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'm writing this just after one of the most significant, troublesome and consequential days in our modern democratic history - a day when I have many questions and have lost a great deal of curiosity for others. While I feel a sense of rigidity, sadness, blame and anger seep in, I also know unequivocally that it is curiosity that invites healing, innovation, creativity, openness, learning, and repair. Curiosity can be one of the most transformational skills. Today, while I struggle with curiosity myself, let's remember its importance, together.
The "HSL" (pronounced hizzle) stands for hear, see and love. It is a simple premise initiated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and passed onto me through my teachers Barbara Simmons, Christa Tinari and Dr. Mark Jones. It is the idea that every living being needs to be heard, seen and loved (in that order), and when it doesn't happen "mischief" occurs. It may just be the most critical skill related to leaders' compassion, resilience and ability to create transformational change in themselves and others.
You won't find "land" as a leadership competency in corporate trainings. But, I believe it's a necessary element to recognize as a part of your origin story and how you lead. Not convinced? Practice that curiosity we talked about previously and let's play.
Joy may not be what you first think of when you think of a President, CEO or General. But when you recall the people who have had the most formative impact on your lives, chances are they were inspiring joy.
I've found the skill of congruence to be controversial. Congruence is the harmony or alignment of one's internal states and external expression. It allows for you to be more authentic and build trust faster. It's something most people say they value, however is not consistently applied. Let's dig into why congruence is so difficult.
In every culture, there are understood protocols about directly addressing another person whether it's to give a compliment, resolve a conflict, or share feedback. Addressing someone directly is about speaking to a person, not about them. Technology offers a plethora of ways to practice this, but without cultural awareness it's tricky. I like to think of it more as direct connection.
For lack of a better word, we're talking about self-management. In more traditional social-emotional and leadership frameworks this is about control, being in charge of, and having power over yourself. We've been conditioned to want to control and dominate ourselves, others, the land... anything we can get our hands on. Let's explore self-management from a perspective that's not so... yucky.