It’s no secret that Deepak Chopra is one of my most influential mentors and teachers. This column teaches two of Deepak’s most well-known leadership tenets:
- 7-Step Leadership Framework
- Inspiring Others Through Adversity
The 7-Step Framework
As one who sees leadership and spirituality as two sides of the same coin, I often refer to Deepak’s 7-Step Framework for LEADERS. Deepak describes a leader as “the symbolic soul of a group of consciousness.” He says that group consciousness could be a family, an organization, a community, a country or the whole world. He explains that the leader represents the longings, the aspirations, the deepest desires of the group, so in a sense, “the soul.” This is exactly why the CEO owns the culture of an organization, which is the organizational DNA.
Whether you are a CEO, a solopreneur, or you hold an executive position, there is something in this framework for everyone. When we raise our consciousness, we are more connected to everyone and everything around us, which always yields better results.
I hope you find the framework to be helpful as well.
Each letter of LEADERS represents a different aspect of being an effective leader:
- L – LOOK and LISTEN. Look and listen with your flesh – eyes and ears. Look and listen with your mind – so you analyze the facts. Look and listen with your heart – how do you feel about things? Paint a vision. The vision has to be compelling. It has to be inspiring. It has to be a story. Deepak says we can get all the facts, but what gives soul to facts is story. The story has to authentic and it has to make a difference in our lives. Without the story, facts remain clinical. People are actually buying into a story, not the facts.
- E – EMOTIONAL BONDING. Be comfortable with your own emotions. Understand the emotions of others. Use emotional intelligence. Manage relationship in a way that fosters that bonding. Deepak says that when people are emotionally bonded they are much more effective.
- A – AWARENESS. Be aware of needs and know what’s needed here. Deepak reminded us there are 7 levels of need from safety to survival to belonging to self-esteem to creative expression to hired consciousness to success.
- D – DOING. Be action-oriented. If you’re not taking action, then it’s just a dream. Be a role model for action. As a tip, Deepak suggests asking your colleagues, “Am I doing what I said i was doing?” Ask for feedback. Take calculated risks. If you’re not going to task risks, then the story remains the same. According to Deepak, the story only changes when you take calculated risks.
- E – EMPOWER YOURSELF. Empower others. One of the best ways you can empower others is by noticing their strengths. Deepak pointed out that according to Gallup research, if you don’t notice their strength, they disengage. If you criticize them, their disengagement goes up by 20%. If you ignore them, it goes up by 45%. If you notice a single strength, disengagement falls to less than 1%.
- R – RESPONSIBILITY. Take initiative. Take risks. Above all maintain good health. Deepak says that leaders who are really effective are emotionally and physically grounded and stable. That means getting good sleep, exercising, watching their diet, and they now how to manage stress.
- S – SYNCHRONICITY.
What in this model strongly resonates for you? What areas can you improve? How can you raise your leadership consciousness and connectivity?
Inspire Others Through Adversity
Deepak also shares a formula for inspiring others:
- Acknowledge that adversity and uncertainty actually drives the creative impulse. It’s neurologically proven that creativity is reduced when the brain is flooded with adrenaline and cortisol, which occurs during a fight-or-flight response to a stressful experience. When we embrace adversity, rather than fear it, the opposite occurs. Our creativity increases.�
- Embrace periods of adversity and crisis. Speaking from experience, it’s our natural instinct to panic and perhaps react impulsively when we face a crisis. Choosing faith over fear and calm over chaos will lead us to our desired outcome. We often attach the word “failure” to situations that turn out differently than we wanted or expected, when in fact they just end differently. Taking a different fork in the road is not failing.�
- The impulse to create and ability to positively move into the future is created by how a person perceives a situation. This is where leadership really kicks in. As leaders, we set the tone for navigating through a crisis. All eyes are on us. How do we perceive the situation? What will we accept as an outcome? This will drive the behaviors and attitudes of those that follow us.
Deepak also points out a subtle but important difference between motivation and inspiration. Motivation is a temporary mental exercise. Inspiration originates in the spirit. It comes from a place of authenticity, and creates a deeper connection between the leader and his/her believers. Motivation is often centered around the benefit of the self. Inspiration is centered around the benefit of an entity that extends beyond the self – to be part of something bigger and more significant than one’s personal agenda.
So as a leader, when you are experiencing a conflict, a challenge, or even a crisis, this is your opportunity to guide the behaviors of everyone in your organization, and to inspire. I believe that it is within crisis that leadership shows up. The ability to navigate through and re-emerge is how leadership manifests.
Have a great week!