If you want to become the leader you desire, you must address and manage your mindset.
If you’ve ever struggled with feelings of inability like, “I can’t” or “I don’t know”, these come from a place of doubt – and they don’t have to be your reality.
Consider this: It’s estimated that you have about 100 billion neurons in the brain, with maybe 100 trillion neural connections to boot. In other words, you’ve got a big brain.
The problem? You have two different agendas operating. You have your conscious brain, which is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of neurons and synapses, and your subconscious brain, the remainder, which is hidden from sight. Instead of pitting one against the other, it’s important to understand that most of our agendas are running in our subconscious brains, but can be sent forward into the conscious. In other words, both sides are always working together – whether you’re aware of it, or not.
By combining your intentionality (free will and decision-making) with your frontal lobe’s functions (creativity, connections, and outcomes), you can pull forth from the subconscious whatever evidence you need from experience; connecting meanings and learning to enhance your self-confidence. This synergistic relationship between your willpower and your creative frontal lobe allows you to make better decisions, see connections (between ideas or memories) that others can’t, and foster innovation.
As a leader, you must practice calling forth “evidence” from your subconscious.
Napoleon Hill talks about this in his seminal book, Think and Grow Rich, as he describes how the subconscious mind translates the thoughts you hold in your head into their physical equivalent. He identified this as the Law of Autosuggestion: “Like the wind which carries one ship East and another West, the Law of Autosuggestion will lift you up or pull you down, according to the way you set your sails of THOUGHT.”
Michael Bernoff, author of Average Sucks, teaches about the subconscious file manager who’s always sifting and sorting through the subconscious. Without direction, the file manager is likely to bring forward all kinds of errant memory files. Your job is to be conscious and deliberate about what you want to become conscious of. Why not give yourself an edge by deliberately and frequently bringing forth those memories that build self-confidence?
Managing your emotional state
Ask yourself: What have you been told about emotions, expression of emotions, and – especially – emotions in the workplace? What has this made you come to believe about these subjects?
If you’re like most people, you may have been led to believe that emotions don’t belong in the workplace. “Suck it up and save it for home!” The immortal and incredulous words of Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own will forever sum up this paradigm: “There’s no crying in baseball.”
Let’s get current. Emotions belong in the workplace, no matter what you’ve been told or believed up until this point. Emotions are natural, and even the most stoic people aren’t unemotional. That doesn’t mean emotions need to be brought into the workplace needlessly. Rather, you can pull forth from your subconscious whatever evidence you need from experience, connecting meanings, and learning to enhance your self-confidence.
Who works for your company? People do. Your company’s employees are human beings that have been hired to deliver some kind of result. The common trait that all humans share is that we’re complex, emotional beings. We would be foolish to deny this.
Imagine that you’re holding a beach ball. The beach ball represents whatever emotion you’re experiencing. You’re in a swimming pool of all your experiences, responsibilities, and relationships, holding onto this ball of emotions that you feel you cannot, or should not, express. You shove the beach ball under the water as deep as possible. Pushing down hard, you feel the resistance building until, unable to bear the pressure, the ball splashes to the top and sprays everyone in sight.
Just like the beach ball, you cannot push down your emotions for long before they surge back to the surface in one way or another. A proactive leader will find a way to responsibly recognize and manage their own emotions and those of their team members. That’s where Emotional Intelligence comes into play.
Enjoy this excerpt from my book, The Humanized Leader? Get your copy today, and dive deeper. You can find out more about your leadership emotional intelligence score here.