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Lead from Full Power: An Unprecedented Empowerment Strategy

–Savanting Study 7:  Sam – Lead from Full Power by Lauren Holmes July 2021

V    GETTING STARTED:

Experience transformational flow-triggering tasks daily

SAM:

This is incredible, Lauren.  A simple singular path to not only the full-power leadership I am seeking but more importantly to peak lifetime achievement through sustained self-actualization.  I’m excited that I now know my potential career maximum and how to get there.  I want it all.  However, I have no idea how to begin, Lauren.  I already must beg my bosses to give me projects to lead.  How can I get the flow-inducing tasks necessary for my growth to self-actualizing leadership?  Can beggars be choosers?

LAUREN:

Your concerns are well-placed, Sam.  However, whatever project supply channels you’ve been accessing have not been working for you.  Release them.  Your lack of success with them is disempowering you, shaking your confidence, and diminishing your identity.  You now need to be resolute in seeking work which nourishes you to full strength.

Therefore, for now, it’s best to free yourself from the need to concentrate on getting leadership jobs at all.  Concentrate only on taking on tasks which will trigger your top-talent flows.  Increase your hours in flow every day.  These flows will nourish, strengthen, and grow you, Sam.

Remember, we’ve redefined your goal in such a way that you don’t need a leader title to achieve leadership.  It can emerge without you having to rise through a corporate hierarchy.  Let it emerge through ever more impactful achievements.

Obviously, changing employers or starting your own company are possibilities for increasing your flow-triggering tasks.  But these are not preferred as we try to launch your growth path to self-actualized leadership, Sam.  Fortunately, there are alternative sources of projects you may pursue while still at your current employer which can seed your growth process.  We’ll come back to those in a moment.

STEP 1:  Define your ideal flow-trigger tasks

First Sam, you and I need to determine the ideal types of projects most likely to cause you to shift into top-talent flow.  This is your top-talent-flow theme.[5]  Analysis of what types of tasks incited flow in your past will give us this formula for your future.  What do these past flows have in common?  Did they all require the use of the same talents, skills, or strategies?   These events will have commonalities because they all shift you to your system’s maximum and that maximum is a constant.

If the theme linking your past pattern of top-talent-flow events eludes you, Sam, we can dissect it into likely component themes which will, again, all lead to the same maximizing flow state.

For example, search past patterns of events associated with your unpaid-work theme.[6]  Think of the times you’ve done work that you crave so much that you’d do it for free.  This is work for which most others would charge.  This work will undoubtedly involve the application of your strongest talents at peak performance.

Next, let’s look at your frontier-pursuit theme.[7]  Most people are fearful of venturing into the unknown.  Hence, they tend to resist it.  Even if this is you, Sam, you’ll discover at least one generic territory where you are not only less fearful of the unknown but you’re excited to investigate it.  You’ll routinely slip into top-talent flow whenever you pursue it.  Even your dreams of “leading the charge into new horizons” will likely reinforce the same frontier-pursuit theme.

The same will be true of your knowledge-pursuit theme.[8]  You’ll find there is a territory where you’ll work very hard to find answers – all the while lost in flow.  And what about patterns of events composing your creation-pursuit theme?[9]  Even people who don’t consider themselves creative seem to have at least one territory in which they feel compelled to change reality with new creations – always in flow.

This is likely the same territory in which you are drawn to apply your strongest, most rewarding talents, to learn the information you need to pursue it, and to frontier into the unknown.  All these patterns of events are linked to a complex system of processes our species has evolved to continuously entice us to operate at our maximum.

As a corollary, an examination of the patterns of events of any and all of these themes will always identify your greatest talents – again because your biological maximum is a constant.

One of the greatest hints of the ideal projects to choose to play to your strengths, Sam, is to repeat the formula of projects in which you experienced success in your past.  Your successful-projects theme.[10]

And while you’re at it, you’ll want to avoid taking on the category of projects in which you failed in the past.  Even if your bosses offer projects in this category, you’ll want to avoid them.  From here on, Sam, you’ll want to only play to your strengths.  You’ll want to operate from the zone like any top athlete.

