"Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it is also that difficult." - Warren Bennis
Many a times I wondered as to what exactly is that specific thing, attribute or quality that holds a person back despite of having decent amount of craft mastery and business acumen. Something or the other happens because of which, the person is unable to move forward with greater velocity & depth as anticipated, keeping in mind the knowledge, wisdom, experience and even the lofty purpose of the business. I have read about many start-ups collapsing, many successful people breaking down after a certain point. Many a times I too gave up and succumbed to pressures beyond my seeming control. The ingredient that keeps you going was somehow missing, rather dormant which needs to be developed with conscious practice. Craft mastery alone with business purpose do not guarantee long lasting success. After a self-reflection & studying few leadership patterns, I have arrived at this conclusion and that is: the more the leadership depth in a person, the more his/her success and fulfillment in his/her chosen area. Leadership depth is directly proportional to fulfillment of higher intentions and goals. What is leadership depth then? To describe it in metaphorical way, it is like the base of the ring that holds the diamond. And the diamond can't be held if the base is weak. At some point it is going to crack or fall apart.
Leadership depth is the work done across all the bodies: emotional, physical, mental & spiritual. None is a substitute of another and can't be overlooked. A weak link will distort the entire dynamics and dis-empower the depth to lead oneself from one level to another. Ability to lead oneself and always being consistent in efforts across all the bodies is true leadership. Unless you are able to lead yourself from what should be absorbed/dropped, accepted/rejected, put focus on/ignored, right/wrong etc.; we can never lead others. In a world full of commonness, if you can be the change that you are seeking, then rest assured that you are on your way to developing leadership depth. Now I understand why despite of external influence, opinions, bad economy, difficult situations, challenges etc. some people come out successful and some don't. Giving up your intentions is not at all the trait of great leaders. When no one believes in your dreams, when no one understands your perspective, when no one approves of your ideas, when no one is by your side, how you respond and what actions you take determines your leadership depth. That's the reason probably why we have many successful leaders not having a pedigree to match to that counterparts. Because what matters is leadership depth to move forward and not just accumulation of certifications & purpose alone as validation to our increase in depth.
When you can overcome all your fears (of not being good enough, not being important, not being loved) and viscerally feel the need to make a shift from fear based orientation to freedom from all fears, your breakthrough as a leader happens. The only thing that you need to do is to keep walking this path despite of all odds. When you can take responsibility for what happens in your world and shut the blame game completely, you hold immense power to transform your life. Inward focus gives you power and outward focus dis-empowers you. This shift in perspective is the ultimate journey towards increasing leadership depth.
Always ask yourself this question when shrouded in doubt: What is your assessment of your leadership depth? Is it 10 on 10 across all the bodies: physical, emotional, mental & spiritual? If not, what do you do to increase it so as to experience exponential growth?
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals