“Leadership” is already a well-researched, well-documented topic analyzed from hundreds of angles from the theoretical to the practical; I need not touch those areas.
What I do find to be a rather untouched dimension is helping people recognize that they don’t have to have an authority title in order to be conferred a leader.
The leader in a group may not actually have a title that confers power to act such as “chief,” “director,” “vice,” “senior” or “manager.” This realization can help people understand that leadership as a mental state can be cultivated by anyone desiring.
The authority designations endow the possessor with influence within an organization by how the hierarchy operates. In a group, the person designated a “senior” may have by the right of the title the ability to make decisions, while the actual leader may be among that group with the cultivated influence and vision that’s usually associated with the state.
Leadership is a mental state rather than a title, and in an ideal scenario the leader would also have the organizational title delegating influence.
It’s also important to note that a leader doesn’t always need people to lead. I find this imperative to be rampant in self-development circles where the pressure exists to find, create or lead over a “tribe.” This tribe must be swayed, brought in, held, convinced by the leader that this is the community to live in.
Before venturing out to attract a tribe, the first person to be leading is oneself.
As a universe within, we have an entire organization inside including: emotions, thoughts, brain, bacteria, blood, the organs and many, many systems. A person attempting to lead another individual, who also has her own universe, and unable to lead oneself will likely be unfit to exist as a leader for another.
We may see flickers of outstanding leadership aura, the confidence and charisma stepping forward but eventually the inner systems start becoming unruly from within as they aren’t being properly governed, and they bring the leader down.
We can find numerous examples of people with star power, who captivate crowds only to have their addictions and seductions be their downfall.
Let’s say that a leader has their personal systems under governance: nutritional, educational, bodily, mental and spiritual faculties in healthy integration (or working towards this) and sets out to lead other people.
These are 5 mental traits I observe they exhibit:
1. Invites Growth Experiences
Since the leadership state ends ego-driven desires and expands beyond oneself, there is an appetite to invite experiences into people’s lives that encourage growth.
What is this “growth?”
The word can be alluring because it presumes positivity and positivity tends to be associated with pleasant feelings.
But in excess this can become hedonistic meaning…like a base being, only gravitating towards things that feel good (avoid pain) and shun the unpleasant (avoid pain).
If we examine some of our life experiences and be realistic, we may see that some of the most transformative moments were not just feel-good pleasant; they moved us from one state to another, to operate with new values or principles, to think differently and trade that which no longer served.
It doesn’t have to be traumatic. Whether this comes from delayed gratification or removing something that’s entertaining (mind-numbing) but not growth-fostering, the leader is able to make the tough choice for the long-term.
As a habit, the leader applies mental alchemy, where experiences are actively sought out for their growth-enhancing potential rather than how they make the leader feel.
This capacity helps the leader recognize an experience for what it is and to articulate it objectively; when working with people, it enables the leader to hold space for others as they go through challenging experiences, being better able to help them perceive the growth in them.
2. Discerns Toxic Thought Forms
This is about being selective with thoughts. Like a gatekeeper, the leader knows that thoughts entering his system travel; they have influence on the mind and consequently the body. If growth experiences raise a person up to be brighter, more spirited and smarter, then toxic thought forms are mind viruses that implant and spread in actions, thoughts and speech causing degradation.
An efficient leader here is effective at turning away poisonous thought forms. The ancient Dhammapada is lush with poetic references to this skill.
“If your grandparents had low education it means the grandchild will also” is a toxic thought form because if absorbed, that child will never be able to see her goals beyond that limited perspective.
And when that child grows up and has her own children, she may implant her them with that mind virus; the infection then perpetuates. The children then must grow up and detoxify from these weak thought forms to create a new trajectory. This phenomenon is also known as generational trauma.
An effective leader is observant enough, using the senses to detect when an intrusive toxic thought form attempts to enter her mind and wipes it away as soon as possible.
3. Thinks About Timelines
Timelines here involve strategy and quantum realities. Whether or not a leader realizes, when she’s thinking about long-term goals, does the SWOT analysis and forecasts scenarios, she’s putting her mind into the quantum state. There she can access these timelines, potential outcomes and make plans accordingly.
This capacity that our minds have is what all the rage is about for these quantum computers; the big tech companies are harnessing the power to enter timelines, ask questions and gleam answers from multiple realities.
