As a CEO or business owner, true ” leadership zen” probably seems elusive. Leading people, by its very nature, elicits a broad array of emotions every single day, ranging from anger and frustration to pure joy and delight. Controlling your stress responses as a leader can be a challenge, as best.
If I asked you to think about the best leaders you’ve ever known, there are likely several similarities in their personality traits that come to mind.
The MOST memorable and impactful leaders seem to have something slightly different in their core. Something that’s really hard to put your finger on…
They always appear unshakable. They are calm through madness. They are level-headed through storms. They exude peace at their foundation, while leading their teams through the most challenging (and exciting) waters. Their inner strength and fortitude is contagious. Teams follow suit because they know they are safe and they will succeed.
That’s Leadership Zen. Google it – there are dozens of books written on the topic. Any one of them will help you get closer to it, but one little tiny book might just do the trick on its own.
“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz
It offers basic, practical, human wisdom that when adopted by already great leaders, may unleash their next level Leadership Zen superpower.
While not classified as a leadership book, “The Four Agreements” outlines a core code of conduct essential for true Leadership Zen.
- Be impeccable with your word.
Speak only with integrity and say only what you mean. Don’t speak poorly or gossip about others. Betraying this agreement chips away at your integrity.
- Don’t take anything personally.
Nothing others do is because of you. It’s simply a projection of their own personal reality. When you are immune to the opinions and negative influences of others, you are instantly strengthened and empowered. Cue the super-power cape!
- Don’t make assumptions.
Ask questions. Always communicate what you really want. Don’t use innuendo and don’t accept innuendo. Clear and frank communication is transforming to organizations and to people. If someone is unclear, ask more questions. Teach your team to model the same behavior.
- Always do your best.
Your best may vary from day-to-day given the situation, your health, and your personal energy. People can always see when you are truly doing your best. You know when its your best. Always doing your best eliminates self-judgement and self-doubt, which is observable and contagious to teams.
Several business articles have been written recently on the importance of leaders adopting a personal philosophy. The Four Agreements may be a great foundation for a personal philosophy, and when put into practice with full commitment, lead you to your own Leadership Zen.
This book was brought to the table by one of our members at a recent LXCouncil meeting. Being around the table with other leaders, listening to their concerns and challenges, along with solutions and best practices can help you take your business and leadership skills to the next level.
If you’re ready to take your business and leadership skills to the next level, and if you think your business could benefit from more insights like what’s offered in this article, let’s start a conversation. LXCouncil may be the perfect next step!
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