After many years of involvement in leadership development in one form or other certain principles of good leadership practices keep on evolving to the top of the scale of importance. What attributes do those leaders have who have confidence to move the impossible barriers of life? This column has written about many successful leaders and leadership principles and we enjoy doing so.
One of the attributes that stand out is the ability to embrace our jobs, goals, values and relationships.
We see many examples of embracement around us. Watching successful sports teams and individuals perform is often an exposure to embracement. These people have a competitive edge over rivals as a result of embracing successful principles and practices so that it becomes interwoven into their very fibre. How else can they manage to perform at super-human levels without the usage of performance enhancing drugs?
We see around us leaders who embrace their duties and values to such a degree that the impossible becomes possible to them. I have the privilege of mixing with many such people on a daily basis!
What does ‘embrace’ mean in the context of this article? By embracing we mean the ability to take mental as well as emotional ownership of a principle or function. Embracing is the fruits of an integration process of our thinking, feeling and desiring functions. It results in the generation of passion and endurance that does not baulk at obstacles and resistances that are imperatives of daily living.
From hundreds of personal conversations over the years in one or other leadership capacity I have found that the quality of embracement is often accompanied by deeply engrained spiritual faith and submission to universal values.
Encouragement to the frustrated
Many of our readers have a passion to grow and to make a difference wherever they may serve. I have personally spoken to many of them over the years and empathise with them in the challenges they face on a daily basis. Many of them don’t even have jobs! Some have studied hard for several years and still do not have jobs! Others are frustrated by the jobs they have and feel that they are not sufficiently appreciated and respected. What advice can we offer them?
We suggest that they be patient and focus primarily on learning how to embrace those attributes of leadership and performance that tend to attract the best in others around us. This often includes job and enhancement of career opportunities that may seem impossible at the present moment.
It is one of the great ironies of life that our levels of frustration can be the cause of negative reaction from others around us.
People who embrace the positive attributes and opportunities in life tend to draw good things and good people responses.
This may not always seem to be true but in general it is an imperative of life that we sow what we reap. As we commit to embracing good things in and around us, we tend to draw the positive and the happy things of life.
The immense power of our common functions
In our daily contact with top leaders we are often exposed to very sophisticated teachings that tend to not quite reach the inner motivations of people. We often tend to default to old practises. As a society we may be drifting away from the simplicity of leadership confidence and power to move people and situations.
Ultimately it is the universally common functions of thinking, feeling and desiring that determines our destiny, for good or for bad. As we learn to discipline our thinking, feeling and desiring by commitment to universal values that stand the test of time we WILL embrace attributes of leadership that build our confidence in moving the ‘impossible’ barriers of life.
Obstacles to embracement
We apply the principle of embracement when we want to move beyond the mental understanding level and move to the becoming level. It is like passing from one world to another where another set of laws apply and all things are possible.
The following are some of the barriers that may inhibit our ability to embrace:
- Mental loyalty barriers
It is a modern tendency to confuse mental understanding with knowledge and wisdom. In order to become seamless leaders we need to not just think we understand, but we need to feel and to desire that which we value or want to achieve. This is what embracement is all about. That which we embrace and practice leads to us becoming.
- Situational barriers
We feel aware of physical and situational barriers that hamper our journey through life. If asked to do so, we can probably make a list of multiple reasons why we cannot progress as we would like to. While it is true that we cannot do much about many barriers in life, it is also true that the vast majority of our barriers are attitudinal.
- Attitudinal barriers
Our attitudes determine our altitude. Our attitudes determine how we perceive our thinking, feeling and desiring functions and this determines our ability to embrace and become.
May our readers expand their ability to embrace the good things of life!
This article appeared in the