SELF MASTERY 2.0
“It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”
Authentic leadership is grounded in the integral leader model and predicated upon the personal commitment of the leader to seek to develop fully first, before seeking leadership roles as an end in themselves. Let’s first take a look at what an authentic leader looks and feels like. What I expect of the leaders I train at SEALFIT and Unbeatable Mind Academy is nothing short of total commitment to authenticity. What does this look like to me?
- Authentic leaders learn to win in their minds before they seek to win on the battlefield. This requires a commitment to alone time for silence, contemplation, meditation and visualization.
- Authentic leaders don’t whine. They embrace the suck; get the job done, and then move on to the next task. They don’t suffer the whining of their teammates either; rather have strategies for bringing the team to a higher level of positivity before the suffering destroys the team spirit.
- Authentic leaders truly love their fellow teammates like their brothers and sisters. It is a feeling, not a concept.
- Service comes naturally; servant leadership does not have to be taught.
- Authentic leaders respect, and even love (at the highest stages of consciousness) their enemies (competitors) as much as their fellow soldiers. This principle applies to the corporate leader setting as much as it does to the combat leader.
- Authentic leaders display integrity in their thoughts, words and deeds, alone, with their teammates and within the “system.”
- Authentic leaders do today what others won’t, so they can do tomorrow what others can’t. That means they tackle the hard stuff now, and build upon their confidence and successes in a virtuous upward spiral of victory until they seem unstoppable and unbeatable.
- Authentic leaders don’t shy from the hard leadership roles, but step back effortlessly when it is someone else’s turn. They do not do it for the power, the glory, the money, the resume bullet, or fame. They lead because they are called to.
- Authentic leaders are humble about their successes when they come their way…and will deflect credit to the team.
- Authentic leaders seek the severest training for themselves and their teams, desiring to forge their mind, bodies and spirits as well as those of their teammates. This follows the tradition of warriors from the Spartans to the Ninjas to the SEALs. They yearn to earn their “trident” of respect every day.
- Authentic leaders never quit. They never quit in training or on an operation. They never quit their teammates. They never quit training their body, mind and spirit. They never quit taking action without fear of failure.
- Authentic leaders are innovative. To them the term “failure is not an option” means that failing is required to learn fast, so the whole concept of failure is a moot point.
- Authentic leaders train realistically and they master the basics…coming back to them often. They take nothing for granted and work tirelessly to master their tradecraft.
- Authentic leaders know WHY they are doing what they are doing. It is this connection to their purpose that keeps them focused and motivated when things get shitty. They learn to communicate this “why” to their team, and help the team understand the team’s purpose.
- Authentic leaders never see themselves as masters, rather as always learning and growing.
- The authentic leader is integrally balanced and can naturally include “I / We and It” perspectives in their decision making.
While this list is not exhaustive, it is indicative of a deep and courageous character that one must develop to lead authentically. There are two crucial distinctions to be made: First is that we must develop vertical depth within our Five Mountains so that we truly feel the shifts in consciousness that occur, rather than just being aware of them on an intellectual level. This means that we deepen our physical connection, becoming stronger, more durable, more capable of physical work, more balanced and more functionally aware of our bodies. We in turn become mentally more capable, focused, and intelligent – learning to utilize our minds in their fullest capacity.
Next we develop emotional depth and maturity, eradicating emotional barriers and developing awareness of the full range of our emotional selves. We also develop our intuitional connection and ability to tap into our intuition and use it for better decisions – the type of decisions that take the whole into account rather than just a part. Finally our spiritual depth and awareness of the enduring witness that resides in us is developed. This is what I mean by vertical depth in these five crucial capacities. In the Unbeatable Mind program as well as our Academies these shifts happen after sustained practice of even as little as 10 hours of “dirt time” spent in a silence practice. That is amazing proof, and it sets us on a path that we can’t imagine veering from – the leader’s path of self-mastery.
The second distinction is that we should develop horizontal awareness of the Five Mountains as they interact with each other (i.e. the “mind, body, spirit connection) as well as how they affect your engagement with the “We” and “It” spheres. In order to understand these distinctions better let’s look into how we can use this integral framework as a developing authentic leader.