The last two blogs were about phone calls from close associates trying to make a big decision. I have had several of these. Yesterday I began to notice a pattern.
My frustrated associates often call with a sense of conflict and confusion. As they share their agony, they unconsciously share their values. I listen to hear what it is that they really want. As I formulate a hypothesis about what they really want, I never tell them what I think they really want. Instead I ask questions designed to help them become aware of what their purpose is. This is iterative. As I ask questions and they respond and my questions get better.
Eventually they make an ambiguous statement of what they want. Then they engage in an iterative process. They keep repeating themselves and I often ask another clarifying questions. Suddenly there is a shift. They hear themselves. The clarification of purpose is a clarification of self. In hearing themselves, they suddenly know themselves. The self they suddenly know is the self their conscience is trying to bring into existence. It is a new and a fresh self. When they embrace this emerging self, they feel more empowered. They find the courage to move forward in the birth of the new self. The new self is always a more positive leader.
As all this was coming to me, I found a note in my mailbox. It was a message of gratitude from an old colleague. She thanked me for “always encouraging us to follow our own lead.” The sentence had enormous impact. I could see a principle for creating positive leaders.
What does the emergence of a “new self” have to do with being a positive leader?
When has someone assisted you in giving birth to a new self?
How can the process be scaled?
How can we use this passage to create a more powerful organization?