Andrew Jenkins, author of ‘You are more than you think’ looks at how you can become a better business owner by taking time out to re-connect with yourself and finding out what your true strengths and passions are.
Today’s leaders need to find ways of being at their very best – and this means playing to your strengths more of the time.
It’s not about becoming better at dealing with your weaknesses and limitations – the best we can expect from such thinking is to be mediocre.
Even though we all have weaknesses, if we focus on them this takes us away from our authenticity and who we are uniquely meant to be. So the trick is to spend time out to re-connect with your authentic self. You have to see this time as an important investment. The benefits are to know yourself at a deeper level, and to be able to recognise what you are really passionate about and best at.
Only then can you better inspire and lead others, be more creative and innovative, and take advantage of new opportunities.
So how do we reconnect to our authentic self in order to be at the top of our game? And how can we tap into our unique strengths to help us be great leaders?
Five tips to help you access your authentic self
1) Let go of over-control: Instead start to focus on holding things more loosely, more of the time. For example, when problem solving or making a difficult decision, begin to learn how solutions to these can and simply will emerge if you consciously allow the space for them to do so. On the flip side of all problems is the solution.
2) Feel good: It’s really important that you feel good about yourself. So take time to develop a positive mindset. All too often we think critically, fearfully, or have bad thoughts. Instead remember to think the good things about yourself; what you are like when you have been successful, for example, and use these thoughts to anchor what it’s like to feel good. This will change your mood and your energy.
3) Meditate: for 10 minutes every day, visualise and feel what you want and intend each day. Then watch as these manifest into reality.
4) Create a vision board: use pictures, photos and quotes of things that inspire you so you can connect more to your ambitions, dreams and desires in life and work and regularly look at this and meditate on manifesting these.
5) Set intentions: This means planning ahead and having goals and directions for what you want to intend and work towards achieving from work and life.
Here’s a great method of setting purposeful intentions:
- Create a list of four desires that you would like to achieve. Put each on a sticky note.
- Pair them off in some sort of order logical to you. Place one pair of them at the top of a clear space, table or on a wall, and the other pair further down with plenty of space for a few more sticky notes in between.
- Number them 1 and 2 for the top pair and 3 and 4 for the bottom pair.
- Starting with sticky notes 1 and 2 ask yourself: ‘Having achieved these two things, what does it do for me, get for me and give to me?’
- Write down these answers on another sticky note, number 5, and place this under the first notes 1 and 2.
- Do the same for the bottom pair of sticky notes 3 and 4 and number this sticky note 6. Place it just above sticky notes 3 and 4.
- Now take the two statements for sticky notes 5 and 6 and look at them as a pair, and again repeat the same process as you did for the above pairs. Ask yourself: ‘Having achieved the things written on the two sticky notes 5 & 6… what does it do for me, get for me, or give me?
- Write down these statements on a final sticky note, number 7, and place this in the centre of sticky notes 5 and 6.
As leaders, when you adopt these methods and encourage others to use them too, then you’ll find significance and purpose in the ‘stuff of work’. In the new economy we each make our life and work count and make a tangible difference. And that is a win-win.
Andrew Jenkins is a management consultant and skilled facilitator and teacher of new thinking. He is the MD of PDx Consulting Ltd, a consultancy dedicated to developing leaders, managers and executives to perform at their very best in many well-known organisations across the world. He is also author of ‘You are more than you think – the return to your authentic self’ (see here for more details).