Posts tagged leadership skills

Moving Through the Fire: Skills for Navigating Challenges

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

 

Most everyone would agree that life at times can be challenging.  Jobs change, relationships end and new ones begin.  There may be times of financial difficulties or challenges at work.

 

Depressed man with fist clenched leaning his head against a wall

 

Life, it seems, is always in a state of change, and through change comes transformation.

 

In order for transformation to take place, it requires a catalyst or a breaking point.  Last week we introduced the concept of this breaking point known as Calcination, the first stage of the 7 Stages of the Alchemical Process of Transformation. This week we look at how to move through this stage and apply these principles to a leadership role.

 

Moving Through the Fire

 

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 -Rather than avoiding or fearing the breaking point, willingly “move into the fire” so to speak.

 

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-Recognize the challenge is a sign that something inside you or your organization needs to change.

 

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 -Instead of being passively swept up by the tides of change, develop the ability to recognize the early signs that they are coming, and then lead the charge to catch that wave, rather than being pummeled by it. In other words, be proactive.

 

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-Make a list of the things you know are imperfect or getting in the way of progress, i.e. identify your “lead”, then make a plan and step into action to root out and eliminate those issues.

 

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-See the situations that are arising and “putting on the heat” as OPPORTUNITIES for growth, improvement, and ultimately for transformation.

 

Creative Business

 -Take on an attitude of Embracing Transformation and find a certain sense of excitement or adventure in the journey.  To do this requires we cultivate a combination of courage, risk-taking, and willingness to sacrifice what no longer serves or whatever is getting in the way of progress (including and especially internal blocks or false limitations).

 

In our 7 Keys to Cultivating the Creative Advantage, the above attitudes relate to the 6th and 7th keys of embracing Uncertainty (as you don’t know where the next change will take you, but you can see it as an opportunity to harness new potentials) and operating at the Edge, or cultivating those attitudes and capacities within yourself and your team to strive towards peak performance.

 

Finding Strength During Challenges as a Leader

 

When you as a leader embrace transformation and proactively strive to work with and harness the change-process, rather than fear it or avoid it, then you will truly start to master your role.

 

Businessman holding fire flames in fist. Power and control

 

Thus, when a challenge or conflict arises, learn to redirect it, using it as fuel to fan the fires of transformation.

 

A leader must have foresight and help their team or constituents recognize the opportunity inherent within the coming change, and then support them to take a more optimistic or proactive attitude towards it, rather than a victim-attitude.

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To do this effectively, you can help reflect to each of the people involved about the role they have played in contributing to the issue, and empower them to be responsible. In reflecting to your team members, it is important to not come from a place of ‘make-wrong’ or chastisement, but from a place of authentic communication about the inner human side of change that is needed in order for the whole situation to transform to a higher level of order.

 

Furthermore, rather than putting the responsibility on the shoulders of those few individuals who might be at the root of the current issue, a leader recognizes that they are simply a reflection of the whole, or a symptom of a bigger issue.

 

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Transformational leaders understand that, “We are all in this together. We are all in the same alchemical vessel that this team is, and therefore, we are all responsible and we must all go through this change together and help one another through it.” This removes the negative emotions of guilt, blame, shame, judgment, separation, etc that can create “bad-blood” between team members and fester into even deeper issues. Instead, it helps to further pull the team together when they recognize that their leader is not pointing fingers at them, and rather is helping guide them through the change process.

 

Stay tuned! Next week, I’m excited to share a simple yet powerful exercise for creating positive change in your life or organization.

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5 Qualities of a Modern Day Creative Leader

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In our ever evolving world, leaders are now being called upon to expand their thinking and skill set to bring creative change to their projects and organizations. A new term, Creative Leader has emerged to coin “the next generation leader who drives innovation through fostering an environment of inspiration and imagination.”

 

Here are 5 Qualities of a Modern Day Creative Leader: 

 

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1.  An Idea Generator:  Creative Leaders are exceptionally gifted at generating ideas.  These ideas may be totally new and innovative or simply a different way of perceiving an existing idea.  Idea generation is an art in and of itself.  Creative Leaders employ a variety of techniques to help produce ideas.  Examples include:

 

-Brainstorming in a inspirational environment such as the beach, a local park, an art museum, or even a kids playground.  There are no set rules as to where you should brainstorm.  Step outside of your office and your comfort zone and into the zone of inspiration. You never know where creative ideas may come to you.

-Meditation through movement or stillness.  Modern day Creative Leaders understand the powerful benefits of calming the mind through activities such a yoga, qi gong, tai chi and meditation.  Even a slow walk in nature done with mindfulness can totally rejuvenate your mind and body and open up you up to a whole new level of creativity.

 

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2.  Problem Solver: Creative Leaders are continually able to meet and overcome challenges by coming up with breakthrough solutions to problems.  In fact, problem solving is at the very core of what Creative Leaders do. They have the ability to understand the problem, generate quality solutions and solve it in a rapid manner. Here are a few traits of an excellent problem solver:

 

-Interaction.  A Creative Leader understands and highly values group participation.  They are open to the  ideas of others and encourage interaction amongst those they lead.  They involve team members with input into the problem at hand as well as potential solutions.

