Setting Your Creative Focus for 2012

As practitioners we’re often so busy working with our clients, helping them use The Leadership Circle framework to become better leaders, that we don’t have time to harvest the bounty from the model to improve our own performance. With a new year starting, here are three ways to use The Leadership Circle’s  framework to set your focus for a great 2012.

Focus on Achievement

The Leadership Circle’s research suggests that leadership effectiveness is highly correlated with competency in Achievement behaviors—most highly when purpose and vision are clearly understood, articulated, and modeled. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do I have a clear sense of the higher purpose my work serves?
  • Can I describe, vividly, what the world around me will look like if I live my purpose to its fullest?
  • Do I feel inspired when I speak about my purpose and vision?
  • How can I behave, right now and throughout my days, in ways that demonstrate that my purpose and vision are already true?

Create or Modify Structures

At The Leadership Circle, we believe structure determines performance. For example, if we want to improve our fitness, we need to schedule workouts and identify the exercises for those workouts; research also suggests that working out with a buddy enhances the likelihood that we will actually work out regularly. These are just a few examples of structures that enhance your ability to achieve fitness goals. Here are a few questions to consider in relation to achieving your vision and goals:

  • What relationship structures do I need to create or modify?
  • What daily scheduling structures do I need to create or modify?
  • What project management structures do I need to create or modify?

Harvest the Gifts of Your Shadow

It is important to remember that Reactive tendencies are not bad. These are the behaviors we have adopted that have served us—to a point. But ultimately, we face limitations when we rely too heavily on our Reactive strategies. To become better leaders, we can shift to a Creative approach and the seeds for making that shift can be found in our Reactive tendencies. Here are some questions to begin to make the shift from over-reliance on Reactive Strategies:

  • What are the strengths and gifts to be found in my Reactive tendencies?
  • What are some balancing behaviors that would elevate these strengths to a more Creative level?

In The Leadership Circle’s Authentic Leader Workshop, we have a session that’s all about harvesting the gifts of your Reactive tendencies. I recommend it highly.

We hope you’ll take time as the new year begins to apply to yourself what you help others do all year long. We wish you a healthy, peaceful, and prosperous 2012.

Douglas Day

Author Douglas Day

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Great post Andrew, in particular the strengths and gifts that are Reactive tendencies hold for us.

  • Alan Shelton says:

    Reactive tendencies aren’t bad, as you say. But they are unconscious, which means they happen by themselves in response to a triggering event. The shift to the creative is in the awareness of these tendencies which by itself begins our release from reactive prison. I often tell my people that you have two choices in leadership. Becoming mature through the exposure of the reactive. Or managing uprisings within yourself and others that are unconscious and show up uninvited and unannounced.

    Much Love


  • Ian Cook says:

    Picking up on Alan’s point, the key step up to the Creative begins with a developing awareness of our Reactive tendencies as they play out in real time. Only when we consciously notice the reactive elements in our current “OS” manifesting themselves can we make the conscious choice to change how we operate in these domains.

    William Bridges makes the first stage in his transformation model as “leaving” or letting go of our current ways, behaviors, needs, views, expectations, what have you. In the LCP model, we work on letting go of our current deeper needs of always being accepted, never being vulnerable, and avoiding unintended consequences for which we fear we might be blamed.

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