Natural Leadership: Is it a must?
In our last blüg, we described what conscious leadership is all about, including its high performance component. But how does one access high performance simply by focusing on consciousness?
As a starter, one cannot become a conscious leader with the only aim to obtain more efficient results. If that was the case, it would be easy to fake it until you make it. But it simply isn’t. The coherence and alignment that is the cornerstone of conscious leadership cannot be simulated.
Of course, using latest consciousness and presence based leadership models is very fashionable these days. And for very good reasons: it brings more bottom-line results than any other management trend. ZHP leadership (Zone for Higher Performance) requires a new perspective. Many leaders think that all is needed is to learn new techniques, or to apply old ones differently1. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Becoming a Higher Performance Leader requires letting go of control, becoming vulnerable and opening up to the world of emotional intelligence. Many leaders are not ready for such a shift. The imprints of the past are simply too strong. This is why it is difficult for many to even entertain the possibility of associating words like self-love or true nature to the leadership role. It is paradoxal, since real impactful leadership is not possible without the virtues associated with the heart, like courage, truth, love.
ZHP Leadership is a state of being recognizable by all. In this state of presence, trust and kindness is natural. The organizational culture feels secure and encourages human development. Survival is history, employees are mobilized, since they are connected to their need for contribution and natural talent exploitation.
Many speakers at the recent “Sommet québécois du leadership conscient2” in Montreal described the qualities of emerging leaders using words like authenticity, compassion, empathy, presence and vulnerability. There is a consensus about the need for leaders to now also be motivated by a profound sense of contribution and service.
How to become a ZHP Leader?
Many disciplines can help modern leaders express the qualities that are associated with ZHP Leadership. Meditation, mindfulness, heart coherence, neuro-feedback, yoga, martial arts are all moving the individual into more presence. The more practice, the more new pathways are designed in the brain, allowing for natural leadership to emerge. All these disciplines share commonalities such as slowing down, feeling your breath and body, being present to thoughts and emotions. In time, this translates into the development of cortical areas of the brain. More empathy, compassion and creativity being the result. This allows for the survival part of the brain, the limbic system, to be relaxed, so to speak, so you can have access to more of who you truly are.
These are known ways to consciously access more of your natural leadership. Often times though, it is life itself that will teach the lessons for one to become more conscious. Breaking points such as burnout, depression, accidents, traumas, near-death experiences will provoque a radical transformation of consciousness. Do you need to wait for those? Or will you start deconstructing who you think you are, your addiction to your personality or ego and its conditionings? Your conscious leadership potential is already there, hidden from you by beliefs and experiences. Yet, getting out of the box of conditionings is a must for anyone wishing to reach its full potential, even though the mind and its incessant thoughts might want to convince you otherwise.
The process by which you can become the ZHP leader you already are is characterized by a return to your essence as a human being. Not the you your head think we’re talking about here. The you your heart knows you are. So you could say this process is simply like a walk from your head to your heart. Following your heart, the first brain that was formed in your body (before the one in the head), is the way of emerging leaders.
More to come on our next blüg!
1 After more than 45 conferences offered to leaders of le Groupement des chefs d’entreprises du Québec, we can say it is the case, most of the time.
2 Sommet Québécois du leadership conscient in Montreal, September 2018, organized by le Centre International du Leadership Conscient.