Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lead Better: Align With The Divine

Much of generating executive presence within yourself has to do with aligning with what is great within you and the greatness around you.

Think about it: when you move through the day putting out fires, responding to issues, and migrating endlessly from meeting to meeting, there can often be a sense of "handling things" or "getting through". But presence requires a groundedness in the form of a cultivated sense of purpose and intention. What's more, it requires we cultivate an ability to return to that sense of purpose and intention in the midst of unbridled chaos.

You want people to feel your leadership and respect your words? Begin to feel your own leadership and respect your own words with reverence and attention. This doesn't just happen by reading these words - although reminders definitely can help. If you actually DO the steps below you'll find an inroad to access your own sense of presence more consistently no matter how crazy this lazy summer gets:

  1. Think about the last time you felt yourself completely powerful, at ease, or in a state you might call "flow", "the zone" or "optimal". What qualities were you experiencing? What characteristics were you feeling within yourself and that situation? Write down as many words as you can to describe the situation and how it felt.

  2. Think about the last time you felt REALLY OUT of your power, struggling, or at odds with? What quality did the situation lack?

  3. Consider what might be three or four words to describe your team/function/company/group at it's essence. At it's very best, what makes that group exciting or effective? What thrills you about it's function or it's contribution?

  4. Look at the list of words you created for all three categories - thriving moments, qualities lacking in not so great moments, and what brings alive your organization- what are recurring themes? Can you nail down the essence of all three lists in two or three words?

When you identify the essential qualities that make you thrive and those that best express the thriving of your immediate environment, you create an anchor to remember yourself at your very best and your surrounding at it's most optimal. Repeat these words to yourself throughout your day, not just for the sounds but summoning within yourself an experience of what they really mean. Being vigilant in operating from that position, you begin to raise the level of your own presence and invite the organization to function at it's very best. Summoning these divine or performance and experience enhancing qualities at will is nothing short of leadership in it's essence and this simple act of alignment will invite others around you to do the same.

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