In leadership, every guru has his or her own approach and readers and students often end up confused as to who is telling the truth. The fact is that the best leadership approach is the one that works for the practitioner’s and followers’ situations. I know I am sounding as if I am advancing my own theory too. I have right to do so, don’t I?
Allow me to state my opinion in a different way. In the absence of a clear definition of leadership and above the din of a multiplicity of theories, good leadership can only be defined through the leader’s effectiveness in influencing followers towards a noble and mutually beneficial course. However, unless you are a conscious leader, you will gradually develop into an empty shell that eventually runs of content and inspiration.
Who Is A Conscious Leader?
Have you ever met a motivational speaker who is in dire need of the inspiration he or she purports to offer? For example, do you know a renowned financial teacher who became bankrupt after some time? I know one and I am sure you have another one in mind. How possible is it that one can be the recipient of so much wisdom and be the channel for benefiting many, yet fail to gain from the same wealth of knowledge.
Now I can explain what a conscious leader is. This is leader who is in touch with his or her own life and who does not lose sight of himself or herself in the process of leadership. If you are a conscious leader, you lead by example because of the conviction you hold on the issues you share with your followers. A conscious leader is first a disciple of the philosophy he or she subscribes to before becoming a leader.
You must own your life story and implement the change you want to see in others. Only after taking charge and responsibility over your life do you become a conscious leader who can guide others in a particular direction.
What Do You Need To Do To Become A Conscious Leader?
Have Your Own Philosophy Of Life
Throughout life, we are accustomed and socialised to live according to the dictates of those in authority like our parents, school authority and the government. However, as we grow, and especially if we desire to be effective leaders, we must begin to form our own philosophies and visions about life. Such ideologies spring from what we consider our purposes to be living on earth at this particular moment.
Look At Life From A Larger Perspective
In the hustle and bustle of daily life it is possible to lose sight of the larger picture. A conscious leader understands that life is more than the struggle to place food on the table. You need to observe what others take for granted; to see the trends that others don’t, and to make out the connections that are only visible to those who dare to question life itself.
Connect With Your Inner Self
There is no way you are going to be a conscious leader if you don’t know yourself. Understanding what moves and motivates you is essential if you are to help your followers to lead productive lives. Whether you are going to pray or meditate is not the problem. The most important thing is that you have some quiet time with yourself for rejuvenation, inspiration and re- strategising.
Learn To Listen
A conscious leader is one who listens. Listening entails giving undivided attention to the other person while absorbing what they are telling you. It demands for compassion and sympathy to the plight of your followers. If you have learned to listen to your inner voice, then you can listen to others without judging them, thus becoming a conscious leader.
A story is told of a despotic tyrant who used to kill ministers who criticised him even after encouraging them to correct him whenever he went wrong. The mark of a conscious leader is one who is open to criticism and correction by those he or she leads and even opponents. No one is perfect and people will point out to you areas in your life that need to be rectified. Accept genuine criticism and make necessary changes as you go along.
Invest In Your Followers
As a conscious leader you should never forget that you are a leader because you have followers. Whether you are a spiritual leader, politician or manager, when you invest in the personal and professional development of your followers, you gain more credibility. Followers will not remain with you for long if they don’t find anything of value or if they feel the cause is benefiting you only.
What Else Do You Need To Know About Conscious Leadership?
- Only conscious leadership is real leadership. The best example you can give to your followers is to live the dream you are championing.
- Leadership begins with a clear vision. Never forget your vision and what it entails.
- Find a strategy of overcoming stress especially in a manner that entails withdrawing from the larger public for some specific periods on a regular basis.
- Believe in your followers just as they believe in you. When you lose confidence in them, you lose confidence in your leadership abilities.
- Learn to be thankful for your life, position, people around you and the leadership responsibility you are holding.
- There is a reason you are a leader and the rest are followers. Whatever makes them love and follow you, strengthen as a conscious leader.
- Be happy. Joy is infectious. If you can bring cheer to your soul, it will be reflected in the lives of your followers too.
- Communicate as often as possible. The heart of leadership is constant flow of messages between all parties involved.
- Motivate your followers. As a conscious leader, you need to understand each of your followers, where possible, and come up with strategies to lift them up when despondency sets in.
- Never forget that your happiness and that of your followers are intertwined.
Your Grace Guru