When you hear the word ‘leader’ what image immediately forms in your mind? Who do you consider to be a leader? It could be someone you worked with in the past who inspired you. It could be someone in the public eye who you look up to. Whoever it is and regardless of where you know them from, all great leaders have certain things in common. Leaders we’d soon rather forget also have attributes in common and the ability to recognise these as needing attention is the first step to becoming a Conscious Leader.
The 5 Key Attributes To Strive For:
1. Never Blame, Always Take Responsibility
A leader by definition is someone who leads others, who sets the tone for the team, guides them and helps them to achieve the collective purpose whilst allowing them to thrive. To do this a leader must be empowered and in control of all the situations they are faced with so as to be able to navigate problems and find solutions. Leaders who always find someone else to blame for problems that arise and as a result spend their time flinging around accusations and demands are not leaders. They have relinquished any power they had and any accountability that went along with it. When they are in control, they can take ownership of any problem (regardless of who created it) and look at ways to ensure it never happens again so that the team can learn and grow from the experience. There is no shame in taking responsibility, in fact it will always trump the victim card and the resentment that goes with it.
2. Driven by Key Values
Integrity, trust, ethics and responsibility are some of the key values that define and motivate Conscious Leaders. Decisions are always taken in line with their values and with a focus on achieving the results they are looking for. Being true to one’s values requires discipline, self-awareness, commitment and honesty. Ego does not play a role in how they operate and they refuse to bend the rules just to get something done. Their teams are treated with respect and consideration and the outcome will never justify unsavoury means.
3. Honest and Open Communication
The ability to express oneself clearly and honestly with full transparency and without any hidden agendas is critical for all Conscious Leaders. Awareness of how they sound and how they will be perceived by others is always important so that they can express their opinions and needs and are ready to listen to the needs of others. They will not withhold information as a control tactic to support their views. They will be attentive and are aware that all open and honest communication strengthens team relationships and improves cooperation.
4. Transparent Dealings and Controlled Emotions
Keeping their emotions in check at all times enhances decision making abilities and keeps Conscious Leaders rational and focused. Emotions affect our moods and our physiology and everyone knows that making decisions under conditions of stress and anxiety is not a great idea. When emotions are in check there is no room for irrational explosions or holding things in so as to keep the peace. Conscious Leaders can control their emotions in a way that allows others to be able to truly express their feelings without the fear of a blowout or attack. In this way negotiations are more transparent and honest, and the parties can treat each other with mutual respect and understanding. The focus isn’t on proving someone wrong or winning the game but on ensuring everyone’s needs and values are met in so far as that is possible in the circumstances. Transactions do not become protracted aggressive power struggles but controlled and consensual problem-solving exercises.
5. Always a Student
Everyone has an opinion and a way of doing things. Conscious Leaders recognise that opinions are subjective and that others will often see things in a different light. Acknowledging this opens them up to a lifetime of learning and acceptance of different views and methods. At the end of the day, each team member has been hired to offer their own expertise to the group so that the group may achieve a common purpose – working towards the goals and strategies of the company as a whole. If they are not allowed to express their views and subjective experiences then there is no point in having them. To foster collaboration, enthusiasm and team work, people need to be open to expressing their views without fear and learning from others without judgment. Conscious Leaders know that this will minimise errors and misunderstandings and maximise commitment and success.