Monday, May 25, 2009

Create Your Butterfly Effect

All too often we inhibit our minds from perceiving a particular situation or event as being real simply because we have no historical knowledge to draw from to form such a conclusion. At times it seems we are too afraid to dream or even think of that which has not yet been thought of before. The inability to perceive the not yet perceived reality unfortunately limits our thoughts and dreams to anchors tied to the past versus the future we need to create.

oo often the seemingly impossible stays perceived as impossible simply because someone didn’t dare to dream and think a new thought.

There was one such perception that remained quite unimaginable for centuries that is until, by accident, one small seemingly insignificant event changed everything. The size of the initial and resulting event was beyond comprehension by most if not by all until that day occurred. No one would have ever imagined it to be true or even possible until an American mathematician and meteorologist, Edward Lorenz, made an unbelievable discovery up to that time in history back in 1961. Even though nearly ten years earlier, back in 1952, a story written about time travel by Ray Bradbury, presented to the world, the notion that one butterfly could have an effect on a subsequent historical future event. Even though it was a newly perceived idea, it’s realm of possibility with the current mode of thinking at that that time was just too great for most to take it seriously. Most waved it off as “highly unlikely” that is until a one man decided to change how he did things.

It wasn’t until Edward Lorenz decided to make a move and change something by actually demonstrating the chance existence of a new perception of reality by using a numerical computer model to rerun a weather prediction, did such a notion become real.

It all happened when Lorenz created a computer program to model the weather but in one shortcut he took on the numbering system in obtaining a reprint of that weather pattern printout he decided to personally type in the numbers himself. Normally, Lorenz used the output from the computer to feed directly into the weather pattern model, but today he decided to do something different. While manually entering the numbers, instead of entering the full .506127 number into the model as the computer normally would, he entered in the decimal .506 as a shortcut, omitting the last three decimal places. Little did Lorenz know at the time how significant the difference in the results would be just by entering 3 decimal places versus the six decimal places normally inputted?

What Lorenz witnessed was not only surprising but also totally unexpected. He discovered that one tiny change he made – just one part in a thousand – had made a completely huge difference in the weather scenario results.

A completely different weather scenario had emerged all because Lorenz chose to make what he thought would be an insignificant tiny change in the input. Lorenz published his findings in the 1963 New York Academy of Science paper. After reading about Lorenz’s discovery, a fellow meteorologist remarked that based on Lorenz’s findings from the change in the weather patterns obtained after entering just a tiny fluctuation in the data number, one could predict that one flap of a seagulls wings could change the course of the weather pattern forever. You can imagine the implications throughout the scientific community. The notion that the tiniest alteration in current reality could change the course of events forever was not just mind-boggling but mind enabling. Proof that a small change in current conditions could have a ripple effect that could lead to large scale alterations in the chain of event s to come was not just note worthy, it was world changing worthy.

In later writings, Lorenz with some prompting form fellow scientist, began to refer to his findings with the more impacting thought of the flap of a butterfly’s wing to better illustrate the point Lorenz was trying to make based on the data he collected. The phenomenon was descriptive of the
Chaos Theory and named “sensitive dependence on initial conditions”, formerly referred to as the “Butterfly Effect”.

Sometimes we are honored with the role of “starting something” in order that, when the time is right, someone else can "finish it up".

That’s what I believe the unrehearsed plan was between Ray Bradbury and Edward Lorenz. Although they may not have known it, together they changed how we not only view our world but the impact we, each individual, can have on it just by deciding to engage and act within the system. The Butterfly Effect introduced us to the theoretical idea that even the moving wings of a tiny butterfly will create changes in the atmosphere that could cause a chain of events that lead to a large scale alteration in conditions to come. For example, it was stated that the flapping of a tin butterfly’s wings in one city on one side of the earth could have a large impact on the weather conditions in another city on the other side of the earth. Further examination of this theory introduced us to the notion that a tiny change in one thing today has the power to have a tremendous impact in changing the current patterns in another area of our lives in the future, just like the butterfly’s wings did with the weather conditions.

Every movement, thought, decision or action we take or not take now has an impact on what we will experience or not experience in the future, no matter how large or small the initial action taken was.

