This might very well be my favorite addition to any list of leadership skills. Becoming. Most competency lists will include something like "learning" or growth mindset," but becoming is so much more. It's part science, part art, and part magic. It's about intimacy, trust and work. It's about knowing when to hold on tight, and when to surrender. When people have it, you know it because it is palpable. It's almost like they have an otherworldly tranquility about them. And leaders need that now more than ever.
I define becoming as the awareness and practice of being in motion and relationship. It's wayfinding - the locating, following and discovering a route through any given space. In the context of intrapersonal skills, it's your ability to find your way through yourself and your experiences. More concretely, it's about being able to demonstrate the following:
Familiarity with your cycles, routines and rituals. Whether they are daily, monthly, yearly... Whether they follow the moon, the seasons, schools or the stock market... we create, are shaped by, and reinforce cycles that become habits or rituals.
Organizing vs disorganizing. Most literature in organizational development and leadership refers to behaviors and experiences that are healthy/unhealthy, or functional/dysfunctional. This places an inherent good/bad judgement on the situation. Instead, I've been learning to reframe things as organizing (something that encourages harmony or alignment) or disorganizing (something that encourages disruption). The practice here is not in one's ability to manage and correct anything, but rather to have an awareness of and flow between organizing and disorganizing states of being.
Time, history and context. Who you are right now is a result of time, history and cultural context unfolding. You have a generosity for the road you've taken, where you currently are, and a vision for your ongoing journey.
Grace and compassion for your process. We are all fallible, messy and fumbling our way through this world (trying our darndest to look like we know what we're doing). Take a breath, pause and for a brief moment just be who you are instead of trying to hard to be someone or something else.
Mystery and magic. I can't tell you how many times a coach or a therapist has told me, "maybe that's not for you to know." There is a small stack of things in life we know we know. A marginally bigger stack of things we know we don't know. And an infinite stack of things we don't know we don't know. Mystery and magic are about two things. First, giving up the need to know everything or be certain about something. At any given moment, we could be invited to give up something we thought was 100% true.
Second, that we expand our ways of knowing. We cling to our ways of knowing so tightly. When we evangelize (or only deem acceptable) narrow ways of knowing, we limit ourselves from becoming. Us humans have often thought our intelligence is superior. Our current political climate reveals a desperate need to redefine and clarify our shared reality. How do we know what we know anymore?
We are all in a constant state of becoming - of departing, arriving, meeting, returning - of being in motion and turning that which is potential into reality. When we're really "in it" it is hard to see the forest from the trees, but leaders still need to lead. Leaders are called on to find additional ways of knowing, give grace, and learn how to belong (and return to belonging) to themselves and the world around them.