Although it is becoming more widely acknowledged that each person’s inner consciousness is populated by a number of voices and characters, the idea of a coordinating Self is still not widely understood.
It has only been recently that business and organization leaders would even talk about such things without rolling their eyes. With conscious leadership becoming increasingly acknowledged as not only relevant but effective, inner awareness is gaining acceptance.
Lao Tse, who’s wisdom has been passed down since 600 B.C. wrote, “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
As a leader do your really know who you are and what you want?
Isn’t time you connected with your centre instead of living and leading from the outside?
Over the years as we coached leaders from many different countries and cultures one thing was common. Most people would exhibit several very different styles of attitude and behaviour and in group dynamics switched tone and demeanor very quickly. We began to believe that in many cases the inmates were running the asylum.
After a particularly challenging experience with a thoughtful intelligent client, who when triggered, would suddenly begin to rage and rant, we did more research in order to better understand what was going on inside ourselves and our clients.
We discovered the work of Richard Schwartz, who developed Internal Family Systems, discovering that for each person a “coordinating Self, which embodies qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion, acts as a centre around which the various parts constellate.”
As we researched and wrote 12 Steps of Self-Leadership we became convinced that the concept of a coordinating Self was so important in Self-leadership that we began to capitalize ‘Self’ as a way of differentiating from the small ‘s’ social self that many people exhibit when they are allowing inner characters and other people’s expectations to lead their lives.
We now believe that whether your inner Self functions well as a coordinator or is ignored and pushed aside is up to the level of inner awareness and Self-leadership you develop and practise as CEO of Self, Inc.
We believe that at your centre you are the essence of leadership—a calm, non-anxious presence.
We also believe that most people are not operating from the centre that Lao Tse referred to.
Learning to live and lead from your centre is disruptive. It involves taking responsibility for every aspect of your behaviour and attitudes. It involves pausing in the midst of the chaos to breathe and act from your inner Self. It also involves leading with confidence, openness, joy, and freedom. It involves a creativity and energy that can only come from deep within.
Confucius said, “I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.”
There is no one path to that centre. Dive in. Use nature walks, music, art, yoga, meditation, kayaking rapids, or whatever practice will help you find and develop that coordinating centre.