I wrote this article on LinkedIn about leadership in business. But it equally applies at home. If your partner doesn’t perceive you as a leader, in some aspects of their life, then there’s really no good reason for them to want to mate with you.
In the mountains there is no such thing as “#leadership” – there is simply someone who can get you to the top with the least probability of failure. It’s not a disrupter, an influencer, a good idea. No, it’s a certainty that comes to the group and they follow. If that person becomes nervous, unsure, or starts to put their Ego on show, the group changes allegence. So, #self-leadership is the key to being followed. And then it’s easy, just get people to where they want to go, fastest. Adding Value to other people’s lives.
You can’t give what you haven’t got
Business’ value speeches. They value what people write in articles and books. But it is not the content of the speech, nor the models and techniques in the books that stand the test of time, it’s the non verbal inspiration that makes people act, do and perform differently in the long term.
I recently ran a retreat for a large retail firm who are at the top of their game. Two speakers came to the event to give one hour keynotes over dinner. One was the CEO and the other, the CEO of a football club. Both people left me more inspired than when they began, and now, their energy and intent, still resonates. This is what matters. What matters is who you are, not what you say.
Authenticity is more than a front. I had this learning recently when a relatively short relationship finished abruptly. The individual was a celebrity, and as it’s easy to do, I fell in love with their public persona. But when we were not face to face, I felt a strange betrayal, a non verbal, non tangible shift, something I just couldn’t trust.
Self leadership is not an attempt to make you pure as the driven snow, what it is an attempt to do is help you bring your privates public. The old “public me, private me” which enables a sort of “technical compliance” in front of people and yet a seedy alternative of insincerity in private, just doesn’t work anymore. Self-leadership is about authenticity, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual all aligned, and yet with a strong respect for personal privacy.
In the TV show Billions, the “Good Guy” legal eagle who wants to bring down Ax, is secretly into S&M. You just know he’s going to be bought undone by the secrecy of it. The whole TV series is really about being REAL. The bad guy is the good guy because his intention is always transparent and genuine.
The Purpose of drafting a vision statement for yourself in all seven areas of life and linking this to your values is not only to help organise your time and success, the real benefit is to integrate your non verbal communication into a believable and authentic whole that makes you a trustable leader.
A prime example of this would be me standing up in front of a room saying “I really care about your profits this year.” Trace that comment back to my vision and purpose and values and you’d quickly find I was bulls..ting. My purpose, vision and values are about people, good people, doing good by themselves and by others. Good … not meaning righteous, but good meaning following their own DNA, doing what they love and helping others do the same. For me, profit that comes from this, is good profit, and the profit that comes from being inauthentic and selling something we don’t believe in, is unsustainable profit. The latter leads to hell in a handbag for everyone.
In the mountains, about half way up, there’s a log jam, just like there is in any business or sport. Lots of fairly good, sort of committed, not really too interested in paying too much hurt but wanting to get to the top. Sort of the average. The individuals who get through this log jam in employment, sport and life, are not unique people, they are simply REAL. And the rest have the potential to be real, but are simply obedient to too many masters (mistresses). Fragmented and confused between lifestyle, values conflicts, social stigma and self splintering, they just don’t have the conviction to make it to the higher realms of what we now call, leadership.
When things are physical, this log jam is so easy to detect. A non verbal leadership appears. A trust, a willingness to follow. It has little to do with what is said, but everything to do with what that leader is saying to themselves. This is the essence of non verbal communication “nobody can do to you more than you do to yourself.” Just try going to a party, standing in a corner and thinking about all the good reasons people should not be interested in talking to you. Observe how many people come to chat. Then, later in the night, flip the coin and self-leadership yourself to think “what are the great reasons people would love to get to know me.” You’ll see the difference between the verbal and non verbal aspects of great leadership at play.