The Secret of Leaders Who Are Ahead of Their Time

Time Waits for No ManI did an interview a few days ago where I was asked about the importance of introverts and extroverts understanding each other in business. My response included something along the lines of, “Business is all about relationships. We create products, services, and companies by working with other people to bring these things to life. Along the way we share ideas, we negotiate, we brainstorm, we listen, and unfortunately sometimes we misunderstand each other. The more we work to better understand each other, the easier it is to reach our goals together.”

I believe this premise wholeheartedly – that relationships are the foundation of business, not just between introverts and extroverts – which is why I never understood some people’s belief that emotions should never be part of business. Emotions are part of who we are as humans, we cannot deny them. They affect how we work with our boss, colleagues, negotiation partners, suppliers, and everyone we come into contact with, regardless of whether we try to hide them from others or not. 

Thus, the more we understand ourselves and our emotions, and the source of our emotions, the better we will understand why we interact with others the way we do, and the more successful we will be in business and life. 

But understanding ourselves and our emotions is not easy. It requires being honest with ourselves about past hurts, old belief systems, and doing the arduous work of forgiving ourselves and others, and of releasing the emotions -and their source- that no longer serve our higher good. Let’s be honest, it’s so much easier to just complain than to do the work to make positive change in ourselves.

So, I was thrilled to see the article about “conscious uncoupling” by Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami that became mainstream last week, accompanying the announcement of the uncoupling of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. While many people are focusing on the “uncoupling” aspect of the article, I particularly appreciated its anthropological look at our emotional support structures and how they impact our relationships. While the article was examining intimate relationships, the lessons applied to all relationships including those we create in business:

“Life is a spiritual exercise in evolving from an exoskeleton for support and survival to an endoskeleton. Think about it. When we get our emotional support and well-being from outside ourselves, everything someone says or does can set us off and ruin our day. Since we can’t control or predict what another person does, our moods are at the mercy of our environment…Everything is then perceived as a personal attack and attempt to upset us. Up goes our armor and it’s all-out war.

With an internal support structure, we can stand strong because our stability doesn’t depend on anything outside ourselves. We can be vulnerable and pay attention to what’s happening around us, knowing that whatever comes, we have the flexibility to adapt to the situation. There’s a reason we call cowards spineless: It takes great courage to drop your armor, expose your soft inside, and come to terms with the reality of what’s happening around you. It’s a powerful thing to then realize that you can survive it…When we learn to find our emotional and spiritual support from inside ourselves, nothing that changes our environment or relationships can unsettle us.”

Think about how what Drs. Sadeghi and Sami say applies to leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators who have chaos swirling about them at all times. Those who are able to do the work to allow their emotional and spiritual support to come from within themselves will be most adaptable. They will survive, and they will thrive. They will be the ones who rise to success in all aspects of their life.

It’s time to stop denying the importance of self-awareness and actualization in the business world. And while it may be ahead of it’s time, I believe the real leaders of the future will be those who understand this and begin the work of self-discovery that leads to the courage to drop your armor in order to survive, thrive and rise.

My business partner, an award winning and brilliant businesswoman in addition to a divine intuitive energy healer, has named this work, “WorQ,” with the Q symbolizing the soul’s journey of self-discovery that we are all on. She defines worQ as the work you take on to work on yourself, to reconnect to your Higher Self, your Soul:

“We all have our own tree of life, rooted through our soul’s path and connected to our divine light, our source. The WorQ awakens more of this path for you lighting up the areas of your life that need to be “pruned” for a stronger, more fruitful you. Along our journeys we all grow, evolve and experience life through our own perceived understanding. As we grow and evolve and branch out into our lives, we recognize that we have changed along the way. This change opens our hearts to more. Through the WorQ many wonderful changes will happen as you take special care of healing your heart’s truest emotions to uncover your heart’s true desire.”

Some will call this “woo-woo.” Others will recognize it as very powerful ancient wisdom. Ancient, but ahead of its time, and no less powerful than it was in past millennia. ~~~

BUY The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership eBook on Amazon for Kindle!

*Photo is Time Waits for No Man by Nicole on Flickr.

Defining the Leader You Will be in 2013

Defining the Leader You Will Be in 2013Think about the magnitude of your life and the enormous impact you’ve had on the world thus far. You have impacted and changed people’s lives, perhaps in small ways every day, but you have impacted and changed them just the same. It’s important to acknowledge the simple beauty of this!

How do you want to do this through your leadership in 2013?

The resplendent allure of this question is that the world, for you, for each of us, is a clean slate as we embark upon a New Year. We can wash away the parts of us we want to transform and purify those we want to use virtuously as a leader.

