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Transforming Leadership: The 3 Basics

Aug 21, 2017 9:43:48 AM

I believe that the greatest truths of the universe don’t lie outside, in the study of the stars and the planets. They lie deep within us, in the magnificence of our heart, mind, and soul. Until we understand what is within, we can’t understand what is without. —Anita Moorjani, Dying To Be Me

There is a lot of discussion in the news this week about leadership. Society expects a great deal from leaders who are in a position of authority, as we should. We want them to provide us with moral direction. We look outside ourselves to identify leadership weaknesses; and the truth is, we don’t have to look too hard. In my work with organizations, employees find it challenging to identify positive role models and examples of effective leadership in the workplace. It is more common, when asked for a positive example, for examples of ineffective leaders to be cited. Why is this? There are several contributing factors, but I believe that one factor is a disempowered mindset. Because we don’t often spend enough time looking within to identify our own strengths and weaknesses as a leader.

What do we expect from ourselves as leaders? How do we influence without authority? When do we take a stand? How do we listen to others with respect when their opinion is morally or ethically opposed to our own? When does another’s rights to freedom of speech cross our own boundary line? How do we lead when faced with differences that seem vast and insurmountable? Can we find our power without force or violence?

Learning to lead skillfully, artfully, and mindfully is paramount; if the conflicts in our homes, at work, in our communities, in politics, and in society as a whole are to find peaceful and productive resolution.

I have been delivering Leadership Basics for over ten years. The program was initially developed to answer questions, such as; What is leadership; How do I lead and influence without position; Who am I as a leader; What is the value in different leadership styles? In 1.5 days, the program raises these questions, and seeks to set each person on a quest to find the answers for themselves. And it’s a great starting place, but transforming leadership takes more than attending one workshop.

Leadership development is a life-long pursuit, that demands leaders to continually re-focus on Self-awareness, Interpersonal Relationships, while developing a Global Mindset. I challenge you to consider these questions:

• Where do I need to take a stand and positively influence an outcome?
• What skills will I need to lead, while communicating productively rather than destructively?
• What’s at stake if I don’t choose to lead?

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Deb Siverson

Deb Siverson is the owner and founder of Xponents. She completed her Masters in Organizational Leadership from University of Colorado-Boulder. Deb is the author of the book, "The Cycle of Transformation: igniting organizational change through the leader coach."

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