like to read more, please sign up for the newsletter here.

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