It is important to hear me on this, Sam.  The longer you work successfully in top-talent flow, the harder it will be to try to do work which will not trigger top-talent flow and the less successful that work will be.  It will be a difference of blissful paid play versus the frustration and failure of non-performance.

STEP 2:  Access new sources of transformational flow-trigger tasks

Let me now offer the promised alternative channels for sourcing the projects you’re seeking to launch you on your path to full-power leadership.

  1. First, the obvious, Sam. Is it possible for you to re-design your current job to increase your time in flow around the application of your strongest talents?  Could you invent special projects or new ventures to add to your existing job description?
  2. Is there another position in your company to which you are better suited? Or could you invent one?
  3. Are there projects in other departments or could you invent projects which better fit your self-actualization path?
  4. If you can’t take over as the leader of existing projects, could you carve out tasks within them which will shift you into top-talent flow?
  5. If you see the leader of some project failing or paralyzed by fear of the unknown, Sam, could you build trust and opportunity by coaching him or her or actually doing some of their work? This strategy has the added benefit of building your network of people who know your capabilities and can refer more work to you.

There is also the opportunity to have people in your debt who could owe you favors.  For example, you could end up cultivating friendships with those who could sway the Executive Succession Planning Committee.

  1. Could you invent projects to lead based on partnering with companies that do business with your employer which would benefit your employer?
  2. Could you create charitable ventures for your employer’s corporate philanthropy program which require your strongest talents?
  3. Could you seek secondments to governments, companies, or organizations surrounding your employer which will benefit both sides and you? Positive feedback from outsiders may change the mind of your company’s Executive Succession Planning Committee or bypass them to promote you to senior executives directly.
  4. Could you become a working board member for a company or a volunteer for an industry organization or NGO which have projects which will stretch your capabilities for doing the work you love to do and thus incite flow states? Could your excellent performance with people outside your employer end up attracting job offers with their companies or connections?
  5. Could you undertake research projects which set the direction for your company or its departments or subsidiaries? The investigation, preparation and delivery of material, strategies, or ideas that you are passionate about developing or learning about within the territory of your strongest talents will also pull you into serial top-talent flow states.  Your knowledge-pursuit theme works just as well to generate daily flow states as would arise by leading ideal projects.

You’ve declared that vision is one of your greatest talents, Sam.  Strategic planning would be an excellent trigger for daily top-talent flow.  Visionary thinking is also a talent in short supply.  You could volunteer to provide your services to other leaders less endowed.  This would be a great way to lead the leaders, lead the company, as well as to identify or design future projects ideal for you to lead.

For these ten channels, Sam, make your pitch for these opportunities even if you must work on them after hours.  You’ll want to experience your daily flow states where you can.  You can build credentials and a history of successes anywhere within your employer.

You’ll want to become known not just for your successes but for the specific domain or category of project in which you excel.  This will ensure that these ideal projects will be referred to you for the rest of your career.  You’ll want everyone to automatically think of you for those territories that benefit from your strongest talents.

Your current bosses are not creating the opportunities for you.  How wonderful would it be to have a replacement referral network which could feed you the work to keep you in a perpetual state of flow?  Wouldn’t it be a relief to never have to “beg” for your next growth project again?

As you can see, Sam, my solution to leadership power and prowess does not involve using any of the cosmetics, mechanics, strategies, and rules offered by the classical leadership development programs you have pursued.  These have not materialized your desired career as an impactful leader.  Hopefully, my biology-based approach will yield a better result for you.

Good luck, Sam!  Go change the world!

SAM:  I am so ready for this, Lauren.  Thank you!

[1]     Lauren Holmes, Frontiering is the New Leadership – The person who can “frontier” will always lead,  2013 article:  https://laurenholmes.com/leaders-frontier/

[2]      Lauren Holmes, BioMaxed, 2019, Chapter 6: The New Career Maximums – Part Two, 2013 article https://laurenholmes.com/career-maximums-two/

Lauren Holmes, BioMaxed, 2019, Chapters 9-23, Sourcing your Savant: Hyper-Focus your Career on your Genius, 2013 article:   https://laurenholmes.com/sourcing-your-savant/

Lauren Holmes, BioMaxed, 2019, Chapter 18:  The Theme of Top-Talent Flow States 2013 https://laurenholmes.com/top-talent-flows-theme/

