This week the United States honored past leaders by celebrating Presidents' Day, and with a new president in office, leadership is a hot topic. While Barack Obama is America’s chief “Decider,” he doesn’t make his decisions alone. Obama and other leaders usually have a team of people – a leadership circle – bringing special skills and areas of expertise together to make sound decisions. Since most of us don’t have our own cabinet or staff, we have to rely upon ourselves to navigate life’s challenges. This is not necessarily a bad thing – with a little creative imagining, we can tap into internal resources we may not have realized we had to strengthen our decision making.
Give this a go: imagine that you have your own internal leadership circle to support you. What attributes might your circle have? How might you surface and call upon these different aspects of yourself to help you make better decisions? Use the leadership styles below as a starting point to appoint your own inner leadership circle.
Having the Healer on your internal leadership team helps you to tap into things that nourish and sustain your growth and development. When you activate the Healer during decision making, you seek solutions that rejuvenate the self and reject those that reinforce negative feelings or thought patterns.
Having the Champion on your internal leadership team assists you in establishing and fighting for you own needs. When you activate the Champion during decision making, you search for solutions that protect your self esteem and reject those that thwart exercising your personal power.
Having the Scientist on your internal leadership team offers you the opportunity to the study consequences of your thoughts and actions. When you activate the Scientist during decision making, you focus on solutions that offer you the greatest benefits and reject those that will cause you to incur high personal costs.
Having the Mystic on your internal leadership team allows you to tap into deeper meanings, to seek a vision and purpose to guide your behaviors. When you activate the Mystic during decision making, you look beyond the surface for solutions that allow you to be authentic and reject those that require you to compromise your values and principles.
Part of self-discovery is becoming more familiar with your habitual decision-making approaches. Who is sitting in your internal leadership circle? Are they serving you effectively? Over-reliance on a single mode of decision making, even if successful or comfortable, most likely means you are missing something!
Self-Discovery Tool Number 6
Is it time to be bringing new members into your inner leadership circle? How can the Healer, Champion, Scientist, and Mystic – or leaders of your own imagining – help you to decide to get more of what you want in life?
* For further inspiration see Carol Pearson's book, Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World. (HarperOne, 1991)