Your level of leadership depends on where you came from and what you tell yourself about that.
By what they think, hear, feel and also by what they inherit from the generations that
came before them. Above all they are created by what they make that inheritance consciously mean in their lives.
Legendary coach Vince Lombardi once said:
“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.
And that’s the price we have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”
He’s partially right but it’s not just about hard work.
It’s about consistent and conscious work.
It’s also about knowing what lives in your family system and how that’s affected you and
make no mistake it does.
Whether you know them or are closely connected or not at all.
At some point legendary leaders make the choice to be leaders.
They choose to have something to stand for and then they
dedicate themselves to being the best leaders and living the best lives that they can.
They understand that a great life isn’t about just drifting. It’s about crafting mindfully.
And if you ask them, they can generally tell you the moments or events that ignited that.
Quite often it begins early on in life. Many times, in reaction to an event and what they made that event mean for them.
Once that decision is made and accepted, it becomes their north star.
They explore, grow, and assimilate everything aligns them with their decision.
They continually add knowledge and insight to their inner world which in turn affects their outer world.
They teach themselves to be willing to look.
In terms of success in our lives, more than anything, it’s a matter of making a choice and then dedicating yourself to making that a reality.
To do that you have to able to pay attention to what lives in your mind and in your systems around you and your family system is rich with clues.
They live in your language, thoughts, feelings actions and reactions. In your leadership, success, relationships, finances.
In fact, just about everything around you.
You don’t just inherit physical DNA you also inherit your patterns of thoughts feelings and actions and the first place
they come from are your family systems. We are all constantly activating and wiring instructions to our brains.
Often not very kind ones either and changing that begins a process of success and fulfillment.
The most successful people know that they have to do this mindfully and consciously. They align everything they do, say,
feel or think with what they want and a set of instructions that keep them headed in the right direction.
Their self-talk, choices, goals, and commitment keep them on track.
It’s all about consciously choosing and then dedicatedly and repeatedly
growing strong patterns or changing limiting ones, that takes them to success.
Mindful patterns require, passion, a clear goal or driver or both and the willingness to look at and invest in themselves.
Often I ask the leaders I work with what they stand for and why that is so important and most of them can tell me what started
the ball rolling for them and what pulls them to keep going and growing.
What many of them don’t consciously connect with, are the dots between what started them on their path and what may
have happened in generations prior to them.
Or as the result of a significant event in their own lives and their response to
multi-generational patterns of thought, feelings, and actions they used to react to the event.
You see great leaders don’t happen in a vacuum.
They use the thoughts, feelings and actions that live in their family or
organizational systems too. And when they do so consciously, it enables them to elevate from being good leaders to legendary
Let me explain and then give you an example:
Who we are as leaders is based first on our primary pattern makers. Our family
system. We watch listen and tell ourselves what is right or wrong and then act accordingly.
By the way we do that throughout our lives in our day to day world.
Society is a large meta system and different parts of it also have their rules and regulations that we obey to belong and disobey
at our risk.
Every family has a unique pattern of language, thoughts, feelings, and actions to which we are constantly responding.
We move either in reaction to, or in collusion with, our family systems.
And for those of you leaders who are not connected to your families, even you are responding to them in their absence or
presence: “I will never be like them.” “I will show them all.” “If they knew me they might be impressed” “I will make a family of
my own through my company.”
As I said you are evolving in reaction to or collusion with them. Know them or not.
Some of you will tell me “I don’t even know them, so how can I be like them?”
Research suggests that these patterns are passed down to us through the generations. Mostly quite unconsciously.
In life with respect to the systems of which we are a part we have two choices. To repeat the patterns or to do it differently.
A phrase you will hear quite often in systemic work and constellations.
The most intriguing aspect of systemic work is perhaps to realize that our family and indeed all other systems are geared
towards our evolution. Waiting and wanting for us to change.
Hoping we will add to or change the history or stuck-ness that lives in our family line. The minute we start looking at our
patterns and/or the patterns of those who came before us we are no longer flying blind. And when we embrace the gifts that
those patterns offer us in terms of growth everything changes.
