How many outstanding leaders have you worked with? I bet you can count them on one hand. The truth is exceptional leaders are few and far between. The lack of good leadership in our homes, communities, and institutions is a real problem.
I recently had lunch with a friend who was the CEO of one of the fastest growing mid-sized information technology companies in Northern Virginia. The organization went through a significant period of growth - growing from 20 to 100 million dollars in revenue in just 5 years - and the company was acquired by a bigger corporation.
When I asked my friend what he was going to do next he shared that he was going to take some time off. He explained that he was frustrated by the lack of leadership around him and he couldn't find the energy to get back into the game. I was deeply disappointed because I knew how good of a leader he was. He had a lot to offer.
Leadership is difficult. Leading a company is harder. Economic fluctuations, changing market demands, government regulations, and competition surround us. New companies with lean business models are lurking, customer expectations are rising, and employees are disengaging as our culture changes right under our eyes. Technology changes the way we communicate, connect, sell, market, and live. On-demand is the new norm and millions of people have demands. Patience is at an all time low and frustration is high.
It is important to find your center when you are surrounded by chaos. When you lead from the center your spirit, mind, and body converge and exceptional leadership qualities emerge. Lead from the center if you want to approach your life and work with a sustainable mindset. Lead from the center if you want to stand in the storm and feel stable while others feel shell shocked. Sure leading from the center is hard work - it requires dedication and practice - but any leader can learn to do it.
When you lead from the center - harnessing your spirit, mind, and body - exceptional leadership capabilities emerge. You sense deeply, think clearly, lead effectively, and overcome complexity. You also inspire those around you by acting composed in difficult circumstances.
The key to leading from the center is to be mindful of your spirit, mind, and body when challenges arrive. When you bring your whole self into the equation you see possibilities where others see struggle. Just the simple act of finding your center increases resilience and grounds you in the present. Leading from the center helps you serve as a role model to others when they loose hope in leadership.