Where the measures focus on the what (the actions, skills, and behaviours of mindful leadership), the stages focus on the who (self, team, and tribe).
To help you determine what stage you are at, you can take a short survey the I created called The LEARN2LEAD Assessment.
The survey will ask you a few questions on how you are applying each of the 12 measures.
Your responses to the survey questions will determine which of the five stages you happen to fall.
I would suggest taking this short survey now.
Just follow this link to access the LEARN2LEAD Assessment.
Once you complete the assessment, you can come back and see your progression through the stages.
Stage I – Rookie Leader
There’s a moment in everyone’s life when they decide they want more.
I’m not talking about more money, stuff or success. These are extrinsic (external) rewards. While cool to have, once achieved, there is always a desire for more. We end up stuck in a rut, continually dumping emotional energy to striving for the next thing and holding onto our past achievements.
What I am talking about is intrinsic (internal) rewards. Things like fulfilment, purpose, and impact. Intrinsic rewards provide us with true satisfaction and give us energy, regardless if we are an extrovert or introvert.
I was fortunate enough to have this moment early on in my career. I remember it clearly. I was one year out of college, sitting on the couch, watching television. And I remember thinking to myself, am I going to be a couch potato for the rest of my life or am I going to BE more.
Notice that I didn’t say I wanted to DO more. I was a pretty busy guy, and the last thing I wanted was a bigger to-do list. This was a huge ah-ha for me. It was like being hit with a lightning bolt. One moment I was mindlessly watching TV and the next, BOOM! I wanted to achieve world domination.
If your survey results peg you as a rookie leader, rest assured, you are not alone.
Everyone, regardless of what level they have achieved, have some rookie traits they need to develop.
I know that I repeatedly fall into the rut of a corporate zombie and have to intentionally adjust my course, stepping back onto the path of a mindful leader.
The good news is that if I can do it, I know you can too.
There are four specific hurdles that you need overcome if you want to become a mindful leader. These are the foundational principles that everyone needs to master regardless of what stage you have achieved. If you find that you are stuck at one of the levels, unable to move forward, it will be one of these hurdles that are in your way.
You can read more about the four hurdles of mindful leadership here.
Stage II – Aspiring Leader
Aspiring leaders are really fun to work with.
They have shaken off the shackles of mediocrity and have committed themselves to continual improvement.
They are full of curiosity, positivity, and passion, ready to take on the world.
Did your survey results peg you as an aspiring leader?
If so, it’s likely that you have created a number of routines in your life where you are intentionally developing at least some of the 12 measures of mindful leadership.
To be successful at the stage, the aspiring leader needs to surround themselves with like-minded people. This might be a supportive boss, a coach or mentor, and a group of peers that are also walking the path of a mindful leader.
I host a fantastic group called the LEARN2LEAD Community where we work together, share advice and run regular challenges on how to apply the 12 measures.
The LEARN2LEAD Community is free to join. Follow the link if you are interested in connecting with a group of like-minded people.
Stage III – Trusted Leader
Trusted leaders are the superstars of any organization.
They have committed themselves to honing their craft and have achieved a level of mastery within their field.
Their ability to achieve results, depth of knowledge and unique skill set make them extremely valuable in the marketplace.
Did your survey results peg you as a trusted leader?
If so, it’s likely that you have built a career around your strengths and you have personally mastered a number of the 12 measures of mindful leadership.
To be successful at this stage the trusted leader needs to put in many hours of purposeful practice to achieve mastery in their field.
In my experience, one of the best ways to achieve this level of mastery is to practice the fundamentals.
To help, I’ve created a monthly challenge where we go deep into each of the 12 measures.
Follow this link to sign-up for the LEARN2LEAD next challenge.
Stage IV – Tribal Leader
Tribal leaders are the backbone of all successful companies.
They have committed themselves to balancing that fine line between the growth and development of their people AND driving bottom-line performance.
Their ability to coach and mentor their teams AND achieve results makes them extremely valuable to their organization.
Did your survey results peg you as a tribal leader?
If so, you’ve been able to make the sometimes tricky transition from individual contributor to coach and mentor.
To be successful at this stage requires that you invest in your professional growth AND to help others do the same.
A key thing to remember at the stage of a tribal leader is that it’s not all about the warm and fuzzies.
It’s about coaching and mentoring your team so that they can become better at delivering results.
To master this level, you need to be able to turn your corporate zombies into aspiring leaders.
Warning: Don’t get caught up in the traditional performance management plans when dealing with poor performers.
Tribal leaders genuinely believe in their people. The will do everything they can to uncover their strengths and put them in the right place to serve the organization.
Feel free to use the following LEARN2LEAD resources for yourself and encourage your team to join you in your mindful leadership journey:
- Have everyone on your team take The LEARN2LEAD Assessment assessment and share your results.
- Work together as a team to implement each of the items on The LEARN2LEAD Checklist.
- Have everyone join and engage with The LEARN2LEAD Community.
Stage V – Mindful Leader
Mindful Leaders are the masterminds behind all successful organizations.
They are committed to their personal and professional growth AND the growth and development of everyone in their organization.
Their ability to hold onto a vision, implement a strategy, and create a learning culture enables them to build a legacy that will thrive long after they have moved on.
Did your survey results peg you as a mindful leader?
If so, you’ve likely mastered the core mindful leadership skills of awareness and influence.
You’ve developed an internal awareness of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and rarely get caught up in emotional hijacks.
You’ve honed your external awareness to learn the patterns of excellence and have developed your leadership presence.
You’ve been able to influence yourself to build positive rituals and live your life according to a core set of principles.
And finally, you’ve been able to influence others to achieve peak performance by modelling a culture of open and honest feedback.
To master this level you need to develop a strategy for personal and professional growth and helps everyone in your organization move through each of the five stages of mindful leadership.
Would you like to use the LEARN2LEAD model to build your legacy of a learning organization?
I would be honoured to help you leverage the LEARN2LEAD resource and develop a customized strategy for yourself and your organization.
Follow this link to learn more.
Hints and Tips
Here’s are a few hints and tips that you need to be aware of as you work your way through the five stages.
TIP #1: You won’t make it past the first stage of a rookie leader unless you overcome the four hurdles of mindful leadership.
TIP #2: The key to success as a mindful leader, regardless of what stage you are at, is to practice the fundamentals.
To help you develop the foundational skills of a mindful leader I run regular challenges where we go deep into each of the 12 measures of mindful leadership.
Follow this link to sign-up for the next LEARN2LEAD Challenge.
TIP #3: You won’t make it past the third stage (trusted leader) if you only focus on improving yourself. You need to invest in helping others on their LEARN2LEAD journey.
If you have people reporting to you, an excellent first step is to invite everyone on your team to take the LEARN2LEAD assessment.
If you don’t have direct reports, I would encourage you to join the LEARN2LEAD Community and lend a hand.
TIP #4: You can’t achieve the final stage (mindful leader) unless everyone in your organization is also walking the path.
Follow this link to learn more.
Summary – 5 Stages of Mindful Leadership
The 5 Stages of Mindful Leadership are meant to expand both your awareness and your influence as you make your way through each stage.
Starting with yourself through the first few stages and eventually expanding to include your team (peers / direct reports) and tribe (organization).
It all starts with the completion of the LEARN2LEAD Assessment. A short survey that will help you determine your current stage.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave your thoughts below or in the LEARN2LEAD Community.
I look forward to helping you walk the path of a mindful leader.
… Ron 🙂
The Mindful Leaders Toolkit
Remove stress, anxiety, and overwhelm by learning mindful leadership habits to build self-confidence, achieve results, and expand influence (all in just 15 minutes a day).