[3] Lauren Holmes, Savanting: Outperforming your Potential 2019, Frontiering, http://laurenholmes.com/savanting

[4]  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience 1990, New York: Harper & Row

[5] Lauren Holmes, BioMaxed, 2019, Chapter 18:  The Theme of Top-Talent Flow States 2013 https://laurenholmes.com/top-talent-flows-theme/

[6]  Lauren Holmes, BioMaxed, 2019, Chapter 11:  The Unpaid Work Theme, 2013 https://laurenholmes.com/unpaid-work-theme/

[7]  Lauren Holmes, BioMaxed, 2019, Chapter 14:  The Frontier-Pursuit Theme, 2013 https://laurenholmes.com/frontier-pursuit-theme/

[8]   Lauren Holmes, BioMaxed, 2019, Chapter 12:  The Knowledge-Pursuit Theme, 2013 https://laurenholmes.com/knowledge-pursuit-theme/

[9]   Lauren Holmes, BioMaxed, 2019, Chapter 16:  The Creation-Pursuit Theme, 2013 https://laurenholmes.com/creation-pursuit-theme/

[10]   Lauren Holmes, BioMaxed, 2019, Chapter 19: The Projects Theme, 2013 https://laurenholmes.com/successful-projects-theme/

Lauren Holmeshttps://laurenholmes.com/
Lauren Holmes is a cutting-edge career maximization strategist specializing in accelerated growth to sustainable self-actualization. Her work is driven by an obsession for pushing the envelope on human potential and accessing the consciousness and capabilities of the future human now. As CEO of an executive search firm specializing in corporate change leaders, Lauren interviewed the best in the C-suites and boardrooms of some of the most successful global companies. Her breakthrough maximization theories resulted from viewing these interviews through the lens of her degree in evolutionary and biological anthropology. Lauren then tested these theories through action-learning experimentation with clients during her two decades as CEO of Frontiering, her career acceleration firm. The Savanting Study series which Lauren is now writing is an extension of studies in her 2019 book, Savanting: Outperforming your Potential. The first six studies arose from her comparative analysis of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Jim Carrey. Savanting reveals the commonalities behind their success which prove Lauren’s unique paradigm for true human potential. Each Savanting Study provides actionable instructions for how to resolve common career and work challenges in a way which simultaneously springboards one to self-actualization and the emotional, material, and meaningful rewards of career maximization.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I love your writing, Lauren. The post overwhelmed me. I want to share two of the thoughts that I appreciate from your grand post.

    Leader power is measured by the degree of change in reality. This is a super definition.

    I want to release you from seeking external validation from subordinates or the succession committee. This diminishes you. Pursuing this validation will therefore interfere with you leading from full strength, Sam.
    This is a treasure. It coincides with a post I am writing on some rare negatives (by rare I meant not much discussed) and including negative leadership.
    What you wrote here is like negative pressures that keep hospital rooms clean so we need to be. This is a negative pressure that has a positive effect. However, if a leader has strength from inside she/he would not be subject to negative influence. She/he has the ability to avoid the negative light of peer pressure as openess with self shall not allow for negative peer influence or management influence to filter in his heart and mind.

    • Wonderful to have your feedback on what was meaningful to you, Ali.
      Good luck with your upcoming post. I agree with the necessity for leaders to insulate themselves from external “power zappers.” It’s so important that our leaders remain internally referenced and creating reality rather than externally referenced and depleted by it – or worse, created by it.
      I was moved recently by the re-elected Prime Minister in Canada during the election just completed. PM Justin Trudeau was under continuous hostile attack from all sides during the election and indeed during his multiple terms.
      He was unaffected throughout until there was scathing attack on his wife. When media attacked him for his hostile response to the heckler, he revealed that he never internalized any of the attacks on himself because he signed up for this and had learned to be immune. His anger was because his wife did not sign up. An uncontrollable switch had been flicked.
      I’ve found that the only time Trudeau snaps from external attacks is to protect victims – his family, Canadians, or victims around the world.
      This is an externally referenced flaw I can respect. As you say, Ali, “a negative pressure that has a positive effect.”

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