Someone once said to me, “He or she who is most aware is the leader.” We think of the leader as the authority figure. Yet the next time you are in a group that is doing truly creative work, at any given moment, stop and ask, who is leading right now? The answer is he or she who is most aware.
In today’s organizations many people are not aware. They are in slow, psychological death. They lose hope and become progressively less involved. Surveys show the numbers of unengaged people are very large and the costs are astronomical.
Sometimes we are one who becomes disengaged. This suggests we need to make the choice to be alive. The choice can be facilitated by asking four questions in a disciplined way:
- What result do I want to create (clarification of purpose)?
- Am I internally directed (increased integrity and authenticity)?
- Am I other focused (increased empathy and concern)?
- Am I externally open (increased openness to feedback and learning)?
When we come up with authentic answers to these questions, we immediately enter an elevated life state. In that elevated state we become influential. This elevated state is the fundamental state of leadership.
In it we can elevate others and achieve things we didn’t think possible.
Whether or not we enter the fundamental state of leadership is a choice we make. It is entirely under our control. Because most people stay in the reactive state, most people act like victims. To identify a result we really want to create is to change our current psychological state. We take charge of the only thing you can really control.
Once we enter the fundamental state of leadership, the meaning of current reality changes. To experience new meaning is to make new assumptions. When this happens our old logic melts. We see things we could not see before. We access resources of which we were unaware. As our awareness increases, our ability to make a difference increases. We begin to create.