Let’s face it…
…Graceful, Mindful & Soulful Leadership isn’t something we usually think about when we wake up in the morning. And, if we were being asked to describe it – we wouldn’t necessarily know how to, or what it might look like.
That said, when mentioned…you may feel something stir in you, which, in turn, hopefully awakens your curiosity. If this is the case – read on!
My entire professional career – now spanning 30+ years – I’ve been engaged in the corporate world. In the early 2000’s, I had arrived at a point where work and life no longer felt as fulfilling as it used to. It didn’t feel quite right. My work has always been very important to me and although a part of me still enjoyed it, I felt bored and disconnected from my own life, disempowered, and no longer vibrant and alive. I remember thinking, “Surely, this couldn’t be all there was…?”.
My brain tried to figure it out – where did the feeling come from? Why did I have it? It made no sense.
As a result, I felt ungrateful as I lived an uncomplicated life. I felt guilty as I had had the fortune of living and working in three different countries. I was valued, respected, and appreciated at work and in life. I had an active social life. I was a free spirit, I could come and go as I pleased. Come on, what was there not to like?!?
I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Something kept persisting. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was amiss, that there was a part of ME missing somehow, that I didn’t show up fully, that I was stuck in story. It dawned on me that I had seemingly got most boxes ticked and I was a free spirit, but I didn’t have spiritual freedom…
Each and everyone of us has our own version of what leadership and freedom looks and feels like. There is no prescription.
And this is the beauty of it – there is no one-size fits all!
That said, in my experience, no matter how we slice freedom and leadership, it usually comes down to three things.
- Are we taking responsibility for our action and inaction?
- Do we know what our prime motivation is at work and in life?
- Do we have the confidence to show up fully, personally & professionally?
For me, leadership is freedom. Spiritual freedom, even. When I am clear about how I show up at work and in life, and the choices I have for showing up, there is total freedom. It means that I have access to what makes me tick, what my innate gifts and abilities are, as well as a fulfilling structure and framework that supports my growth, evolution, and explorations in life.
Below are three guiding principles for Graceful, Mindful & Soulful Leadership.
These principles provide scaffolding, and they bring clarity, confidence, and connection to any inquiry or exploration.
Own your story
When you own your story you are aware of cause and effect, you have more clarity about what’s important, you’re not overwhelmed by or dragged into drama & you are more confident, grounded, and expansive.
Show up fully
When you show up fully, you express the best version of you in your role as friend, co-worker, and/or boss. You experience more joy and fulfilment, you are more productive, present, and graceful, without loosing track of you.
Live your values
When you are living your values, you know that lasting change comes from within, that only changing the external, e.g. finding a different house, partner, hobby, job, or social scene, won’t fix it. You experience clarity, direction, and purpose. Life is no longer on autopilot. You feel connected to Self and others.
Leadership isn’t just a thing related to our workspace. It is equally important in our personal lives, as who we are and how we show up (walking our talk), can only happen if we become the change we wish to see, e.g. be leaders in our own lives.
How do you view leadership?