Governing herself, she can enter meditation and visualize timelines of where she wants to be in two years. She can see what she’s wearing, the people, her occupation,, travels, connections, her home, the land.
Out of meditation, she can then ask herself simple questions to reverse-engineer that timeline:
- Where was she living? What would be needed for her to travel there?
- Where did she find her clothes? What kind of aesthetic? Where can she find that style right now?
- Who were the people? What roles did they have in her life?
- What’s her job? Does she own a company or work for one? With what skills? What education does she need to move towards it?
- What were the home details? What did she see in the rooms? Was it a condo, apartment, large home?
Now having a clearer idea of that timeline, she can make practical plans to start aligning herself with it.
In the quantum world, that reality already exists, one of an infinite number. If she wants that one specifically, she has to discover the path that directs her properly towards it, and be disciplined enough to protect the focus from the distractions.
Each choice she makes from there moves her towards or farther from that timeline.
With this eye, she can lead others towards a vision, because she knows how to plan practically to align for a collective timeline.
4. Comfortable Exploring Thoughts & Emotional Landscape
This is an emotional intelligence signal and prerequisite for leading others effectively. The leader is able to deliberately, proactively delve into her mental-emotional palette to understand triggers, likes, dislikes, values, yes and no and relation to the world.
Without this awareness, external entities (marketing, ads, mind viruses, people, etc.) can easily push the leader’s buttons; at this point the leader is not acting out of leadership but reactivity; the mouse that runs on the wheel as it keeps seeing the cheese in front of it but never catches. Samsara’s wheel.
Within this exploration comes a point in the leader’s experience where she becomes governor of her inner landscape instead of the citizen; she doesn’t live reactive but with initiative. This is actual free will.
If angered, she can mentally step back and examine the reason for anger and produce a response with clear eyes. She can respond from a peace-power state; in this state, she maintains healthy equilibrium for her capacities and can access the quality that’s needed at the time. If possessed by anger, she’s limited in her responsiveness range because all she’s operating from is anger.
This EQ takes the leader to a new level when working with a group; understanding her own landscape enables her to have understanding of when others’ are exploring theirs, and can handle complexities that arise when personalities or desires differ.
5. Helps Others Solve Problems
A problem is just a pro-blemish, something that exists in the way from one state to another.
Moving from point A to B, if not seamless, will involve a problem. It’s within our nature as creative beings to devise solutions (paths to move from A to B), so problems inherently are not negative. They actually provide us with the opportunities to train our intelligence and evolve.
If no problems existed, challenges in the way of point A to B, there would be no incentive to do anything differently (meaning to change, or grow). When we don’t change, trying to do the same thing to move from point A to B, we experience stagnation.
I remember back in high school I had to call the Internet services often; I believe it was Comcast at the time for assistance when the connection went down, or something was wrong with the wires.
IT support would take over the computer to go into certain folders, add and delete files, type in IP addresses. There were times I had 3 service people on the phone with me trying to figure out the problems. All these experiences provided knowledge growth for me on troubleshooting.
By the time I was a college freshman, I knew how to handle just about every troubleshooting issue that came up for the computer (it helped me land my first job at college in the tech lab helping people with this), I knew how to research to find solutions, and to this day I haven’t had to call any tech support for anything except to make a new product order.
The sheer amount of problems I was a part of solving back then gave me a solution storehouse to work with.
The leader re-frames problems as training wheels, chances to be tested to see just how ready or mentally sharp she is. Solutions may take minutes, hours, days, weeks or years to discover. Indomitable spirit.
Problems exist in all life areas, and as long as people are trying to move from point A to point B, they will always exist, so the leader can take her pick for where she strengthens.
This comfort with a problem as an ally instead of enemy can translate into general comfort with handling group problems.
The calm, cool collected nature this awareness brings can instill confidence in people for her and help them also see the knowledge of problems so they can do the same in their lives.
Embodying Leadership Qualities
Being a student and executor, the aspirant and master, the leader continues learning while embodying those states already comprehended.
There is also a line between speaking about leadership and manifesting it.
The speaker will only go so far in the ivory tower, being untested and unwilling to be it when waters are rough. When the king can no longer represent that energy, it’s time for that king to be dethroned.