Today, I’m going to cover the second C of Transformative Leadership: Connectedness. To lead transformation, we must be connected to others. Transformative leaders are connected. What does this mean? It means a few different things. First, the transformative leader, by virtue of her consciousness (the first C) is connected to herself. She has high self-awareness of all the aspects of who she is emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, professionally, etc.
Transformative leaders also recognize their connectedness with others. On one level, this means an awareness that he is part of a team and of a larger organization. Take it a couple steps deeper and it can mean an awareness of the interconnectedness of all life. The foundation for this awareness is evident in many places. Many of the world’s religions have an understanding of our interconnectedness. In fact, religions have long known what science is only now discovering.
Buddhism speaks of inter-being, Christianity of the mystical Body of Christ. Aboriginal cultures of Australia and North America, and many other nature religions recognize and honor the unity of life. Science also suggests the interconnected nature of all life. For a perspective from the world of physics, read “The Tao of Physics” by Fritjof Capra. For a philosophical view, read Ken Wilber’s “A Brief History of Everything.”
Transformative leaders are aware of the not just the reality of our connectedness on different levels, but of the driving need for real connectedness in our organizations. Transformative leaders use their connectedness to drive high engagement and high performance. Transformative leaders know that we’re all in this together. Each person, regardless of title, has a role to play. Transformative leaders connect with others to help everyone play their role to the best of their ability.
Connectedness is also vital for real, respectful, and meaningful business conversations to occur. Without a strong connection, when the conversation can be overly superficial and easily derailed by conflict. Connectedness, and the powerful business conversations it enables is the key to real collaboration that results in aligned decision-making, enables creativity, and drives innovation.
Transformative leaders understand our interconnectedness and engage others with the mindset “I am connected to you and to something bigger than us both.” That the transformative leader is Conscious and Connected results in a third C, something very positive for the organization and its people is something I’ll post on next time. Until then remember the words of Alan Watts, “But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.”