How does your past influence your leadership today?

I was reminded yet again the power of our conditioning and the conditioned mind.  This is a good thing if our conditioning and framework is a positive one.   But this isn’t always the case.  I had dealings with two wonderful human beings with great minds and compassion – yet both felt terribly felt frozen.  Despite having thought long and hard and being acutely aware that not taking action was costing them time, energy, money and focus – they still felt stuck. According to one – it is “paralysis through analysis.”   But there was more to it.

Fear was the main culprit – despite being mature adults, on this matter – they were no longer the rational, adults but the young scared child that once was. This is the power of conditioning – some things just get us.  When faced with these triggers we regress to coming from a place from long time back when we had limited understanding and resources. Some of these experiences which have etched themselves in our psyche still hold us ransom today. Sometimes we don’t even know that we are doing this and that the past is still driving us today.

Old patterns can be hard to break but with powerful intention, belief, right action and support – it can be done.  It made me reflect as to where in my life – work and personal – I was coming from a place of past conditioning and had tied myself to these old chains of limitation.  When courage is required, what is my default thinking?    How about you?  Where might you be letting your fight and old conditioning get in the way of you and your leadership, personal or business success?

for the Stakeholder Analysis Template

As one of my leadership coachees  put it rather aptly, “reflection, awareness then action!”

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One Response to How does your past influence your leadership today?

  1. sukesh sukumaran says:

    I always enjoy your posts Jas, thank you for this one!

    Many people are pushed into roles of leadership without the necessary traits that we so openly recognise and demand of leaders today.

    Your post provides further insight and takes the discussion one step further towards understanding why people (in leadership roles included) act the way they do, under specific circumstances. But, can leaders of today afford to use this as a “reason/excuse” for poor performance and inaction to steer their business forward steadily through challenging times? How will a leader be expected to lead a business and its people throguh change, when the leader him/herself seems closed to embracing change and displays behaviour of “job protection”? Is “servant leadership” and “authenticity” skills that can be learnt (provided those leaders are aware they need to learn them), or would their relevant past be important as a factor to the same end?

    In businesses like Yellow (in NZ) for example, poor leadership and vision has seen the erosion of significant value. This, when share price and market value are principle measures of company’s financial success, and when brand values and management of work environment spell out the effect of good people leadership. Should businesses perform extensive psychometric tests (over and above qualifications and experience) to ensure they gain a “socially mature” and “future capable” leader?

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