-Communication.  A Creative Leader allows for open communication.  They believe that everyone should have the opportunity to express themselves.  Adopting a culture of open communication allows for finding win-win solutions and boosts employee morale.

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3.  Inspire Others: Creative Leaders have a deep sense of purpose, meaning and fulfillment in their position.  As a leader, they understand the importance of serving as a role model of inspiration to their team. Creative Leaders have several traits that help them to inspire others.

 

-Passion.  Creative Leaders are passionate about their company’s vision and mission are are able to share and inspire others to  feel the depth of this passion as well.  They understand the importance of showing everyone the big picture and continuing to foster a positive environment in which others can draw a sense of purpose and meaning from.

-Integrity.  Creative Leaders are authentic, honest and consistent with their words and actions.  They create trust which inspire employees to believe in the direction they are providing.

 

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4.  Foster Innovation: Creative Leaders know how to support and motivate others to think and perform in original ways.  They believe in fostering an environment of imagination and innovation.  Creative Leaders employ a variety of techniques to help foster innovation.  Examples include:

 

-Sharing. A good leader will encourage employees to continually share creative ideas in brain storming sessions.  They understand the importance of keeping communication open and flowing through different departments.  They may even bring in props and provide art supplies to inspire the creative process.

-Education.  Another key to fostering innovation is to create programs that allow employees to keep learning and expanding their skill set.  Often times Creative Leaders will offer trainings or even bring in outside coaching companies to empower their team with new methods for developing their abilities.

 

 

5.  Project Finisher: Creative Leaders have the ability to see projects through.  They go beyond simply managing a project to motivating team members to stay focused and inspiring others to get the job done on time.  Creative Leaders are able to help their employees break past creative blocks, guide them to the finish line and ultimately see a idea come to full fruition.

 

At Quantum Leap Alchemy, we are dedicated to sharing breakthrough strategies and helping you become a more innovative and creative leader. Learn more at Quantum Leap Alchemy.com

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3 Keys to Increasing Your Value While Being the Creative Leader

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

Creativity is at the foundation of innovation and is now recognized as a key factor to success. Creative Leaders are those who foster an environment of imagination and are able to lead, inspire and drive innovation within their organization.  Here are 3 Keys to Increasing Your Value While Being the Creative Leader:

 

1.  Imagine:  Innovation happens through “Leaps of Imagination”.  Everyone has the potential for a healthy imagination, and in fact, our survival and evolution depend on it. This first key is critical to harnessing your consciousness and breaking through blocks to the creative flow.

 

Creative Leaders must be able to imagine new approaches to solving problems, breaking through obstacles, and planning the steps to take to see ideas to their full fruition.   

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Being able to imagine new approaches to solving problems, breaking through obstacles, and planning the steps to take that will deliver optimal results, is essential to not getting stuck and to keeping the creative process flowing through, until results are delivered. Check out this free 12 minute video, with 3 strategies for harnessing the power of your ability to Imagine and go beyond the box.

 

2.  Interact:  A Creative Leader is open to the ideas of others and encourages interaction amongst those they lead. Often when we hit a wall, it is because we are not seeing past our own blind-spots or limited perspective.

 

When you have others to bounce ideas off of, who also understand where you are coming from, then the interaction of parts becomes greater than any one can achieve individually.

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Interaction will help boost your work to a new level. Interaction and interconnectivity is a key theme in the Quantum Domain. Nothing is truly isolated, but rather entangled with others. Emergence of truly new ideas and approaches comes when we allow for interaction and open exchange of information with other parts, people, forums, teams, etc.

When you allow and interact, then you make room for synergy to play a part, making the final result greater than what you could have imagined or accomplished alone. You don’t have to know what the exact outcome will be before you start taking action.

Let go of having to control all the variables and learn to be more flexible and adaptable. When you do, you will feel a huge weight lift off your shoulders, reducing stress, and allowing you to tap more into the flow around you. Be bolstered and stimulated by the ideas of others and allow for something new to emerge.

 

3.  Operating at the Edge: As Creative Leaders we must learn to operate at the edge or to be outside the comfort zone of routine, outside the box of patterned ways of thinking and doing. Our “comfort zone” is the zone in which we feel most familiar and that we can “control” to some level.

 

Creativity happens when we allow for Unconventional or Original approaches and ideas. It is outside the comfort zone where breakthroughs and magic occur. 

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Operating at the Edge is a mindset and attitude that a leader comes to  embody. It is an attitude of thinking out of box, taking risks, being unconventional. It involves a mix of rebelliousness tempered with discernment and tradition. Qualities to cultivate include:

Enthusiasm and Passion – this usually comes from having a strong vision that motivates and is something you want to dedicate yourself to.

Courage – Being willing to take Leaps and make risks, while staying Focused, Persistent, Disciplined, and Hard Working in order to carry the creative work through to its completion, and having to courage not to give up. The important part is “Never giving up on your dreams”.

Operating at The Edge is also about learning to conduct your life at the point of transition between the world of practical things (classical reality) and the realm of extraordinary possibilities (quantum reality).

 

At Quantra Leadership Academy, we are dedicated to sharing breakthrough strategies with you and to helping you become a more innovative and creative leader.  Check out our FREE Webinar to help you develop yourself as a Creative Leader.

 

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