REFRAMING OUR LIFE STORIES AND STEPPING INTO AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP.

 

Amongst the benefits of reframing our life stories are the satisfaction of developing true authentic values unique to ourselves and igniting our passion for a lofty goal. In the pursuit of that goal, we keep ourselves in the running for making our own pile of leadership and life fulfillment.

Reframing their life stories, giving an empowering meaning to their life experiences, even if it is a very difficult one, often helps leaders to understand themselves and their passions and find the purpose of their leadership. Their passions hold to view the purpose of their leadership without which they will be left at the mercy of their small egos and narcissistic tendencies. Among all the values that are mostly personal, integrity is the one value expected of every authentic leader. A lack of integrity will take you up to a place where people will fail to invest their trust in you. The values of Authentic leaders are frequently dictated by their personal beliefs distilled out from reframing their life stories, study, reflection, consultation with others and years of experience. The values that they practice under pressure rather than what they say hallmarks authentic leaders. Being authentic to the values they profess secures to authentic leaders the trust and confidence of their people.

The passions of Authentic leaders put them up to lead with their heads and hearts. Leading with the heart touches on having a passion for your work, compassion for the people you answer to, empathy for those you work with and those who work under you and the courage to make a difficult decision.

Authentic leaders are moved to develop enduring relationships with all the stakeholders connected to their organisation. This wisdom hinges on the knowledge that people will often bring out great commitment to work and loyalty to their company if they are assured of the openness and depth of their relationship with their leader.

The passion of authentic leaders consistently galvanizes them forward to develop a high level of discipline in order to produce results. It is usual for authentic leaders to set high standards for themselves and expect the same from others. The sum and substance of this practice is their accepting full responsibility for outcomes and holding others accountable for their performance. Self-discipline not only embraces personal self-discipline without which proactive discipline at work would be impossible, but it also points to the attitude that encourages leaders to admit their mistakes and initiate corrective measures.

Being an authentic leader starts with understanding yourself. Authentic leaders are mostly self-taught. Hence waiting for somebody to hand you a self-development plan that will take care of everything is not something advisable. The passion of authentic leaders gets them through to take responsibility for developing themselves. In reframing his life story, Howard Shultz, Starbucks founder, demonstrated that leadership is a journey and process, not a destination or outcome. The picture of his father’s broken health, their family’s lost healthcare benefits, the constant bickering between his father and mother over their lack of finance all affected to train up his values. Reflecting and reframing his life story motivated him to take to values that mirrored courage and determination to succeed at all odds, respect for all people, fairness and balance and sensitivity to the feelings of others. When he founded Starbucks, he stayed true to his values and Shepherded the company to become the first corporate outfit in America to provide access to health coverage for qualified employees who work as few as twenty hours per week. Also, he paid above the minimum wage.

Here are the questions that could give occasion to reframing. The questions are as follows: what am I thinking now? Is it in harmony with the true Wholeness of my Being? What yearning, what passion, is this difficult experience sparking off within me? How can I transform this creative passion or yearning into a goal of sorts that will benefit me and others? How can I always interpret this trying situation as a stepping stone to some constructive goals? Authentic leaders often demonstrate an unyielding courage to follow an unconventional path to find their voice. Repeatedly reflecting on their life stories enables them to understand themselves and remain authentic in the face of trying situations. Paying attention to, reflecting on and reframing their unique life stories often triggers their passion to lead.

A lot of authentic leaders did not set out to vie for the title of a leader rather their values and intentions shone very bright and gave them away as people who are genuinely interested in making a positive difference. Their noble intentions got others round to their goals and made it possible for them to realise them. They follow the bent of wisdom that recognises that diversity of skills is an important element of any effective team. Dick Kovacevich, who laid the foundations for Wells Fargo’s greatness, ferreted out this same wisdom after reflecting and reframing his life story that was deeply flavoured with athletic pursuits. As an athlete, the importance of diversity in teams shimmered intensely before him that he could not help but bag it in his consciousness. He adapted this idea to his business philosophy to build a strong executive team that performed exceptionally.

To make a positive difference and leave a remarkable impact on those around them, authentic leaders ignite their passion by reframing their life story, taking experiences from their past to define and empower their present.

The passion of authentic leaders gets them up to ask themselves these two important questions: what am I leading towards to? What is the purpose of my leadership? A leadership purpose worth pursuing would be to create more opportunities for others to become empowered at all levels of being.

Reframing our difficult or painful life stories and giving it a positive empowering meaning enables us to escape the inhibiting victim mentality, find our passion and the inspiration to make a positive difference. There is often a strong connection between our life stories and our goals. The true essence of life is not the hard facts of our lives but the perception we give to those events. A positive perception is a live wire for empowering passions that hallmark great leaders.

Being flexible in entertaining unexpected opportunities, not limiting ourselves to our career paths and not being fearful of failure, equips us to go into leadership fulfilment. A sterling leadership quality to have is the ability to draw from your inner strength and stay true to your values and leadership purpose even when the times are difficult, when people are scarce around you. Jeff Immelt as head of world sales and marketing of GE Plastics, at a certain time, came under pressure to deliver short-term immediate results but he persevered and stayed true to his leadership purpose of creating a long-term process for getting the business back on track.

 

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