The 4 Inner Habits of Successful Leaders
January 2, 2012
The obstacle is the path
~ Zen Proverb
Great leaders are powerful builders of enterprise. They have a knack for creating a clear vision, believing in its fulfillment with every cell in their body, and inspiring others through heart-centered communication to share their vision and act toward its creation. They can hold the vision in light, under all circumstances – especially during times of darkness, when it seems the world is against its fulfillment.
That was one of my abilities as a business leader, yet as I move on to my second act in the world of leadership development, I’m gathering a more refined level of awareness of the obstacles that get in the way of fulfilling your vision.
I’ve come to believe that the only obstacle to fulfilling your vision is you – self limiting beliefs linked to emotional reaction patterns throwing you off center. The antidote is to see that these obstacles are merely unskillful thoughts we buy into, and know that once inner clarity is achieved, external clarity arises through new choices in the context of expanded possibility.
Below is a 4 step model to help you make more empowered decisions, and overcome obstacles between you and your vision.
1. Cultivation of CLARITY
Clarity is 1) a calm mind, 2) an open heart, and 3) a fearless soul. From this foundation you can solve any problem and achieve any goal. And it begins with a mind that isn’t reactive to the barrage of diluting, diffusing, distracting energy throughout the day. Invest in alone time, ideally in the morning and evening, and practice stilling your mind. If it feels right, focus on your breath to ground yourself in the present. From stillness of mind, clarity arises.
2. Arising of INSIGHT
Have you ever had a flash of insight – where you suddenly realized a solution to a problem that had baffled you, or the resources to make something happen that you didn’t think existed? With the cultivation of clarity, you’ll be in deeper
connection to your authentic core. Those flashes of insight become foundations of wisdom, and you’ll release stress while garnering increased power in execution.
3. Discipline of FOCUS
While we work and live in a crackberry culture, we subjugate ourselves to the tyranny of the urgent, constantly under siege by an incessant stream of bits and bytes compelling us to the next distracting fix. In addition there are so many agendas competing for our attention – our supervisors, colleagues, reports, family, friends. When you cultivate clarity and insight, focus can be attained with greater ease. You’ll still need to exercise discernment and discipline to focus on what matters most, but from clarity and insight, focus will be more natural.
4. Devotion to RIGHT ACTION
Diffused focus is a common obstacle preventing so many from experiencing the joy in achievement. Yet, clarity can replace confusion, insight can replace analysis, and focus can replace complexity. Then right action – the next best step – becomes clear not only in moving toward fulfilling your vision, but also in the context of serving the whole – the triple bottom line – people, planet as well as profit.
So as you move through daily life toward your vision, and obstacles arise, instead of resisting and fortifying the obstacle (what you resist persists), garner gratitude for the gift of the obstacle, since it is your teacher – the mirror to your inner world. To then transcend it through the cultivation of wisdom and right action – that is the real game of business.