Two years ago I was fortunate to find the book The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success, written by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman & Kaley Warner Klemp (2014). Reading this book was a life changing reality check, informing me what Leadership should be, and what often was lacking.
As I went through the book, each and every commitment spoke to me, saying 'Don't be surprised...it's that simple. You overcomplicate things and expect leadership to be something otherworldly, yet it's plain common sense we could all use...'
This was my big realization, that often we don't need more experience or more education to be better leaders. All we needed is commitment to start acting from a place of honesty, openness and conscious choices, while following these principles:
1. Taking radical responsibility
I commit to taking full responsibility for the circumstances of my life and for my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. I commit to supporting others to take full responsibility of their lives.
When we seek escape from consciousness, the usual reasons are fatigue, laziness, fear, pain, the desire to indulge inappropriate wishes, or avoidance. Don't surrender to passive drifting ...it's dangerous!
''Passivity as a policy leaves us feeling incompetent in the face of too many of life's challenges and opportunities. It also lives us with undeveloped self-esteem.'' - Nathaniel Branden
Questions for personal reflection:
- Am I willing to take full responsibility for this situation?
- What do I really want?
- If there were no obstacles, what would I be doing with my creative energy?
- Am I willing to learn whatever it is I most need to learn about this situation?
- Am I willing to see all others involved as my allies?
- Am I willing to see myself as empowered in this situation?
- How can I play with this situation?
- Where and when do I feel most alive?
- What am I distracting myself from doing and knowing?
2. Learning Through Curiosity
I commit to growing in self-awareness. I commit to regarding every interaction as an opportunity to learn. I commit to curiosity as a path to rapid learning.
"If we are willing to stay fully present to our emotions without denial or disowning, the result typically is not the collapse of reason but the emergence of more lucid awareness. In other words, feel deeply to think clearly." - Nathaniel Branden
- I wonder what outrageously amazing customer service would look like?
- I wonder what I can learn today that will benefit everyone?
- I wonder how we could get more done in less time?
- I wonder what choices I could make today that would allow me to experience greater fun and creativity?
- I wonder what I could do today that would allow for a breakthrough in my life?
- I wonder what I could learn from the issue that keeps coming up with my partner that would expand my leadership?
- I wonder how abundance is showing up in my life today?
3. Feeling All Feelings
I commit to feeling my feelings all the way through the completion. They come, and I locate them in my body then move, breathe, and vocalize them so they release all the way through.
“Feelings are one of the universe’s greatest gifts to human beings. They add richness and color to life. When emotions are understood (they are simply sensations occurring in and on the body), enjoyed and released (locate, describe, breathe, move, and vocalize), and wondered about with curiosity (what is this here to teach me?), they are leader’s essential ally.” - Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman & Kaley Warner Klemp
4. Speaking Candidly
I commit to saying what is true for me. I commit to being a person to whom others can express themselves with candor.
- How am I being disrespectful in my life?
- How am I being disrespectful towards my boss?
- How am I being disrespectful towards myself?
- How is it as true or truer that my boss is being respectful of me?
- How am I requiring people, including my boss, to be disrespectful toward me?
- How do I create this and how do I keep it going?
- How am I not seeing the value of interrupting? I’ve made interrupting a bad thing and I am open to seeing how interrupting could be a good thing?
- Am I willing to see how interrupting could actually be a sign of respect instead of a sign of disrespect?
5. Eliminating Gossip
I commit to ending gossip, talking directly to people with whom I have a concern, and encouraging others to talk directly to people with whom they have an issue or concern.
“Conscious leaders recognize the cost of gossip to their organizations and shift so that expression is done instead with candor an authentic feelings. They free up creative energy and collaboration, which can’t exist while gossip is present.” - Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman & Kaley Warner Klemp
6. Practicing Integrity
I commit to the masterful practice of integrity, including acknowledging all authentic feelings, expressing the unarguable truth, keeping my agreements, and taking 100% responsibility.
7. Generating Appreciation
I commit to living in appreciation, fully opening to both receiving and giving appreciation.
Appreciation allows us to recognize the unique gifts of both others and ourselves… it supports the expansion of what is most valuable in individuals and organizations.
8. Excelling in your Zone of Genius
I commit to expressing my full magnificence and to supporting and inspiring others to fully express their creativity and lives in their zone of genius.
To understand your genius answer the following questions:
- What work do you so love doing that it doesn’t seem like work?
- Which aspects of your work generate the highest ratio of positive results compared to time spent?
Now make a list of people who have known you from different areas of your life and ask them the following:
- What am I doing or talking about when you experience me most energized and happy?
- When you experience me at my best, the exact thing that I am doing is__________________
- What do you see as a special skill I am gifted with?
- What are your three favorite qualities you see in me?
- How have I most contributed to your life?
9. Living a Life of Play and Rest
I commit to creating a life of play, improvisation, and laughter. I commit to seeing all of life unfold easefully, and effortlessly. I commit to maximizing my energy by honoring rest, renewal and rhythm.
10. Exploring the Opposite
I commit to seeing that the opposite of my story is as true as or truer than my original story. I recognize that I interpret the world around me and give my stories meaning.
To find out if your story is true ask yourself:
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know that is true?
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without that thought?
11. Sourcing Approval, Control and Security
I commit to being the source of my approval, control, and security.
Humans have core wants of approval, control, and security… all other wants are versions of these three basic desires, which show up in a multitude of ways.
12. Having Enough of Everything
I commit to experiencing that I have enough of everything… including time, money, love, energy, space, resources, etc.
Conscious leaders experience their lives as having enough of everything… the scarcity belief that there is ‘not enough’ causes leaders to focus on making sure they get what is ‘theirs’.
Meditate! Challenge beliefs! Do breath work!
13. Experiencing the World as an Ally
I commit to seeing all people and circumstances as allies that are perfectly suited to help me learn the most important things for my growth.
Other people don’t even have to consciously commit to being your ally… if you are committed to experiencing them that way, they are always instrumental to your growth.
14. Creating Win for All Solutions
I commit to creating win-for-all solutions for whatever issues, problems, concerns, or opportunities life gives me. This is all about collaboration!
Questions for creating win-for-all:
- Are we committed to seeing others as equals and allies in this collaboration?
- What is the biggest idea that our teamwork could create?
- What do we need to become to create this vision?
- What do we need to let go of to create this vision (beliefs, attitudes, feelings, experiences)?
- What resources do we already have that could support this vision?
- Who else could join in this partnership?
- How can our collaboration support us all to get what we want?
15. Being the Resolution
I commit to being the resolution or solution that is needed: seeing what is missing in the world as an invitation to become that which is required.
Ask yourself, ‘What is the universe inviting me to be or become in this moment related to what I perceive as missing?’ Listen!
How could we lead others the way we would want to be led?