Leadership starts from inside. Accepting ourselves and the full range of our faults and magnificence is the bedrock of authentic presence, which allows us to lead from within.
The core belief that underpins all the Co-Active philosophy and which supports our leadership development, is that everyone, without exception, is naturally creative, resourceful and whole. This is especially true of you - the person sitting in the seat reading this blog post.
Each of the four words is important.
Naturally. No need for artifice. We are born that way, just as we were born with the capacity to breathe and digest, to laugh and to cry.
Creative. Yes, every person is adaptive and adaptable and capable of growth and creativity.
Resourceful. Yes, we have what we need to live the life we need, as long as we have the courage to recognize and use it.
Whole. And lastly but not least — we are whole. We are not a problem to be fixed; we are instead a life to be lived. At heart and at home, we know who we are, what we want and how we need to be and to act in this world.
When we start from the principle of finding ourselves naturally creative, resourceful and whole, self-acceptance comes naturally, and when we accept ourselves, including our mistakes and our frailty, as well as our joy and beauty, it becomes easier to be accepted by others and then in turn, to point them to their own acceptance.
When we embrace this, we can start to influence the outside world from our core being.
People at ease with themselves have the authority to give permission and encouragement to others, to call them forth to be the best they can be in service of what they want to create in the world. Do this frequently and a chain-reaction of empowerment ensues.
So, Leadership truly grows from the inside out. It begins with self-acceptance, including who we are as a naturally, creative, resourceful and whole human being, and from there our authority to influence the world around us emerges. In so doing, we bring sureness and compassion to the world we work and live in and can lead with an open heart.
Indeed, with a dash of humour and a smidgeon of humility, accepting how capable we actually are, is much easier than you might think.
When we do this, the other dimensions of Co-Active Leadership will begin to open up effortlessly.
So start practicing self-acceptance today.
Each time you notice yourself criticising or judging your apparent shortcomings, pause for a moment, connect with your breath, and then affirm the positive qualities or skills you already know you possess. If you feel disconnected from them, you may wish to imagine embracing them — literally — and as you do so, observe which emotions or sensations are evoked and where in your body you feel them, to anchor your memory of these inner resources. This is just one small, yet significant, step in finding your leader within.
If you would like to learn more about Co-Active Leadership, join us for a free webinar that takes you through our revolutionary five-dimensional approach that leverages the leadership ability that is present in every individual and throughout any organization.