Why do we care about leadership?
When the word leadership is inserted into anything, it seems to draw attention and motivate behavior. When you stop and contemplate about the ways in which you are a leader in your life or the ways in which you see yourself growing into a leader, how does your prospective or state-of-mind shift? What are you motivated to do as a leader?
Perceiving ourselves as a leader does multiple things to the brain.There is an archaic or more primitive part of the brain that hears the world leadership and associates it with status and a sense of social empowerment. This sense of power is associated with the same part of our brain which desires control over the unknown. Leadership, as a self-concept, may in fact soothe or down-regulate this primitive part of us because of the social status and power that is associated with the word “leader”. There is the second part the brain; one that is the “new edition” evolutionarily. This newer part of the brain provides us with many gifts the “higher mind” or “higher self”. My “higher self” sees the word leadership and asks: “what is useful about this concept?”; “If I am to lead, what is the impact that I can make?”; and “For the sake of what?”. In short, when my PFC joins the conversation, I find myself first getting curious about the concept of “leadership” and then how I can align my role as a leader with my highest values (i.e., human potential and autonomy). My goals as a leader as to share information with people that empowers exploration of human potential and reinstalls a sense autonomy and self-compassion in someones daily life (including my own). From this place awareness, a journey of self-exploration can begins and will continue generating feedback loops for your development. I seem to plan-do-study-act my way to becoming a highly competent leader. However, I have found that I can’t get rid of the safety-hungry part of myself, and that would be missing the point. The part of me that seeks safety is the part of me that is seeking life over death. Unfortunately, this part of us is not as needed as it once was so we are stuck “making up” life or death situations and this causes chronic stress and inflammation in the body. If you don’t surf these waves of stress, you may also find yourself drowning in crisis-mode thinking versus allowing yourself to be the brilliant problem solver that you are hardwired to be. And this is where leadership truly begins…
Being a true leader starts with leading your own physiology. Its starts with down-regulating your limbic/stress response so you can lead from a state of curiosity and not fear. From this place, you can then begin to align with you values and begin to unfold your true potential as a leader.