3 Qualities of a Soulful Leader.

April 10, 2023

3 Qualities of a Soulful Leader.

May 29, 2023

We’re born with a soul, and early in life, we grow an ego that serves as our means of individuating in a messy world. If we get it right, aging becomes a process of moving from our ego to our soul. So, the ego is flanked by a soul early and late in life.

During our ego period, many of us learn to become a leader. Our ego strength may make us great leaders in our early to mid-career. Of course, a modern elder recognizes that soulful leadership is more nourishing and impactful than ego-driven leadership. Here are three ways a leader can shift their attention and tap into their soul.

1. Move from a Thought Leader to a Thoughtful Leader. Many of us aspire to be thought leaders, but sometimes it’s for egotistical reasons. However, people will remember you as a thoughtful leader long after your thoughts have evaporated.

2. Move from a Motivational Speaker to Motivational Listener. I always cringe when someone calls me a motivational speaker, as it feels so cheesy (sorry, Tony Robbins and Deepak). What truly feels memorable and enriching is to be in the presence of a “motivational listener.”

3. Move from Being Interesting to Being Interested. Dos Equis beer used to have an ad campaign called “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” featuring a bearded, debonair older gentleman. If I were an ad exec today, I would create a new ad campaign for a brand featuring “The Most Interested Woman in the World.” We all desperately need leaders who are genuinely interested in us. Being interesting wears off; being interested lasts forever.

It’s worthwhile to ponder a mentor, coach, friend, or even a luminary you’ve never met, anyone who’s had a significant influence on your life, and ask yourself, “What are the qualities of this person that you most admire?” I’ve heard thousands of these stories now, and the enduring character qualities that are most mentioned (almost like it’s someone’s eulogy) are:

  • Thoughtfulness.
  • A listening presence.
  • A genuine interest in others.
  • A soulful wisdom that is generously shared.

Is that the kind of leader you’d like to be? If so, what are you doing to make this a reality?

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