Be a better leader: Understand yourself first

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Let’s see what can help us to become joyful leaders.

If we want to grow a plant from a seed, the first step is to put the seed in fertile soil. This will provide it with all the nutrients needed. But that’s only the beginning of growth.

We also need to give it ample water and lighting. Furthermore, we need to provide; proper humidity, fertilizers, and all the other necessary environments specifically meant for that species because each individual plant has different traits and require different care.

Before growing as a Joyful leader, we need to walk the path of self-discovery and understand, which ‘’species’ we are and understand what we really need. This path of self-discovery will also help us to reveal our Life call and set our north star which will guide us through all the turbulences in life. We’ll speak about finding our Life call, in our next lecture, but first let’s widen our perception.

When we observe our self holistically we can roughly define us in three dimensions, Namely: Physical, Psychological and Spiritual.

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Physical level is easy to understand because it is constituted from our body that we can perceive by our senses. We can find that modern medical science has dedicated most of their time to it.  To maintain it we need to provide proper food, enough rest, physical activity and economic security.

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The Psychological level includes our conscious and unconscious mind, our intelligence and ego.

Our unconscious mind is a reservoir of our past good and bad experiences and it can tremendously affects our perception, behavior, reasoning, likes and dislikes… it also affects our relationships so we need to be very careful  to notice our destructive thoughts and actions.

That’s why our joyful leader should get familiar with psychological level very well. Then he will understand his strengths and how to overcome his weaknesses so that he can transform negative patterns and develop positive ones.

man72 Joyful Leadership Creating new generation of leaders

Spiritual level is spoken about, and properly understood rarely. Mostly because it is either rejected or accepted dogmatically due to our limited perception.  When we speak about spiritual level, we mean our pure consciousness which is not mixed with our unconscious mind, thoughts and emotions.

It is obvious that the observer is always different from the observed. For example, if we observe a tree, we are the observer and the tree is being observed. Here is a comparison I usually use to help us understand these three levels:

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Our physical level can be compared to computers hardware, everything that we can touch. For hardware to function more sophisticated we need software. Software can be compared to our Psychological level which helps us to run our body and it acts consciously or unconsciously. Similarly it cannot be directly seen with our senses. Spiritual level on the other hand is compared to a user which is totally different from this computer and uses it to achieve a specific goal.

The problem comes if the user does not know how to use the software properly, or if he gets lost in the game of leadership and forgets his original identity and purpose.  Therefore with the help of a spiritual level we can avoid manifesting our lower nature boiling with anger, fear and desire to control. We can just see them as challenges to face in order to become better leader.

By identifying our self with our leading position, expecting fame, respect and adoration we can become insensitive to needs of others. We tend to forget our role of caretaker and putting people first.

To help implement all this, I want to give you a practical tip, because knowledge without practice is just information.

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Every day take some time for introspection, best early in the morning. Take time without any outside distractions and try to connect with your true self. Remember the people you are leading and which contribution you can make to their lives and the whole society. Think what you would really like to achieve this day and how it fits in your long term vision and the legacy you want to leave behind. Doing this in the morning leaves strong impression thru the whole day. In this way it is easier to resist our lover temptations and remain aligned with our purpose in midst of daily challenges.

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Connecting with this level will also help you to define your life goals, which we will speak about in the next chapter. Take care!




  1. Filip Brnicevic, Joyful Leadership Manual 

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