Leading from Your Center

I think the most powerful thing you can do to evolve your influence and impact is to cultivate centeredness.

By centeredness I mean when your whole being rests in a balanced, receptive, open place. Think of a time when you were at your best.  Perhaps you played a sport with a masterful edge, danced beautifully, created art with compelling depth, gave a moving presentation, or clearly stated what mattered most to you at a time when it mattered most. It’s likely you were in a deeply centered place when you did these things. If you reimagine that time you may recognize the foundational inner peace upon which your accomplishments rested. That’s centeredness.

While the power of centeredness springs from an inner mental, emotional and spiritual calm, it’s anything but still. Centeredness is the impetus for insightful action that deftly glides around and through well-worn defenses, and opens the world to newness.

Here are my top five reasons for cultivating centeredness:

  1. Less clean up
    Off-centered people can create a lot of unnecessary collateral damage when they insult and run over the very people they need to influence with their edgy arguments and frustrated slights. Centered people choose in every moment how to use their language, their emotions, and their very presence to influence others in positive, productive ways.
  1. Achieve strategic outcomes
    Centered people play the long game because they step back and look at the whole playing field, rather than diving into every scrum that breaks out in front of them. Over time, they weave the threads of relationships, focus, effort and political will into the complex tapestry of change they envision.
  1. Be more influential
    Centered people are consistently and authentically the most powerful expression of themselves. That’s because they can’t operate from a place of fear and still be centered. It’s not possible. Centered people don’t need to hide behind false bravado, play deceptive games of intrigue and half-truths, or resort to manipulating others. Those are the crowbars used by off-centered leaders to get their way.  Sometimes the fearful do win battles, but centered leaders win wars.
  1. Inspire others
    Centered people are respected for their personal mastery, and often inspire others to emulate them. As more people embrace centeredness as a way of life, they’re able to build deeper, more trusting relationships with each other that cross over the organizational lines of levels and silos. In doing so, they wire up a network of change agents capable of orchestrating complex change.
  1. It’s healthier
    Centered energy is a much cleaner burning fuel than the hyped up adrenaline-fueled highs and lows of people who careen through life riding their unbridled emotions. It takes less energy to get things done when there’s no need to fight opponents that were inadvertently created with an unconsidered move, or unintended slight.  Life is richer, easier, more satisfying, and positively impactful when people lead from a centered place.

There are many ways to deepen your ability to be centered. One of my favorites is an app called Headspace. Learn more about it here.

Dianna Anderson, MCC

CEO, Cylient

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How do you cultivate centeredness in your leadership and in your life?

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