Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Quality All Great Leaders Have in Common – and How to Cultivate It Within Yourself


Guest post from Christy Whitman

Above all other qualities, vision is the most essential to extraordinary leadership.   Throughout every era of time, and in in every imaginable industry, the most influential leaders have been those who innately understand that what has been in the past, as well as the circumstances that exist in the present, do not have the power to limit the potential of what can be created in the future.  Great leaders hold tenaciously to the reality they envision in their hearts — even in the shadow of previous failures, and even in the absence of tangible evidence that what they want is possible to achieve.  In other words, a great leader is someone who gives more credence to the vision that calls to them than they do to any voice of disbelief or doubt.
 
Most of the world is not living in a mindset of true leadership, but has instead fallen into the habit of simply reacting to whatever is going on around them.   And while it is very compelling to give our attention, our focus, and therefore our powerful, magnetic creative energy to those things that are not right now as we would like them to be, directing the precious gift of our attention in this manner nails our creative feet to the floor and keeps us from cooperating with our own desires.  Leadership requires us to launch ourselves out of the very human tendency to allow other people, external circumstances, and our own self-doubts to dictate what we believe we can accomplish, and therefore what we allow ourselves to envision.  Posing as the truth, these considerations are often camouflaged as legitimate concerns that go something like this: I don’t have the money. It’s not the right time. What will others think? If I go for my dream, I might fail. I should just be happy with the life I have.
 
Considerations like these may appear as formidable conditions over which we are powerless, but this is both an illusion and a critical error in thinking. The obstacle that stands in our way is not a money problem, a time problem or a people problem; it’s a vision problem. When we are focused only upon the current conditions of our lives, we deprive ourselves of our innate ability to create anything different.  We simply cannot give our attention to things that are other than we’d like them to be and create what we want at the same time.    In every moment, we are either doing one or the other. 

So for example, if you, as the leader of an organization, are focused upon the weakness or ineffectiveness of your team, you must understand that you are using your powerful creative energy to contradict rather than support your own desire to lead them to success.  But when on the other hand you go out of your way to notice and then deliberately appreciate each person and aspect of your business that is working well, your focus is aligned with your vision, and you are nurturing its growth and ultimate fruition through the power of your attention.
  
Some people believe that being a great leader requires discipline – and it most certainly does – but it’s not the “nose to the grindstone” effort and struggle that we’ve been taught is necessary for success.   The most important discipline that we as leaders can ever practice is that which takes place not in the realm of action, but in the quiet of our own minds.  It takes great discipline to identify a particular outcome and summon the intention to make it happen.  It takes discipline to focus on a desire with enough clarity that it begins to coalesce into a vision.  And it takes discipline to bring the energy of our most frequent and consistent thoughts, feelings, moods and expectations into alignment with the vision of what we do want, rather than chronically noticing the absence of it.  Once we have aligned ourselves with our own vision so completely that we are not simply willing to entertain any other possibility, we unlock the secret to magnetism, to charisma, and to seamlessly attracting those who want nothing more than to play their role in the play that we are orchestrating.

Right now in your own life, you are surrounded by conditions and considerations that may have you convinced that you are powerless to become the leader you desire to be, whether in your business or in your personal life.  You may believe that you’re too old, that the odds are stacked against you, or that everything you desire to accomplish has already been done before.  But however these thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions show up for you, it’s imperative that you begin to recognize them for what they really are.  They may be evidence of what has been, but they don’t need to limit your vision of what can become.  Once you understand that what you direct your energy toward is what you will ultimately begin to attract, you will reclaim the power to create your life on purpose rather than by default, and, by example, you will teach others how to do the same. 

Christy Whitman is a transformational leader and the New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Having It All and co-author of Taming Your Alpha Bitch. Here new book is called Quantum Success: 7 Essential Laws for a Thriving, Joyful, and Prosperous Relationship with Work and Money.  She has appeared on Today and The Morning Show, and her work has been featured in People, SeventeenWoman’s DayHollywood Life, and Teen Vogue, among others. As the CEO and founder of the Quantum Success Coaching Academy, Christy has helped thousands of people worldwide to achieve their goals through her empowerment seminars, speeches, coaching sessions, and products. She currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband and their two boys.

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