Learn to be still

In last week’s post, reflecting on what I was hearing at the National Speakers Association’s annual convention, I reminded you that knowing what to do and doing it will never guarantee you will be as successful as the one telling you what to do. In fact, you might not be successful at all. The simple reason for this is that success is NOT a function of what you DO but a function of WHO YOU ARE! And who are you? That is determined by how you think and operate in the world.

Every truly successful person thinks in a way that is the source of their success. Successful leaders think differently than leaders who are not successful, that is the bottom line. So if you want to be successful and be a successful leader, learn to think like successful people and successful leaders think.

In the last post, I pointed to a few differences to pique your interest. Here is another:

Unsuccessful leaders rely on themselves and how they feel, what they think, and what they know in making decisions about the circumstances they face. This is a tough one for most to hear because it’s almost assumed by practically everyone in a leadership position that it’s their very job to rely on themselves to make decisions. But it is this very fact that causes 90% of all companies that start each year to fail.

Here’s the problem with this way of operating. All of our feelings, knowledge and understanding comes from the past and from our past experiences. Therefore, by definition, how we feel and think and what we know is inherently quite limited. Surely it is limited compared to what one could think and know.

So, successful leaders understand that their knowledge is limited, don’t consider that to be a sign of weakness or incompetence, and look outside of themselves for answers and decisions. This may take many forms:

Some include others on their management team and ask for the opinions and advise of these others. Some have a mentor or trusted advisor who they brainstorm with and with whom they explore possibilities. Others have a coach. Executive coaching is now a very common practice and many people in leadership positions employ coaches. Others participate in leadership organizations and there are thousands of CEO and key executive groups that those in leadership positions participate in.

While there may be other paths I haven’t heard or thought of, one that I know many successful leaders use, even though few admit to it, is to pray about issues. Given that most have a belief in God or a higher intelligence, take your pick, this is not as unusual as you might think.

And for those of you for whom this is a compelling idea, let me offer an even more specific approach. As you have read here before, while your ego lives in your head, your access to that higher intelligence is through your heart. So when faced with a decision, take a deep breath, get into your heart, have your intention be to seek a quiet and peaceful state, which is what allows you to access your source of inspiration and intuition, and then allow yourself to act on only that which is both peaceful and compelling. This is a practical approach to prayer that really works for those who are inclined to go that route. And if you’ve never tried it, you might just see what comes from going down that path.

To be continued . . .