“Innovation,” “Collaborative Leadership,” and “Trust” are three terms I’m seeing tossed around quite a bit in the articles and books I’m coming across. I agree that we are in need of change-in fact, transformation-but what I’m not seeing much of is how to confront reality. What does it take to develop innovation, collaborative leadership, and trust?
It takes courage! You see, courage is feeling the fear, the feelings that people run from, and doing what needs to be done anyway. This requires self-awareness, the awareness to wake up and realize that feeling is a vital aspect of being human. Feelings add life, color, and variation to our experience. It is what most powerfully wires your amazing brain. If you are only in your head, you won’t have much passion to pull your vision forward. The innovation needed here, however, is to learn how to make feelings your friend.
It’s the heart that leads to inspiration and inspired action taking.
Notice I said pull, not push or drive. When your heart is engaged, the inspiration via loving what you do is magnetic. It is meaningful. What you desire draws you forward. One of the problems is that we have conditioned our brain to be fear-motivated. How does this look? It shows up as: focusing on what you don’t want; focusing on “what hasn’t been done before” as a negative (duh! What do you think innovation means?); fear of or resistance to change; fear of failure as a means to motivate (“drive-push-change”); over-activity, constantly “doing” with very little reflection or quiet time; and focusing on weaknesses instead of strengths.
“If what you see is what you get, then looking for strengths is the way to find them.” ~Peter Block
This fear-of-change paradigm creates driven behavior and is full of “doing” without purpose and reflection. It is constantly looking for danger and tends toward mistrust, stuck behavior, and hierarchical leadership. It speaks in terms of “control over” versus “flow.” This is no way to go from good to great; in fact, nowadays it’s a great way to go from wherever you are to where you DON’T want to be (the very thing you are trying to avoid).
So what can you do to confront reality? The first step is to confront your reality:
* Look in the mirror – with compassion, also a heart quality.
* Stop beating yourself up or comparing yourself to others. You are unique in your own special way.
* Deal with your growth issues, not as flaws but as opportunities to expand the vision for your professional and personal self.
* Learn tools to release your old perceptions that distort how you see yourself and others. Mindfulness Meditation is right up at the top of the list.
* Develop an open mind that can actually experience new ways of being.
There is a lot of research now to take mindfulness meditation out of the realm of “woo-woo.” It is a key to general health and well-being, as well. Whether or not you realize it, most people have trained their brain in a way that limits them or is even harmful to their wealth, health, and relationships. How can you foster trust if you don’t even trust yourself? As Einstein said, we can’t solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it. Consciousness is about HOW we think; it’s about awareness.
Reality is not objective; it is subjective.
It’s time to make friends with feelings and change. Learn how to rewire your brain in a way that helps you to reconnect with your core values with passion and integrity. I can show you how to tremendously speed up the process and make it easier, but there are no shortcuts. Self-mastery through self-awareness is needed to sustain growth long-term. Innovation comes out of adaptability in a seemingly highly chaotic and uncertain environment. You just need to learn to see differently, and it won’t seem so chaotic.
Collaborative leadership is rooted in first engaging your own mind and heart to collaborate. You must make peace within before you can inspire trust from others and live courageously. You must learn how to manage your “attention” and “intention” at the blueprint level of consciousness that leads to the actions taken.