We must be
willing to make a measurable difference in what we are doing today in order to see a significant change in what we will experience tomorrow. All you have to do is choose differently today to change the output you get tomorrow. Just think abut it. How many times do you stop short of doing something different, of taking a new action, of thinking a new thought, just because you think it’ll never matter, it won’t make a difference, nothing will change?

As you go though your day, I encourage you to do so not only with an open mind but also with an open heart and spirit for spotting your “butterfly effect” opportunity. I know there is not one but many opportunities for us all to change how our future is created. However, in order for us to create the future we want to experience we have to be willing to create the long-term patterns that lead to that effect today.

YOU have the power within you to create a phenomenon that that will lead to success in your life and ultimately within the world. All you have to do is be open to your opportunity.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Harmonic Leaders Envision a New Reality

One of the main characteristics of the harmonic leader that sets them apart from other leaders is their willingness to see themselves as personally responsible for seeing a reality that is yet not perceivable by most. Harmonic leadership is as much about having an understanding of the truth that everything is in constant motion and therefore must be forever changing as it is in believing in the need to constantly evolve to something better. True leaders understand that they must embrace reality as it really is and not as it used to be or how they would like it to be. In other words, harmonic leadership involves personally looking beyond the obvious into the possibilities and deciding what course of action needs to be taken.

I am reminded of a conference I went to about three years ago where I got a chance to listen to Dr. Jennifer James, an urban anthropologist, discuss her theories on why some companies succeed and why others fail to sustain their competitive edge. One key message she communicated was that a major difference in successful and non-successful companies was in the “stories” their leaders tell. She discussed the fact that some leaders refuse to see a new version of reality and therefore keep telling and sharing the same old stories within their organizations of what they believe to be true about their business environment. For example, in her opinion at that time a well known automaker deserved to go out of business because of the stories their leaders had been telling themselves and their associates about what people wanted and would buy in a new car, all while refusing to look at a new reality. She spoke of their inability (or refusal) to see beyond the current day to day observations and envision a different type of automobile needed in the future. Instead, the stories they have been sharing and continued to share, tell the tale of people wanting bigger, less efficient automobiles and SUV’s rather than the new reality of a more fuel efficient vehicle or hybrids that address the rising costs of gas. I can’t help but think that Dr. James must have been on to something back in 2006 when I reflect on the news I've been watching the past several weeks and hear about how this same automaker, three years later, who recently accepted billions in bail0ut money and who’s CEO was recently let go, will probably have to file for bankruptcy in the very near future.

This “reality” underscores the importance and willingness needed in a leader to confront a new reality as a key ingredient for leadership and business success. Harmonic leaders understand this and are willing to plant the seeds of a new reality with the intent and purpose to grow a better tomorrow. An example of this harmonic leadership characteristic can be found in the founder of Federal Express, Fred Smith, who saw a new and different reality that others had not yet envisioned.  As I understand the story, Fred Smith envisioned a new reality when he was in college. He wrote a class paper about a company that would be able to deliver packages overnight for one of his class projects. Because his professor could not see nor understand the possibilities of this new reality, it’s been said that Fred got a “C” on his paper. However, as most great leaders do, Fred’s reaction was to continue to believe and see his new reality as possible. As with most great leaders, Fred kept his dream alive because he understood that it was his responsibility to let go of ingrained ways of thinking and to lay a new pathway to a new and different future. Fred Smith was exhibiting harmonic leadership when he stepped off the main path, leading the creation of a new path to a better, bigger and brighter future for the package distribution industry.

Another key characteristic that defines harmonic leadership is the basic “willingness” and “courage” to lead and serve others. Harmonic leadership is as much about the willingness to assume command and the willingness to sit in the driver’s seat as it is about feeling a strong desire to move people, organizations and/or situations “forward”. It is about having the courage to step out and take risk for the greater good. We need leadership today that is willing to “think a new thought” in order to “create a new and better world”, not for one man but for all men. When I was growing up I learned a song that has become my “leadership mantra” today. The words of that song, which I refer to often and that I constantly remind myself of, are “if I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living will not be in vain”. For me personally, harmonic leadership starts from the values I have within. The values to serve, to make a difference, to make the places and relationships I have the privilege to touch better because I was there as a leader are driven from within to serve those without. For me, it’s personal. It is why I am willing to take risk in times of need. We need more leaders who are willing to step off of the “traditional path” and courageously lead their people, their organizations, and their companies in a new direction. We need leaders now who are not only willing but have the courage to step out and away from the crowd into a different spot and then turn and look the crowd in the eye and say “come, follow me, this is the way”.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Leading Change Enablement and Engagement

