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Integrative Leadership

Leading From Your Gut, Heart, and Brain

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There are a million leadership books, podcasts, classes, etc… What is different about Integrative Leadership is that this takes you into a deep internal journey to find inspiration to develop your own leader within. Integrative means to unify separate parts into a whole. You can integrate elements of yourself that you never know you had, creating a stronger, healthier whole. I challenge you to question your beliefs because challenging your beliefs is the foundation of learning, right?

A leader must go deep inside to discover an essential pillar of leadership. Leading yourself before you lead others, I call this Internal Leadership. If you are not right within yourself, how can you expect others to follow you? Followers do not follow blindly because they see right through you and always evaluate and test you. 

This is why the foundation of leadership is being right within yourself. A leader is an agent of inspiration that moves a group to act upon a mission as one consciousness with excellence. Leadership is taking responsibility for all aspects of a mission and owning all consequences if results fall short. Thank you, Jocko Willink. To begin the path toward integrating the leader you are and the leader you know you could be. Let us look at what the intentions of leadership are.

A sound leader’s inventions are to execute the mission with excellence and keep everyone healthy, safe, and happy. Sometimes our intentions as a leader change into something like wanting to gain power, never being wrong, or getting a promotion. Once the leader changes their purpose of serving his/her subordinates, then a self-agenda creeps in, and their intentions change, becoming ego-driven.

How will you know if your intentions are good for self, good for others, and good for the planet? A measuring device is needed to gauge whether your intentions are on track or if the ego is getting mission creep. That measuring stick is your gut, heart, and brain. Interestingly enough, your gut has more neurology than your heart, and your heart has more neurology than your brain. It is a good thing to wonder about all of the old science, saying we only have neurology in our brain. Have you ever heard the term “go with your gut”? Well, this is real, and we all have a gut instinct. Every good leader uses their gut to measure the risk of an operation before they order it to be executed. 

Now the heart is a special place because this is where your emotions come from and where you can see human factors. The more open your heart is, the better you will communicate with yourself and others. A leader must exercise compassion wherever possible so the leader can create rapport and build relationships with others. The heart is the window into how someone feels, and how they feel is related to how you affect them. It is possible to receive real-time evaluations from your subordinates. Simply, by tuning into their heart and understanding how your communication is changing them. 

The brain is where all the criteria gets met in an ordered list before something is executed. There are parameters to meet and processes that must be met for the brain to logically make sense of a decision. The brain is important because it helps navigate the mystery of gut feelings and emotions so the leader can look at the brass tax. When a leader only acts with the brain, they will never be a good leader. The gut, heart, and brain need to be in coherence to balance each other. It is like your consciousness has a governing body with three checks and balances. If the gut, heart, and brain agree, then it is the right decision. This is the foundation of Integrative Leadership. 

When a leader has a coherent decision-making process, they can begin to focus on personal growth, internal awareness, and excellent communication. These three concepts are the keys to outstanding leadership. As a leader, you should always be growing from the inside out. A leader must have an internal awareness of their thoughts, feelings, values, and boundaries. What makes a leader stand out is their communication skills. 

Are you an integrated leader??

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