As individuals we may need to cope with physical illness, the death of a loved one, divorce, abusive treatment, burnout, job loss or other life demands. In organizations we may need to cope with recession, new competitors, regulatory changes, evolving customer preferences and many other such challenges. When these storms hit stress goes up. One way to cope is to self-elevate by entering the fundamental state of leadership.
The essence of the fundamental state of leadership is that answering the following four questions leads to self-transcendence. It puts us in an increased state of virtue, centers us, and increases our influence.
What result do I want to create (Increased sense of purpose)?
Am I internally directed (Increased integrity)?
Am I other focused (Increased empathy)?
Am I externally open (Increased humility)?
I received a message from a person who read my article about the fundamental state of leadership (https://hbr.org/2005/07/moments-of-greatness-entering-the-fundamental-state-of-leadership). (See also the book, Lift: the Fundamental State of Leadership.)
Years ago, after an injury, she indicates that she engaged the “path to insight.” She learned much about who she is. The article about the fundamental state of leadership came to her at a time of challenge. She was not sure she understood it. In the midst of the challenge, someone commented on how calm she seemed. Suddenly she had a realization. She was calm because on the “path to insight” she had learned how to transform in the face of stress. As she pondered this, she realized she already knew how to enter the fundamental state of leadership. Whenever she self-elevates, stress disappears.
- Why does leadership start within?
- What happens when we are stressed?
- What happens to the mind and heart if we have a sudden increase in purpose, integrity, empathy, and humility?
- How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?