There IS an I in Team


The “self” sphere is where authentic leadership is forged. The self is the world of the interior-individual. It is our internal sense of self, self-awareness, consciousness and worldview. Deepening our sense of self allows us to deepen our awareness of beauty, art and love. In a team context, this is felt in the hearts and minds of all players, leader and follower alike. In self we develop our sense of trustworthiness, self-esteem and contentment or happiness.

This sphere is also where we develop our personal kokoro by merging our hearts and minds and acting authentically as leaders and followers. We spend our entire life in this sphere, there is no way out. And though we don’t think of it much, it is the same place your teammates spend most of their time! However your experience in the self-sphere and your teammates experience are radically different. The challenge is that we don’t often acknowledge this difference, nor understand how different it can be. Are we not seeing, hearing and smelling the same things? Yes and no. The stimuli may be the same, but the perception and the perceiver are very different. Thus we are all individuals having a collective experience that is filtered and viewed completely different by each of us.

Individual consciousness and personal world views are very distinct in different folks and they drive our behavior at the team and social level. Our behavior is informed by our level of awareness and consciousness. By seeking to place ourselves in the driver’s seat of our own conscious human development, we stand a much better chance of developing the traits and qualities of a good teammate, such as:

Trustworthiness – Trustworthiness is the magnet that attracts others to you in a team environment. Trustworthiness is proof of your ability to control your inner space and develop yourself through virtuous behavior. How do others know you are trustworthy? By listening to your words? No, of course not. Others know we are trustworthy by observing our every action, especially the small ones. When we pay attention to our thoughts, and cultivate the ability to make very good small decisions, then our trustworthiness shines through like a lighthouse in a storm.

Self-Leadership – Self leadership is really about discipline. When we habituate discipline and demonstrate the ability to lead ourselves with clarity and honor, then we earn the right to lead others. This is the root of authenticity that we discussed in the Authentic Leadership lesson. We must lead ourselves before we seek to lead others. If we short circuit this principle then we will be put to the test very quickly. If we cannot “lead from the front” as the result of cultivating self-leadership, we will fail.

Personal Mastery – Beyond leading self is the concept of self-mastery. Self- mastery has been discussed at length in this program. The bottom line is that we must develop in a balanced manner in order to access the full spectrum of our human potential. We do not want to be just physical beings with a reactionary brain, or an analytical maven with no intuitive or creative problem solving skills. The journey of personal mastery is a necessary journey on the warrior’s path and a prerequisite to having an authentic relationship with others on the team.

Course Discussion