Change is and will continue to be a constant for all organizations and all leaders must be willing and ready at all times to lead the charge. Harmonic leaders must be change leaders, having the willingness and ability to change that which is currently being done to something that possibly has never been done before. They know they must let go of yesterday’s successes and abandon the past in search of a better tomorrow. We have been taught to see the outside world as the source of creation for anything new but the truth is the outside world that we see and experience first begins as a thought from within. Before we can begin to change any situation or any thing, we have to first “imagine” that change within our minds, and then and only then can we begin to move forward towards creating a changed reality. Harmonic leaders know that’s where the true power for change comes from. They also know that the ideas and thinking that created the current states that exist are not the same ones needed to create a better tomorrow. Therefore, harmonic leaders know how important it is to encourage and reward “new thinking” and “new thoughts” in order to move an organization to a new place. The harmonic leader welcomes and encourages innovation while encouraging others to develop new and innovative concepts for solving tomorrow’s problems and delivering world-class solutions. They embrace the idea that everyone should have an “imagination journal” because they know that’s the only way we can not only imagine a better tomorrow but actually begin to create it.

To aid the harmonic leader in managing change I defined the following five guidelines to aid in enabling the change effort:

1. Have a "vision" and then "talk and walk it up" - It is essential that the harmonic leader create a vision that links the present with the future for others when implementing change. They must not only create a vision but become the vision in the eyes of those that follow them. People must have a way to see a glimpse of a better future, a better tomorrow that is attractive and reachable that compels them to move in that direction. When developing the vision, the leader should identify who the key stakeholders are and engage them in helping to develop and bring the vision to life. Beginning with the senior leadership team is a great place to start because they should have the broadest perspective and knowledge necessary to understand the need for change. The harmonic leader must also take time to understand the values, hopes and dreams of others effected by the change and know how to engage them. They also know it is not just about engaging a few individuals but more importantly, engaging the "masses" from the beginning of the change journey. With a vision, the harmonic leader can convey an image to all of what can be accomplished and the benefits and values to be realized when the change is achieved. However, it is important that the harmonic leader neither over promise nor under sell the opportunity when developing the vision.

2. Build a broad coalition of support and use them to help sell the change - Successful change is not easy and usually requires the support and effort of several key people. Therefore, it is essential that the harmonic leader work to build a coalition of supporters and advocates inside and outside the organization. One way to begin is to schedule time with other leaders to sell the value and benefits of the change and engage them in being active advocates and supporters. Ensure they are engaged and prepared to support the implementation of the change. The harmonic leader should continue to sell the vision to all who are impacted. The more advocates and "angels" one has supporting the change initiative the better.

3. Communicate, communicate, then communicate – The need for continuous communications for successful change cannot be emphasized enough. Once the vision and future state is communicated, people will need to know what the expectations are for supporting the change, what steps are being taken, what has been completed and what work still needs to be done, what improvements or impacts have been made and finally, are the objectives being achieved. Communications is also essential to address any anxiety or stress people might go through when faced with major change. To keep people informed on how things are progressing will create more enthusiasm and self-confidence in the ability to achieve the desired results. It is also critical to allow for two-way communications. Not only should people be communicated to, there must be a way of people to communicate to the harmonic leader and other change agents and advocates when needed. The ability to ask questions and get honest answers will go along way in keeping people engaged in the change initiative.

4. Create a sense of urgency – Harmonic leaders must communicate that the need for action is "now" not later. When change is seen as gradual and far off, many people will choose to "wait it out" and "not engage", some with the hope that if they ignore it, it will go away. The harmonic leader must be able to persuade others in the organization that the time needed for change is now versus a gradual slow roll approach. It is important to explain the consequences of waiting versus the benefits of action. Many leaders rely on business cases to communicate the need to act now. Identifying a high return on investing in the change over time can go a long way to engaging and convincing others to "get on board".

