May 8

Ask the Coach with Paul Ward

Your Personal Conscious Leadership Manifesto
by Dr. Paul Ward

Conscious leaders focus on awareness, intention, and action. They also have a clear understanding of their personal leadership philosophy. A personal Conscious Leadership Manifesto can help leaders clarify who they are as leaders today and who they want to be in the future. Aspiring conscious leaders focusing on awareness of who they are and setting intentions about how they wish to show up in the world can take responsible actions that result in higher performance in their personal and professional lives.

What Is A Conscious Leadership Manifesto?

A personal Conscious Leadership Manifesto is a document you develop either by yourself or with a leadership mentor, coach or guide. It allows you to really know who you are and how you wish to show up in the world — to know your character and presence.

The four core elements of a personal Conscious Leadership Manifesto can be developed through a sequence of explorations of your:

  • Purpose, dreams, vision and mission as a leader
  • Values and beliefs: what you stand for, sometimes referred to as a leadership credo
  • Personal support network, such as a board of advisors, guides, teachers and support team
  • Conscious leadership practices, intentions and goals

Purpose, Dreams, Vision And Mission

Start with the big why. Your "why" is your reason for being, the reason you are here on this earth, the reason you are a leader. Looking back and asking why is rarely helpful, but asking in the present moment, “Why am I here? What is my purpose?” is a great place to begin this exploration. Consider these questions:

  • Why do you want to be a leader?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What gets you up in the morning?
  • What is the difference you want to make in this world?

To begin to develop your purpose statement, envision your ideal life. Dream about your ideal life, and journal about your dreams. Another valuable exercise is a guided visualization of your future self, your ideal self.

Purpose statements of 10 words or less are easy to remember. These statements often begin with “To be” someone or “To do” something. These openings can be converted to “-ing” words to be more than an intention for the future, but rather to show true alignment with why you are here in the present moment. Use your purpose statement as a standard against which to test your ideas and actions. Ask yourself: Are your actions aligned with your purpose?

Combining your personal purpose with your organizational purpose may also be worthwhile, at least for the entrepreneur. Robert Frost, in his poem, Two Tramps in Mud Time, put it this way: “My object in living is to unite/my avocation and my vocation/as my two eyes make one in sight.” Combining your avocation (your personal purpose, what you want to do) with your vocation, (what you are paid to do) is a worthwhile objective.

Crafting vision and mission statements aligned to your true purpose and big dreams can help bridge the gap between purpose and goals. With a clearly defined vision and mission, you can then go on to explore your values and beliefs, and develop more specific goals and strategies.

Values And Beliefs: What You Stand For

Clearly defining your values and beliefs and what you stand for can help clarify who you are as a leader. This is sometimes referred to as a leadership credo.

Dr Paul Ward

Paul Ward is a Director at the Global Center for Conscious Leadership. Paul is a Conscious Leadership Coach and the author of the published book, The Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership: Ten Practices for Leading Consciously. He is passionate about making the world a better place to live and work, helping people reach higher levels of consciousness, championing Conscious Leadership, and enabling Conversations that Matter.

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