Enlightened leaders are open to see a bigger vision for themselves, for their organisation and for their people. They are open to learn, to grow and change. They are not afraid to ask questions they don’t know the answer to. They are fearless in exploring and coming to understand the truth of whatever it is they are examining.
Enlightened leaders are personally reflective; comfortable exploring what their values are and seeing how they can be reflected in their behaviour. They reflect, debate, consider and decide upon principles that are significant and important for creating cultures that support growth of people and their business within an integrity to those values and principles. They have the courage to determine what they stand for and to hold to those internal standards, whatever the external challenges or persuasions.
They are open to the creativity and innovation that arises from people empowered to not only think for themselves, but to think and act for themselves and for their organisation. Enlightened leaders respect people, their diversity of interests and talents and how that diversity might want to be expressed inside their business. They extend trust and permission for people to bring the whole of themselves to work, to encounter the challenges of work with fresh individual eyes.
They don’t require all their people to “sing off the same hymn sheet”. Analogously speaking, they recognise that within their organisation jazz, classical music, gospel and pop all have a place. They don’t try to control everything themselves or through their designated subordinates. They don’t try to govern perfectly intelligent people down to their level of understanding or knowledge.
Enlightened leaders are generous in their attention, their concern and their care for the people within their organisation and the people without, in the ranks of their customers, their suppliers and their local community. They recognise and value the chain of which they are a part and are humble about their personal contribution to it, giving credit to all the organisational employees who contribute to it. They can relate to people, understand, communicate and motivate them; often they can perceive individual’s deeper motivations and the part that work plays in allowing them to express their personal purpose.
Enlightened leaders not only operate from their head, their mind and judgement, but also take counsel of their heart, their feelings and humanity. They feel their emotions and are able to garner the intelligence that comes from their feelings, enabling them to understand themselves and others better, creating a deeper and more real awareness of the issue or matter at hand.
Enlightened leaders are able to deal with the economic considerations of business from a fair and just perspective, without making their own self-interests the driver of their decision making. They are able to access to their own sense of balance and the qualities of fairness and justice when the financial, hard decisions need to be taken.
Our world needs more enlightened leaders who value humanity, respect, fairness and integrity and who use their power to progress themselves, their people and their business in positive ways.
7 June 2015