5. Decide how you want to "chew the elephant up" then plan for early wins – Large change initiatives can take several months and even years to implement. With a large initiative it is important that the harmonic leader plan a strategy that allows for early and frequent successes along the way. As people experience success they gain more confidence providing them with more energy to continue. That's why it's important that the harmonic leader plan critical milestones of achievements to show progress to the plan and to provide an opportunity for people to stop and celebrate accomplishments. Also, by dividing the elephant into the right "bite sizes" the harmonic leader minimizes the feeling that the change is too large and unachievable.

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.’
Alan Cohen

I just love this quote.....:)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Harmonic Leaders Allow the Impossible to Become Possible

I am a firm believer in the notion that thought is creative. If you can’t think it, you can’t be or achieve it. The Harmonic Leader knows the importance of creating a place where it is safe for everyone to think about that which is not normally considered in the realm of all potential possibilities. In other words, it’s okay to dream out loud!! Creating an environment and the opportunity in which everyone feels free and safe to “super size their dreams and aspirations” as well as the vision and goals of the organization, is the only way you can achieve the impossible. The Harmonic Leader knows that the only reason anything is impossible is because someone hasn’t yet dreamed it up. However, before one can understand what it means to create the opportunity for people to live in and even thrive in this “space of impossibility”, one must first understand what a leader must do to evoke in others the desire to dream.

In one of the books I read, “Coaching for Leaders,” (Goldsmith, Lyons, Freas, 2000) it states that the ultimate judgment of a leader is not about how they acquire and use power but how they relinquish it. In other words, a leader must be willing to give power away in order to be successful. By giving away power to the organization and its people, the leader enables them to use that power to create the impossible. The paradox implied is that as a leader gives power away; they actually become more powerful because when power is given away to others it actually energizes and mobilizes them to act. With an understanding of the paradox of power, the possibility exists for the leader to achieve breakthrough thinking, to think of the possible within the impossible. That means, for the leader, they must be willing to say farewell to being the “superstar” and the “one with all the answers” and hello to creating and leveraging the “dream team” made of impossibility thinkers and doers ready to create breakthrough success.  There is no question that when a leader trusts and gives his or her power and energy away to an organization, they in turn empower their organization to seek and achieve greater success.   It is through this relinquish of power that the opportunity for breakthrough thinking and the achievement of the impossible exists.  When one knows they not only have the responsibility to achieve a certain outcome but the power to make it happen, they have all the right ingredients for creating the impossible.

In the absence of giving the gift of power, leaders may find themselves in a struggle to lead effectively. They soon then realize that the opposite is true as well. For example, I once worked for a leader that people would say “sucked the energy out of the room” every time they engaged with their team and the organization. It was their show; they gave the orders and people where expected to perform as told. To no ones surprise, over time the organization was drained, morale was at an all time low and overall organizational performance took a turn for the worse.

One must also be careful because old leadership patterns have a tendency to play over and over and over again until there is disruption. Therefore, it is important for leaders to identify ways to interrupt old patterns while continuing to open up new ways of thinking as a leader . Key to being able to break old patterns is understanding that as a leader, they possess within themselves, everything they need to break old patterns, resolve their conflicts and chart a new path. It was John P. Morgan who stated that “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” Becoming a Harmonic Leader means understanding the need to let go of old patterns and embrace new ways of leading. They know they don’t have to accept the fate traditional leadership has imposed upon them but instead they have the opportunity to create their own fate, their own new reality about leadership going forward. All they need to do is decide.

As I prepared to write this blog, I ran across some new and old quotes that I found spoke to the “art of making the impossible possible”. I hope you enjoy them!!

“What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our belief about who we are.” - Anthony Robbins

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney

“I am neither an optimist nor pessimist, but a possibilist.” – Max Lerner

“Let your imagination release your imprisoned possibilities.” – Robert Schuller

Monday, March 2, 2009

Authentic Leadership Begins with Self-Leadership

Effective leaders need to purposefully inspire and energize people to act in a direction towards a goal they have helped them understand is worthy and meaningful.  Effective leadership is not simply about “something leaders do”, I believe it is much more about “honestly expressing who they are when they lead”.

