How aware are you? This question is critical for leadership in the decade of disruption. Leaders are now required to excel in three separate but connected campaigns: the race to the future (innovation and adaptability), the war for talent (engagement and productivity) and the battle for attention (differentiation and positioning).

As a leader, your awareness of these campaigns has become critical in what is most definitely a world of growing complexity. Keen awareness in the leadership body makes everything work better across the whole organisation. Silo-ing, low NPS scores, poor engagement and disrupted cultures are all the results of low levels of awareness.



This month’s Talking Point explores the seven levels of leadership awareness as I see them. I imagine that there are more than these seven levels of awareness. This will, however, act as a framework or guide for your leadership development.

The first step is getting to know these seven levels: You can only lead your team or enterprise to the level of your awareness; each business unit or team is limited by their leadership’s lack of awareness. Awareness is about seeing what’s going on, not being right there at the effect of it.

You can only lead your team or enterprise to the level of your own awareness.

Step two is about improving the peripheral vision of your key people so that they become better at surfing the waves of their own awareness. Greater awareness creates space for leaders to hold events and experiences lightly, to maintain composure in the face of chaos and to be the voice of progress. This allows them, ultimately, to be the space for what is happening. The meta question, then, is ‘can I be the space for the Is-ness of this moment?’ (This syntax comes from the work of Eckhardt Tolle, author of The Power of Now.)

 
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Greater awareness creates space for leaders to hold events and experiences lightly

Final word

Leadership has three critical demands on it. The first of these demands is the ability to take fear and replace it with confidence; the second is to remove confusion and replace it with certainty; and the third is to mobilise us in pursuit of a better future. Meeting these three demands is increasingly difficult in this age of uncertainty. Leaders are having to make decisions in a fast-paced world (often without all the facts) and they are doing so in an environment of increasing complexity. Expanding your awareness, as a leader or leadership group, is how you counter these challenges. If you would like help doing this with your leadership team, reach out to us.