Now the world and our families are always in service of us and we can see it.
Sometimes pieces of our past or childhood are painful, and we get stuck there. It’s when we can look at those places and
notice their gifts waiting for us to grow them that things begin to shift for us.
We have been so conditioned as human beings to suffer our way into transformation that we have no idea that we have
success and fulfillment in our very own hands.
It’s all the wiring that we do in reaction to what’s around us and what came before us.
Our brains and systems are truly magical (alright ‘remarkable’) collaborators when we use them wisely and consciously and leaders who do this become visionary leaders. They use what they have to create what they want.
We are the creators of our world around us. We tell ourselves things, have feelings in response and then believe those
feelings and tell our brains this is what’s happening and wire it in. We believe what we are telling ourselves about ourselves
and the world around us all the time!!
And then we make that the truth only it’s really just our truth!
Leaders do this all the time and systemic work and constellations teaches good leaders to become great leaders by
exploring those patterns in their family and organizational systems and choosing what they wish to make them mean in
their own lives and leadership.
They are astounded to see how much of who they are begins in the family system and even more amazed to see how their
family systems have contributed to who they are as leaders.
Once leaders know what lives in their systems, they are able to see what has held them back and what has elevated them.
They learn to explore obstacles and limitations and reframe them into the gifts and strengths they were meant to be.
I recently had a client who went into a high state of anxiety because she thought she had messed up her entire career by
neglecting to take good care of it. She was under the mistaken impression that just ‘being a good
soldier’ would get her noticed and result in rewards including promotions.
Life doesn’t work that way. We have to take good care of those careers and grow them like children.
As we started working together I was curious to understand why she hadn’t gone all the way to the top?
She certainly had the capability. We looked at ways that she could step up and gain more visibility and within a short while
one of her leaders told her they were impressed and surprised and wondered where she had been all this time?
What a compliment! Well not for my client! She went into shock, thinking she had neglected her career somehow.
So, we took a look at her father’s career and she realized that he had always said: “Always look after your career, work hard
but don’t stick your neck out too far.
She had faithfully listened to not sticking her neck out too far and made that her mantra and in doing so she had yet another insight.
He once told her he wondered what might have happened if he’d taken some bigger projects or chances that he had been
offered but his father had said family first and turned down a large promotion of his own.
Notice the multi-generational effect?
When she could see that she had built a solid framework like her dad had she was pleased!
She’d done what the family system said was right.
At the same time, she realized that not sticking her neck out and
promoting herself was hurting her.
Yet here was the opportunity… her father had also said I wish I had taken a few more risks but… family first.
She was able to see that by making herself more visible and showing who she was and what she stood for she could
put herself in a great position to excel. It wasn’t taking a chance it was investing in her growth.
When she pointed out to her father that he had always said family first just like her grandfather, he showed her how
furthering her own career afforded her family more chances. So, she could be at ease with that too.
Later when she spoke with her mother, her mother told her that she had always wished that her father would have gone as
far as he could and that settled her even further.
But take a look at how that language that lived in her family precluded her at first from taking a compliment
from her boss and instead turning it into self-doubt and shock.
We all do that. We do what I call toilet talk.
Leaders learn to move beyond that and wire their brains differently and consciously.
They invest in what grows them not what slows them.
Systemic work and constellations show you where and how you set yourself up for failure and how to flip that around and use
the multi-generational patterns in your system for success.
Neuroscience will tell you that you are re-wiring your brain.
Systemic work and constellations use a multidimensional process called a constellation to explore where your patterns
came from, how they serve or limit you, and how to reframe them into patterns of success.
As leaders, this is a powerful tool for taking your leadership to the next level.
Moving you from good to great.
I work with a number of Fortune 500 leaders around the world and with leaders at all levels in all walks of life. I am honored to
be able to watch everyday people elevate their internal leadership and shine.
I look forward to meeting you too and watching the leader in you emerge.
Now it’s your turn.
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Please do not hesitate to reach out to us on our contact page if you have any questions or need support. We are here to serve your leadership!