Self - leadership and authenticity are critical ingredients for effective leadership and organizational success. The truth is leadership is personal and how leaders “show-up” and the impact and influence they have on others will ultimately have an impact on their ability to be successful. That’s why “self leadership” and being authentic and true to oneself, is so important. It is about having the courage to not only know who you are but being a leader who isn’t afraid to be who you are. This is what I would refer to as being of “authentic character”, at all times. There is a story I have shared over and over with many leaders to make this point come alive for them. It describes a child’s first day in kindergarten in which the teacher asks him to be sure and asks his parents for a copy of his “birth certificate” and bring it in the next day. Well the word certificate was a difficult word for this one kindergartner to remember let alone say. So when he arrived home that afternoon, he went up to his mother and said, “mom, the teacher asked me to bring in my “excuse for being born” tomorrow”. The point of the story is for each leader to first understand their “excuse” for accepting the opportunity to lead others and then get clear about who they are being as leader for their teams.

Authenticity is another essential ingredient for long-term leadership and organizational effectiveness. Authentic leadership is about showing up and being the person you know in your heart you were meant to be. It’s about being willing to “look in the mirror” and acknowledge and accept who and what you see in the person before you. Authenticity is not about developing the “persona” of a leader it is about letting the person that exist inside of you come through. It’s about aligning one’s behaviors, words, actions and commitments with what they truly believe and stand for. It’s about being true to your values 24 hours a day, everyday. For example, I worked with an officer who truly wore her heart on her sleeve as a leader. She was compassionate, caring and supportive and would go out of her way to enable her team to be successful. It was who she was as a person; it was who she was as a leader. It was apparent to all the she didn’t define leadership by the size of her paycheck but instead by being true to who she was as person, on and off the job.

Self-led Authentic Leaders regularly show up with a definite purpose. They are seen to be on a mission to build teams and communities and to make things happen. They live life and lead “on purpose” and strive to be the true person that they are and are often found to show up in the following ways as a leader:
  • They lead with inner strength and outer courage – they have the ability to go within when times are tough and mustard up the right courage when needed against the crowd when necessary because they know in their heart they should. 
  • They know themselves inside out – what they are on the inside is what they are on the outside; they acknowledge and accept their weaknesses and strengths; they know they can always grow and be more than they are at any point in time so they consistently choose growth and development opportunities. 
  • They dream a new dream, think a new thought – they dare and never fear to dream of new possibilities, to have a vision of that which is not yet perceivable by most and are willing to share it and make it happen; they seek answers from the realm of all potential not just known possibilities. 
  • They walk the talk; they “become it” before they “do it” - their actions speak louder than their words, they are of sound character of which people can see and feel a mile away, they are aligned to their inner values; they create and become the vision now; they know how to change while they skillfully play the now or never game. 
  • They create to thrive; they focus on creating “next services and products” – they understand that nothing that we create lasts for ever and that in order to continue to deliver value they must continue to create new services/products that allow others to thrive; they embrace the fact that everything needed to create the next new wave already exists and they need only to figure out how to sequence the right elements in a new way.
  • They desire to leave a legacy; they seek to serve – they embrace the belief that they where born to contribute and make a difference in the world and work to “leave their mark” as a leader, they believe that their life as leader must have a lasting purpose and live on in the hearts of others is to live on forever, giving and serving.
  • They speak the truth; they are honest and authentic – they align their words, actions and behaviors with who they really are on the inside; what you see is what you get; they are clear, honest and authentic in their communications and dealings with others; they don’t control others, instead, they engage and relate to others.
  • They lead from the heart and with sincere appreciation – leadership is about people, without people to follow there is no one to lead, they genuinely care about other people and see themselves as a source of energy for their organizations; they respect the leader in everyone and they are always grateful for the opportunity they have been given and for those they have the honor to serve.
As a leader, it is not only okay to be true to who you are but I believe it is required in order to be an effective leader. Too often I have seen leaders who choose to leave who they really are as a person, as an individual at the door in an effort to try and fit in and live up to the expectations someone else has of them as a leader. I remember one conversation I had with a leader who was struggling with some feedback they had gotten that said they should try to smile less and act more like the other leaders in the group. Their concern was the request to change who and how they showed up as a leader was asking them to change who they were as a person, the essence of their being. Too often I have run into this situation over and over again, in which leaders are asked to show up in an unauthentic way in order for another leader to accept them into their own circle of leadership. What a missed opportunity and the perfect time to declare through the act of self-leadership that who you are as a person is who you are and will be as leader, everyday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Are Your Attracting the Right Outcomes as a Leader?

