What does Personal Development have to do with Leadership?
What does Personal Development have to do with Leadership? I am reading a book by one of my former teachers Gail Gibson, founding faculty member of the Certified Executive Coaching Program and Masters in Leadership Program at Royal Roads University, entitled "Who You Are is How You Lead" In the book Gibson presents a model which identifies awareness, choice and personal responsibility as attributes of Conscious Leadership, and these attributes are supported by trust and courage. The results are support for people's growth and the development of effective organizations occurring simultaneously.
As I'm reading my head is nodding affirmatively, each point she makes resonates so deeply with the messages I have been sharing. For example "Being conscious means being fully aware, and personally responsible for the impact you have on the world as well as being able to effectively manage the impact the world has on you."
The term Conscious Leadership coined by Lance Secretan another leadership expert and author, is further explained in his foreword to Gibson's book, "We are one, and the world would be a better place if we loved each other... Simply put, our notions of separateness are no longer appropriate in the conditions now facing humanity and our planet. As leaders we inspire when we awake to the principles of oneness.
When I pollute my backyard, I pollute the world. When I inspire just one person I brighten the world... When I teach a noble lesson I add to the progress of humanity. When I inflate my departmental budget, I constrain someone else's... Whatever I think, feel, say or do changes the world."
Does this sound like metaphysics to you? Secretan suggests it could be, and it can also be viewed as pragmatic description of reality.
Over the past ten years since graduating from the executive coaching program I have been immersing myself in various forms of personal development work to learn and applying the principles that Gibson and Secretan write about. As I more fully embrace and apply these principles in my life I notice how much easier life and work is becoming for me.
I am the leader of my own business as well I am a leader for those who follow my progress and work with me. Stepping into being a leader in my own business has inspired me to write a book which will have a significant impact on other people lives. About 18 months ago I set an intention to use my finance skills again and an opportunity has arisen for me to be the CFO in a company that will build environmentally sustainable and affordable housing for earthquake victims in Chile. I have attracted an opportunity to apply conscious leadership principles to a business that will make life better for homeless families in Chili.
Over the past ten years as I have learned this way of approaching life and business I have passed it on to my clients through coaching. One of my clients just sent me the following note; "Your story always provides me with inspiration and food for thought as I observe how you apply what you teach." Clients inspired by my learning have embraced this way of being and have made major shifts in the way they do business. This has resulted in significant success for their business as indicated by Bob from Diaset in his blog comment about the returns he has generated from coaching.
As people awaken and become more self actualized they are looking for conscious leadership. As a coach I meet many people who have left or want to leave the corporate sector as working within the old model of command and control leadership is stressful and unrewarding. They are looking for something better.
If you are on the leadership track, and would like to become better at engaging others or simply want to manage yourself in a more effective and leaderful way it's imperative you get to know yourself better. It's not about maneuvering people to do what you want, it's about knowing yourself deeply to express yourself authentically, be highly self responsible, respond with integrity to the best of your ability and be INSPIRING. Inspiration is what fuels creativity, motivation and results.