Here’s Why The Best Leaders Focus On Personal Growth
by Sandja Brügmann in lead on YFS Magazine edited and condensed (originally published on Unreasonable.Is).
It is our highest purpose as human beings to live with focused commitment to our inner growth. We create eudaimonic contentment (i.e., deep, sustained contentment) when we forego immediate pleasures—such as the next shiny object, materialism, consumerism, mindless sex, drugs, and alcohol. These are typically subconscious fear-based behaviors away from pain, sadness and loneliness.
“‘Eudaimonia’ is a Greek word associated with Aristotle and often mistranslated as ‘happiness’—which has contributed to misunderstandings about what happiness is. Some experts say Aristotle meant ‘well-being’ when he wrote that humans can attain eudaimonia by fulfilling their potential(WSJ).”
Finding Elusive Passion and Purpose
When passion is an active choice our behavior is love-based. We focus our business and life on deeper values and efforts that bring true fulfillment, graduating from merely choosing a superficial state of happiness to embracing the full human experience.
As we build inner skills such as perseverance, resiliency, courage, empathy, vulnerability and an understanding of healthy ‘we’ balanced relationships, we finally become our own best advocate. This also allows us to choose the work, people and opportunities that support our long-term purposeful and passion-fueled business dreams.
Personal and Professional Growth
Below are excerpts from an interview I gave to Caitie Goodard, co-founder of the youth entrepreneur leadership academy IC3, that further explains why passion, how we get there and conscious leadership is fundamental for high-performance entrepreneurs.
Insights On Seeking Your Passion
Even though we often say “find your passion,” there is no such thing; it has always been inside of us. We need to learn to listen and trust our inner voice. Then, we must learn to follow it, which requires trust, enormous will and courage to say no to all other things.
Photo: © pololia, YFS Magazine
Initially, we unlearn old behaviors and simultaneously learn new skills. It is the toughest and the most rewarding process. I recommend that you take your desire to find your deeper passion and purpose in life seriously. Make it your top priority. Be a focused goal digger.
Enjoy the journey to get there, and most importantly, find good mentors who have walked the path. You will not be able to get there by reading books and articles on your own. I have had some incredible mentors in my life, and I continue to consult with them on a regular basis… We are all blind to our own sabotaging behaviors. That is why we need trusted mentors.
The Self-awareness Factor
Conscious leadership skills [are] absolutely pivotal to success and the well-being, productivity and engagement of employees. Business happens at the person-to-person level. A business owner can have the best intentions and visions, but if they lack the skills to engage their team to lift the vision in a common direction, dreams fail or fall short.
Doing business as a force for good requires a leader who is highly authentic and self-aware; someone who engages their world in a ‘we’ space, encourages imperfection and uplifts others. A good leader embraces passion and higher purpose.
Conscious Leadership Linked to Growth
Conscious leadership is also called authentic or transformational leadership—inner and outer personality skills developed in a leader to bring his or her vision to reality. It’s when leaders consider what kind of person they need to be to achieve their business goals.
Growth in business, as in all other aspects of life, comes from closing the gap between reality and what is envisioned. Being a successful conscious leader and entrepreneur requires a series of specific inner personality skills, the majority of which are not commonly taught in our standard education system, or even through experience in a company.
Photo: © theartofphoto, YFS Magazine
These skills include resiliency, consciously working with courage and fear, high emotional intelligence, boundary setting that respects all people involved, assertiveness, vulnerability, conscious decision making, authenticity, intentionally seeing each person on the team, creating environments of honesty … and the list goes on. The solution starts at the individual level. Stop the war you are waging on yourself.
Start to think positively about yourself—not from an egotistic and narcissistic level, but from inherent goodness and humility. Start serving yourself with nourishing food, exercise frequently, and treat your brain well with adequate sleep, nourishment and continued learning. Once you treat yourself with love and care, you can treat others similarly.
Communicate your needs and feelings, and stand up for what you need. Surround yourself with people who also want this for you. Learn to focus your thoughts on the positive and release the negative. Become your own best friend. Once you treat yourself with love and care, you can treat others similarly. That’s the ultimate goal of conscious leadership.
Sandja Brügmann, Founder and CEO of Refresh Agency and The Passion Institute, is a serial entrepreneur, international speaker and sustainable communications and marketing expert with a passion for Conscious Leadership. Sandja mentors visionary business leaders and entrepreneurs around the world helping people manifest a passion-filled and purpose-based business and life. She has worked with the global business community to create sustainable & social-good change for the past 15 years. She is a certified yoga teacher, former Danish national archery champion and Olympic hopeful, a certified Shadow Facilitator and health food advocate. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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