What’s most important is the acknowledgement that as a leader we have the power to truly change the world – for good or for bad – by how we live our lives and fulfill our leadership roles. And here’s the key: how we live our lives and fulfill our leadership roles starts with how we see and love ourselves. It all starts inside us as we connect to our True Selves and lead from within.

It starts with loving ourselves first.

Think about those people and leaders in your life who are unhappy, struggling, intentionally or unintentionally hurting others. How many of them would see a transformation in their life simply by opening their hearts to love and fully accept themselves as they are? By feeling genuine gratitude for their life? By connecting to the purity of their soul they were born with and rediscovering the beauty within them? Not in an arrogant, selfish way but in a genuine way. I’m guessing every single one of them…

Keep these questions in mind when you look within yourself to define what kind of leader you want to be in 2013. Someone who has done the work to love and accept themself will bring a very different essence to their leadership role than someone who is struggling. Imagine the difference in passion, magnetism, charisma, service and loyalty! Imagine the difference in their ability to inspire, motivate, mentor and serve.

What kind of leader will you be in 2013? How will you impact and change the world? Envision yourself the leader you deeply wish to be, and then go make it so.

Wishing you a New Year full of great love, joy and dreams fulfilled!

~

The Introvert's Guide to Success in Business and Leadership

The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership

Are you an introvert looking to use your introversion to your advantage in business & leadership or an extrovert interested in leading introverts more effectively? I wrote this eBook for you…

The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership” eBook is NOW Available! Amazon Best Seller, Amazon Hot New Release, and the inspiration behind my Harvard Business Review article! Featured on Huffington Post. BUY Now on Amazon for Kindle or Buy it at B&N for Nook! Also available on iBooks!

Click here to DOWNLOAD in PDF format. Thank you!

Being an introvert is truly an advantage in business and leadership if you know how to leverage it, and if you remain true to yourself.

FOR SPEAKING & MAGNETIC LEADERSHIP PROGRAM INQUIRIES: [email protected]

Photo of Victoria Falls by Dietmar Temps.

Indispensable Leadership Wisdom I Wish I Had Early in My Career

The Leader's Pocket GuideEvery once in a while a book comes along full of leadership wisdom that I wish I had access to early in my career. John Baldoni’s new book, “The Leader’s Pocket Guide: 101 Indispensable Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Any Situation” is one such book.

While it’s relevant to leaders at every level and stage of their career, I see this book being exceptionally valuable to Gen Y and leaders who are just beginning to take on leadership roles and responsibility. The reason? Early in one’s leadership experience it’s difficult to digest all the leadership wisdom that is available, so much must come through experience alone. But John does a brilliant job of sharing valuable wisdom in small bites, with critically important insight thrown in. For example:

  • “If your boss is a bully, do not do anything without permission. Doing otherwise could jeopardize your career.”
  • “Nothing will ever improve unless you make a decision to act.”
  • “Saying ‘it’s not my job’ is a lame excuse…It sends the signal that you hold yourself above others. That is not only a failure of leadership, it is a lack of executive competency.”
  • “Too much confidence is a toxic cocktail, one that can lead to the very long hangover we call hubris.”
  • “Use passion as a lever to help individuals and teams do their jobs better.”

Additionally, I love how his chapters are “short, sweet, and to the point” and cover such universal leadership wisdom as:

  • Put principle over policy
  • Avoid Micromanaging Anything
  • Deliver a Reason to be Urgent
  • Hire for Character and Integrity

Finally, John has a series of chapters that guide leaders through important questions they should be asking themselves:

  • What Are You Doing to Add Value?
  • Are Your Employees Listening?

As well as chapters with practical, imperative advice, including:

  • Managing When You Cannot Disclose Information
  • How to Inspire Others
  • Let Your Face Show You Are in Charge

The Leader’s Pocket Guide is a must-have for every leader and budding-leader who would value a go-to resource to help them in any leadership predicament. It’s like having your own personal leadership mentor or advisor in your pocket!

I can only wonder how it would have changed my leadership experiences if I’d had this wisdom years ago!

~

The Introvert's Guide to Success in Business and Leadership

The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership

Are you an introvert looking to use your introversion to your advantage in business & leadership or an extrovert interested in leading introverts more effectively? I wrote this eBook for you…

The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership” eBook is NOW Available! Amazon Best Seller, Amazon Hot New Release, and the inspiration behind my Harvard Business Review article! Featured on Huffington Post.

BUY Now on Amazon for Kindle or Buy it at B&N for Nook! Also available on iBooks!

Click here to DOWNLOAD in PDF format. Thank you!

Being an introvert is truly an advantage in business and leadership if you know how to leverage it, and if you remain true to yourself.

FOR SPEAKING & MAGNETIC LEADERSHIP PROGRAM INQUIRIES: [email protected]