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The Three Shifts of Leadership Mastery

How to reset your mindset: some practices that address today’s challenges to leadership

Written by: Hitendra Wadhwa

There is a natural hunger in all of us to be the best leader we can be. And yet, in today’s time of rapid change and disruption, many of us are feeling less confident about how we can shine as leaders than we have ever felt before. Whenever we encounter such challenges, it is usually a sign that some of our current mindsets and practices are ripe for revision. With these three shifts, you can shine in today’s arena by realizing a powerful new path to leadership mastery:

  1. Shifting from current strengths and weaknesses to our untapped potential
  2. Shifting from outer behavior to our five core energies
  3. Shifting from learning to MicroPracticeTM

Our Untapped Potential

Social sciences—like psychology and sociology—have traditionally focused on helping us understand who we are, rather than who we can be. This mindset limits us from growing, anchoring us in a fixed view of our personality, character, and leadership strengths and gaps based on 20th-century assessment instruments. In the 21st century, science is starting to discover our vast untapped potential. This should not surprise us if we look at the arc of history. Over the last 500 years, even just the last 100 years, our lifespans have become longer, we are more literate, and our IQs are higher. If we have progressed this far, who can claim that we won’t advance much further in the decades to come? And if that’s where humanity is broadly headed, what restricts us from reaching for the innate potential we possess today, by embracing the right path to our growth?

From Inner Mastery to Outer Impact

In the past, leadership has been almost exclusively an outer game. You say, you decide, you act—and you’re a leader. But ancient wisdom and modern science reveal a powerful truth: to get to our full potential in life and leadership, we need to first master our inner game—by becoming aware of the core energies that lie within us and learning to activate them in all we do. These energies relate to our thoughts, emotions, values, mindsets, and beliefs. When we approach leadership in this way, from our inner core, we begin to align with what is truest and highest within us, and we free ourselves from habits of the past to achieve breakthroughs in our behavior. My research into the science of human nature and great leaders from history has identified five energies that arise from our inner core:

Purpose is the energy of pursuing a noble cause, walking a path that is paved with values, with goals as your milestones.

Wisdom is the energy of being open to truth—new understanding—and directing your thoughts and emotions in the service of your purpose.

Love is the energy of being deeply connected with people, so that you can take joy in other people’s joy and find success in their success.

Growth is the energy of recognizing that at every stage, you are a work in progress, being open to shedding limiting mindsets, and growing from every experience.

Lastly, self-realization is the energy of inner tranquility that allows you to engage with your responsibilities with focus and with joy from within.

Whenever you feel the need to step up your leadership game, pause and turn within for a quick reflection. Make sure you are anchored in your inner core by checking these five inner metrics:

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