Lessons ten brings the Unbeatable Mind principles into the realm of leadership and teamwork. Leading is much more the art of developing a character of authenticity. Then lesson eleven investigates how Unbeatable Leaders can facilitate the formation and cultural evolution of elite teams, where the real work is done.
Chapter 10: Authentic Leadership
Authenticity is a nice way of saying that one is trustworthy and respectable… and possesses all the traits and behaviors that make one so. The Unbeatable Mind leader is an integrated individual who can use their whole mind, thus they embody leadership as a way of being. They do not need to memorize academic leadership theories or subscribe to some passing leadership fad. It flows naturally from the wellspring of their authentic being.
The key vertical skills that the Unbeatable Mind leader works on daily include connecting to the heart when listening and speaking. Speaking with honorable intent… the truth, wisdom and love doctrine of speech. They actively cultivate greater ability to be present… in the here and now… as opposed to always in their head thinking, judging, planning or fretting about how things could or should have gone. Authentic leaders practice communicating from the heart and are not afraid to have critical conversations as soon as possible to clear the air, avoiding regretful situations. They will be assertive and can handle aggressive, passive-aggressive, submissive, and passive people skillfully.
Authentic leaders strive for fifth plateau decisions which take the perspective of all plateaus as well as the good of the global commons. Conscious capitalism, B corporations, and Integral TEAL level organizations are familiar concepts, with perhaps multiple initiatives in play to move toward these worthy organizational objectives. The authentic Unbeatable Mind leader is always eagerly learning and honing horizontal skills while craving continual vertical development to higher stages of conscious awareness.
Chapter 11: Elite Teams
Elite teams share a narrow set of core values, which are mutually determined and bought into. The core values of the SEAL teams and SEALFIT serve as an example in this lesson. These are unique to each team, and form the boundaries for the team culture, which is the collective self-consciousness of the team. Adhering to core values, holding each other accountable to an uncommonly high standard, and enthusiasm for the mission lead to the elite team mindset. Elite team mindset is a team “win in the mind first” attitude which is an antidote for failure.
Nurturing a culture of excellence requires a radical focus on One Mission in alignment with a big vision. It also requires that the team has attracted and selected the right people and aligned them with their unique offer to the team. One un-aligned teammate can stall a team and destroy excellence.
Just as trustworthiness is the dominant characteristic of the authentic Unbeatable Leader, so it is the glue for the team. Trust is formed in a team when everyone delivers on their promises, and admits, then learns from their mistakes. Nobody takes advantage of others or the system. Trust is easily broken, and hard to repair. It is the main fuel for respect, which is the currency of an elite team.
Leaders who have influence over their organization’s systems and processes can mold or reinforce these structures to remove barriers to an elite team culture. These barriers could include a lack of risk tolerance, stove-piped communications, lack of transparency, poorly defined vision and mission, and rewarding what worked in the past but isn’t now, for example. Teams must work as a “team of teams” with great agility and front line autonomy. This works when communications are relentless in their frequency and transparency, as well as brutally honest around character and learning.