Leading with your best, authentic self
Mental Fitness is the relative strength of your positive mental muscles (sage) versus the negative (saboteur)’.The Saboteurs, as the name suggests, are traits that can sabotage your abilities. Your brain enters survival mode when you perceive a threat or competition which means it triggers various negative responses such as regret, anger, shame and anxiety, among others. You have those negative thoughts and emotions they are not your authentic self or Sage. When these traits are present it becomes almost impossible to make rational decisions that benefit not only yourself but your team or organisation. In contrast, when you develop your Sage, you experience a different reality in which your brain thrives through calmness, empathy, curiosity, creativity, passion and purpose among others.
Taking control over your mind is in your best interest. As with any other skill, becoming adept at being in the Sage takes practice and continued effort. In leadership roles it becomes even more important to be able to cultivate a positive mindset that maximizes the ability to thrive instead of merely surviving. This helps leaders to lead authentically, to create learning cultures, integrating coaching competencies into their day-to-day interactions, asking questions instead of providing answers, supporting employees instead of judging them, and facilitating their development instead of dictating what has to be. Authentic coaching leaders are contagious – drawing energy and creativity out of, and developing a learning capacity in the people they work with. They are the driving force behind systemic change in organizations, all due to the power of being authentic and leading with positivity.
Authentic Leadership works on the principle that a leader can prove their legitimacy by nurturing genuine relationships with their teams and giving importance to their input. An authentic leader encourages openness and shows appreciation for team support in the success of the organization. Their leadership style promotes both individual and team performance. These leaders have a clear vision for where they want to go, they formulate sound strategies to get there and they find ways to inspire others to join them. So how to become your true self and lead with authenticity? Ask yourself if you apply the following to your method of leading:
Self-awareness: Do you reflect on your actions and decisions and examine your own strengths and weaknesses without any bias. Do you put in a lot of effort to weaken your Saboteurs and maximize being in your Sage?
Lead with heart: Are you not afraid to dig deep, and lead your team with courage, empathy & purpose that only comes from listening to the heart?
Integrity: Do you keep your word no matter what it takes, not saying things you don’t mean?
Listening: Are you a good listener, even when someone else contradicts your views? Are you willing to ask questions, to explore their ideas with an open mind and change your opinion when you are wrong? Are you willing to look at new ways to do things?
Transparency: Do you communicate openly and combine directness with empathy? Do you have the courage to actually be who you really are without hiding your mistakes?
By engaging your Sage, you are far more likely to succeed in being an authentic leader with abilities to take yourself, your team and your organization to their true potential. You will achieve peak performance, well-being and healthy relationships. If you are interested in the subject of authentic leadership, coaching leadership or positive intelligence, why not get in touch with me for a free introductory session.
-Positive intelligence by Shirzad Chamine
-The Essential Coaching Leader by Patricia Burgin