The truly wise leader begins by understanding their foundational principles, values, morals, "the line in the sand they are not willing to cross" that define their inner self; their identity or ego. This is one's spiritual dimension and it starts with you. To lead well, you have get this dimension right before you can successfully lead others. How you express your personality (through your physical self, your thoughts and emotions) and achieve more effective leadership outcomes, depends on your understanding and wisdom of your 4 dimensions of self awareness.
So, what is wisdom? Richard Rohr and Cynthia Bourgeault, founder and teacher at the Center of Action and Contemplation, put it this way: "Wisdom is clearly more than mere intelligence, knowledge of facts, or information. Wisdom is more synthesis than analysis, more paradoxical than linear, more a dance than a march. In order to grow in wisdom, we need to move beyond cerebral, rational knowing. Wisdom is not knowing more, but knowing with more of you, knowing deeper.”
They have put together a list of “ways of knowing” that together can move leader's toward greater wisdom and leadership effectiveness. Our previous post focused on the first three: Intellect, Emotion and Senses. Here is the last one: Will.
Will (spiritual presence/dimension): is about volitional knowing. It comes from making choices, commitments, and decisions in line with your values, beliefs, morals and foundational principles, and then sticking with them and experiencing them at different stages. Anyone who has made and then kept vows knows what this is. It is a knowing that comes from making intentional choices and the very process of struggling with the choices. This knowing is a kind of cumulative knowing that emerges over time.
The wisdom to know oneself from a spiritual perspective is the most crucial to us leading more authentically and courageously from our true selves. It is the most difficult to describe and develop because it is hidden from our view, unless we take a deep dive into understanding our spiritual dimension and the bases of that dimension on your identity and ego. Think of your spiritual presence in terms of being versus doing. The physical, intellectual and emotional dimensions represent your personality - the external part of yourself that shows up and connects with others. These dimensions represent our "doing."
Awareness of your spiritual dimension takes you from the "doing" into the core of who you are as a human "being." When you still your body, your thoughts and your feelings, what do you find? In those leaders that connect with their inner core, who find their identities in something deeper than their accomplishments and awards, we can detect a quiet and steady strength that shows through in even the most stressful of circumstances.
In leadership, those that follow you are constantly scanning to discern who you really are, what you care greatly about, what your passions and beliefs are about and whether that all fits together in an integrated way. The more consistent the evidence they see of your authenticity and integrity, the greater the chance they will trust you, follow you, and give you their very best.
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