The heartful leader – part 10

The heartful leader - part 10
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In previous articles RAVI VENKATESAN introduced the Heartful Leader framework and explored Reputation, Trust & Relationships and Outer Behavior. He explored how to manage our inner state to create specific behavioral shifts, and how to consistently build trust and relationships by doing this. He also explored how reputations are formed through trust and relationships, and eventually create influence that lets us generate required outcomes. In this final article on the series we will cover some practical pointers on how to apply this framework and evolve with it. After all, Heartful Leadership is not a one and done thing, but rather a lifelong pursuit.


Extraordinary outcomes through inspiration


INFLUENCE AND OUTCOMES


Let’s remind ourselves of the framework again:



Dig deeper when things are tough

Almost anyone can be on their best behavior when things are going great. Business is rolling in, promotions are easy, your boss is happy with you, and your colleagues think you walk on water. The “real person” shows up when the going gets tough. This is when observing your inner state, making shifts that reflect in a positive outer behavior, become most important.

Trust is earned in two ways

The obvious way is by doing what we say we will do. The less obvious one is by taking responsibility for mistakes and failures.

Relationships are already there

A lot of times we put significant effort in building relationships and look at the world as divided into people we know and those who are strangers to us. The founder of Heartfulness, Ram Chandra, says, “We are all connected intellectually and morally.” This is a simple sentence but loaded with meaning.

I have often observed that when I feel someone is not a stranger, their behavior towards me becomes familiar, cordial, and, more often than not, amicable. Negotiations become easy, an understanding develops, which might usually take much longer. Next time you head into a meeting with people you think you don’t know, have this idea of being connected in mind and see what happens.



Value your reputation

I cannot stress enough how precious reputations are. Even the best of us will always be targets for criticism and slander. Sometimes our reputation can be sullied maliciously without us being at fault. These are things we can’t control, however, it behooves us to be alert to what we can control. Most of this is our conversation. Can we always be polite, civil, respectful and balanced? This is key to building and maintaining a reputation.

Watch for the reverse effects

Just as inner state impacts outer behavior, which impacts trust and relationships, which impacts reputations, which impacts influence, which leads to outcomes, there is a reverse cycle. Misuse of influence and creating negative outcomes can harm reputations, which can damage trust and relationships, which can create bad behaviors. This can penetrate and spoil our inner state creating excessive ambition, restlessness, anger, anxiety and lack of clarity. If we let our inner state be spoiled, then we are lost.

Use feedback to review and refine

Pick any aspect of this framework you would like to work on. For example, you might pick an outer behavior, like the tendency to interrupt when someone else is speaking, or the tendency to put down ideas from someone else. As you go on a journey to correct this outer behavior, by adjusting your inner state, ask a colleague to observe you in meetings and give you candid feedback. Are you making the required shift or not? This can be very valuable in holding you accountable to the change you desire.

It starts with contentment

Contentment is a rare quality in corporate life. It is almost viewed as weak and the opposite of ambition. Corporate leaders are now trained to develop “killer instinct” and high ambition. People give talks about how if it doesn’t hurt then you don’t have ambition. What are we really trying to achieve? There is a huge difference between aspiration and ambition. Aspiration is the desire to achieve excellence. It is beyond the individual self, it is noble, and it is without compromising on achievement orientation. Ambition on the other hand tends to be about “me and mine.” If we can shift from ambition to aspiration by sowing the seeds of contentment in our heart, then we will trigger the positive cycle discussed in the 7th article of this series:



This will lead to the right behaviors, and eventually the best outcomes.

I wish you all the best in practicing these principles of Heartful Leadership and look forward to times when we see more and more heartful leaders in our corporate lives.



Article by RAVI VENKATESAN


Ravi Venkatesan

About Ravi Venkatesan

Ravi lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and currently works as Chief Technology Officer in a software solutions company. He is also a regular public speaker and public speaking coach. He has been a Heartfulness meditator for over 20 years and is passionate about applying meditation lessons to improve workplace relationships and productivity.


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