Based on theories derived from the science of quantum physics, we know that what we focus on we also attract into our lives.  Therefore, it should not be a secret that the Universal Law of Attraction is alive and well and always acting on and responding to the tendencies and focuses of a leader.   That’s why I believe it is important to get clear about what the underlying motivations are that a leader gravitates to when in a position of leadership and how those leadership traits will attract or not attract the desired successful outcomes. For example, some of the traits that I believe are critical to understanding and predicting the effectiveness of ones leadership approach are:

High energy level and stress tolerance: predicts the degree to which a person has the ability to perform under pressure and function in the presence of chaos; helps leaders cope with the hectic pace, stressful situations.

2.   Self-confidence: predicts the degree to which a person has an action oriented approach to problem solving, a self-confident leader is more likely to attempt difficult tasks and more persistent in the pursuit of difficult tasks.

3.   Internal locus of control: predicts the degree of belief a person has that events in life are determined by their own actions, therefore, they believe they can influence their own destiny; they take more responsibility for their own actions.

4.   Emotional stability and maturity: predicts the degree to which a person will have a more accurate awareness of their strengths and weaknesses; oriented toward self-improvement; less self-centered.

5.   Personal integrity: predicts a person’s ability to be honest, ethical and trustworthy; able to keep promises; able to build trust among others.

6.   Power motivation: predicts the degree to which a person will seek positions of authority and power and will be more attuned to the policies of the organization.

7.   Achievement orientation: predicts the degree of drive and ambition to accomplish a particular outcome; able to set challenging yet realistic goals and deadlines.

8.   Need for affiliation: predicts the degree to which a person will enjoy working with others and building relationships; willing to include others not only in the journey but in the creation of the desired outcome. 

In assessing one’s leadership traits or tendencies, one can potentially predict in advance how successful or not one might be in a certain situation. For example, the need for achievement, if too high can actually undermine leadership effectiveness and attract a lack of support for a particular outcome if not careful. If the need for personalized power is too strong, the person is likely to exercise power impulsively and seek to dominate people to keep them weak and dependant thereby attracting non-resourceful teams and individuals. One should look at all of these traits and tendencies (and others) and the potential impact they can have on leadership effectiveness as well as ineffectiveness. Being honest with oneself and to others will help a leader ensure they are able to attract the resources and outcomes they need to be successful in a particular leadership situation.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Don’t Just Create a Vision, Become the Vision

I’m sure you are familiar with Gandhi ‘s quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world” and Zig Ziglar’s quote “You must be before you can do”. You may not have realized it but both where zeroing in on what it truly means to be a Harmonic Leader with a vision. With the same sense of responsibility, I believe every leader must “become the vision they want to achieve”. 

Effective leaders must be able to purposefully inspire and energize people to act in a direction towards a goal they understand and believe is worthy and meaningful. Therefore, the Harmonic Leader must possess the ability to create, communicate and become a powerful vision that will not only excite the minds of their followers but inspire them to go "beyond" their current boundaries.

Own the Vision

One of my favorite bible verses states, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." (Proverbs 29:18.) I once had an executive tell me that he didn’t want to create a vision because “what if he gets it wrong, he might get fired”. To him it was “safer” to just wing it and embrace whatever happens as something he expected to happen all along. Now don’t get me wrong, he wrote a vision (one of those one-sentence visions that you have to figure out on your own what it means exactly). It was a safe vision because no one understood it and he wasn’t explaining it. If you had to ask, you were the one who needed help, not him. 

