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Why are there so many books on leadership? The simple answer is, because no one knows what leadership really is. Everyone writes about leadership from the levels of consciousness they operate from, which in turn reflects the stage of psychological development they have reached. So, when Jack Welch writes a book on leadership, the content reflects the consciousness of Jack Welch. When Donald Trump writes a book on leadership, the content reflects the consciousness of Donald Trump. The people who resonate with Jack Welch—operate at the same levels of consciousness—will buy Jack Welch’s books. The people who resonate with Donald Trump—operate at the same levels of consciousness—will buy Donald Trump’s books.
Our research at the Barrett Values Centre over the past twenty years has shown that the most successful leaders operate from full spectrum consciousness. They can handle any situation that arises. They always stay calm. They propose solutions that care for the needs of all stakeholders and they support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In other words, they know how to:
• take charge in a crisis.
• connect with all employees.
• build high-performing systems and processes.
• empower people to become all they can become.
• inspire people with their values, sense of purpose and vision.
• show empathy and cooperate with others in strategic alliances for mutual benefit.
• show compassion and display wisdom and foresight to build a sustainable future for humanity.
Above all, full spectrum leaders have the courage to face their fears, challenge the status quo, persevere when things get tough, risk everything for the cause they believe in, and do all these things without any regard for personal gain. They want to create a better future for everyone: they are focused on being the best for the world, not the best in the world.
To become a full spectrum leader, you must first learn to lead yourself: if you can’t lead yourself, you can’t lead a team. You must then learn how to lead a team: if you can’t lead a team, you can’t lead an organization. You must then learn how to lead an organization. Full spectrum leaders have a personal touch. They connect with all their followers, not just the management hierarchy. They are in touch with all their people. They manage by values: they measure their culture: they focus on their own development as well as the development of their people.
Over the past century, business has become the most powerful institution on the planet. It is more dominant and more powerful than the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) put together. For humanity to survive and prosper, the dominant institution needs to be seen to be taking responsibility for the whole: it needs to be vision-guided and values-driven; it needs to be run by full spectrum leaders. It needs to work towards a sustainable future for everyone.