Okay, I don’t like to use this term and I don't mean it personally but “what a cop-out”. I think he failed to realize that the vision wasn’t about “him” it was and will always be about “them”.   He failed to realize the “power of a vision” in getting people to do and create things they never dreamed of or thought they had the ability to create. Harmonic Leaders know that they must first possess confidence and a strong belief in their own abilities if they truly want to influence and change the present course and action in the organizations they lead.

Create a “Vision Story”

A Harmonic Leader also needs to practice "idealized influencing" that arouses strong emotions and reactions within the follower that leads the follower to closely identify with the leader. One way this is accomplished is through the creation and communication of a compelling
“vision story”. One leader I know and would label as being a true Harmonic Leader, was very good at crafting visions that captured and motivated the employees to rally behind a common cause and goal that she saw as worthy. For example, in helping the organization emotionally connect with where she wanted to take the organization, she crafted (with the help of her leadership team) a 4 page detailed vision of what the future would be like. She knew the "one sentence" approach was not enough to move the mountain she saw before her.  The vision she created was written as if it was 2 years in the future and a person, while walking around and observing a different kind of organization, was describing in detail everything they saw and experienced from not only the perspective of the employee but of those the employees served.  It was vivid and emotionally captivating. In fact, in order to ensure people could actually see and feel the vision, one exercise that was used when it was rolled out to the teams was to read the vision to them while they closed their eyes and actually envisioned themselves 2 years in the future seeing and hearing everything that was described to them. 

This leader used various motivational speeches and techniques to inspire the organization to emotionally connect to a new future. I knew this leader had truly influenced and transformed the team when not only the goals as planned where achieved but also the organization was known to have a strong attachment to this leader. She not only created the vision but also became the vision in the process. Harmonic leadership involves evoking strong emotions while inspiring others to look at things differently, all of which are proactive influence tactics.

Be Your Greatest Salesperson 

Developing and communicating the vision is just the beginning. The Harmonic Leader knows that they must also be able to continually
"sell the vision", continually convince others to climb on board, stick it out, whether in good times or bad. In other words, they must become the vision they want to achieve in the eyes of those they lead. How the Harmonic Leader not only "frames" but also sees and becomes the voice of the future and the organizations purpose is critical for long-term support. 

This can be illustrated in a story that has been passed down concerning three replies from three bricklayers when asked about their job. When the first bricklayer was asked what job he was doing, he replied, "I am laying bricks, one on top on each other". When the second bricklayer was asked what he was doing he replied, "I am building a great wall". However, when the third bricklayer was asked what he was doing he replied, "I am changing the world! I am building a new gateway to the west. A place where people from all over the world will have an opportunity to come and visit new places, meet new people, make new friends. I am building one of the most advanced travel facilities in the world. Millions of people will benefit from the work I am doing. This airport will change lives!" The difference in how each bricklayer saw their same job is an example of how important it is for the Harmonic Leader to create, communicate and "frame" the future purpose of the organization. The first two bricklayers where just doing their jobs, however, the third bricklayer was inspired and motivated because he was changing the world.

In keeping with the spirit of this blog, I will share with you one of the Universal Laws that support the message of becoming the vision you want to achieve. Enjoy and may your leadership “be” an example for others to follow and ultimately manifest.

The Law of Example

You are the example that others will follow. This law states that any person placed in a position of significance, serves as an “example” for others to follow. Those who serve as an example of greed and power are therefore creators of the tragedies, which they and those who follow them manifest. Those who serve as an example of love and service are therefore creators of the hope and fulfillment, which they and those who follow them manifest. The creative choice of example is totally up to the chooser,

Monday, February 9, 2009

A quick video from one of my "virtual mentors" to instill a "new thought". Enjoy!

10 Universal Laws to Know

For as long as I can remember, one of the sayings I always used when I felt people where stuck in the past was to "think a new thought".     This was before I ever heard about the Law of Attraction or Universal Laws in general.  Little did I know I was on to something very foundational and basic when it came to creating what you want.  That little phrase went on to "brand" me not only as a "new thought leader" but as the leader who always encourages others to "think a new thought if you want to create a new reality".  

With that in mind, I will share with you a few basic Universal Laws I have come to know and understand that not only support the importance of "thinking a new thought" but the importance of understanding the rules of the universe if you want to be successful in the game of life.  More to come later........

Law of Thought  

Thought is the ultimate creative source. This law states that energy follows thought and those that wish to energize only need to direct their thoughts toward that, which needs energizing. One must keep in mind that every moment we are creating or altering our experiences through the power of our thoughts. The life we see and experience is a product of our thoughts, our beliefs, our attitudes, our notions, our visions, our intentions, our emotions, our feelings, our expectations, etc…. in other words, all that we think, speak and expect we create.

Law of Harmony

Everything in our universe, including us, is in a constant state of vibration, producing an orderly harmonious (or disharmonious) flow at all times. To be in harmony is to be in harmonic balance and agreement with the Universe. We all seek in one way or another to live in harmony, the supreme potential of balance. This law states that when we reach this harmonious state we often find ourselves tempted to try and force things “into” it versus finding ways to become in “flow” with what’s happening in our Universe. These disharmonious actions will create vibrations that often prevent the desired change or results we seek from taking place. To be in harmony is to be in the natural non-resistant flowing of the universe.

Law of Choice (or Empowerment)

We make choices every instant of our lives. We are empowered to choose our thoughts and thus our ultimate actions and experiences. This law states that we are co-creators with the Spirit and behind all that we create is pure energy. Through our thoughts and visions we create our own realities. We create what we want to have manifested by giving our attention to it. We can also remove from ours lives those things we no longer want to experience by removing our attention from it and refocusing our energy and thoughts somewhere else. The golden rule is where your thoughts go your energy flows.

Law of Courage

Courage is not about being fearless; it’s about facing fear with the right action. This law states that fear departs when action enters. Having courage is having the ability to not only face your fears, dangers and risks but to do so with the intention of diffusing those fears, dangers and risks. Therefore, one must balance the degree of courage needed in any situation in proportion to the degree of risk, danger and fear that exists and must be diffused.

Law of Respect

Respect is essential for true understanding and lasting relationships. This law states that looking for respect means going beyond the surface appearance and to search for a deeper meaning and purpose. Without the law of respect we would never be able to realize and appreciate the true beauty and potential that exists within those that we have the honor to meet in our lives.

Law of Attraction

Opposites don’t attract, like attracts like. This law states that you attract what you are, not what you are not. Opposites do not attract, as it is commonly believed, it is like energy that attracts like energy. Consider radio waves as an example. When you tune into a certain frequency, you attract that same frequency to come through via your radio. The same happens in life. When you focus on something, you attract into your life what you give your attention and focus to. Keep in mind, “as you are is what you attract and what you attract is as your are”.

Law of Karma

The Buddhist teaches that “for every event that occurs, there ill follow another event whose existence was caused by the first and this second event will be good or bad based on how skillful or unskillfully the cause was executed”. This law states that a result comes from deliberate action, either good or bad. Therefore, the responsibility for an action is born by the person who commits it. There is good karma and bad karma, both are a result of the actions, good or bad, taken by the one responsible.

Law of Dharma

Everyone has been gifted with a unique talent and purpose in life. This law states that we all have a unique path and purpose to fulfill in this life called by some “our destiny” and by others “our fate”. It is our quest in life to not only discover this unique talent but to use it “on purpose for a purpose”. It is about discovering your true self in order to live out your true-life mission.

Law of Vibration

Everything vibrates, nothing sits idle, not even you! This law states that everything in the universe is in a constant state of motion. Nothing in the universe rests and everything in the universe is always moving and this is the base for manifestation. Solid items, such as tables, chairs, cars, etc…. all vibrate at a very low frequency which is what causes them to appear solid. The rate of vibration determines the difference between the physical and the non-physical world we experience. Our thoughts and feelings are energy and they too vibrate. We attract like energy based on the vibrations emitted by our thoughts. This is how we manifest the physical in our world from the thoughts we give our attention to.

Law of Manifestation

Everything we see in our reality began as a thought. This law states that everything we manifest begins as a thought or idea. It is our ideas and our thoughts that create the beliefs we have which in turn create the reality we experience. In other words, “mind creates matter”. If you want to change your experiences or your reality, then you need to change your mind. Remember to “change the way you see things and the way you see things will change”.