Do you know how to use controlled opposition to inspire action in yourself and others? The top leadership skill is the ability to inspire others to buy into your vision of what’s possible. Inspiration is required to move taking action up to the top of everyone’s to-do list.
Evolutionary leaders around the world strive to inspire those who want to belong to a community and strive for meaning and purpose through connection with others. These are some of the beautiful benefits of feeling that sense of ‘belonging’. And they are known to work well. However, today’s conscious leader requires something new.
Today’s world is very small and very polarized. The need for a new depth of presence and non-polarizing rhetoric is emerging. Yes, you can meditate and practice mindfulness. And yes, you can choose your words more carefully.
But the energy behind conscious leadership is the most important element
in the transformation of complacency and inaction into beneficial involvement.
What Inspires The Conscious Leader?
What inspires you to step forward and offer your opinion, your perspective? Is it one or more of the following, or something else entirely?
- Anger about inequities
- Frustration about lack of progress
- Anxiety about the future
- A specific value above all others in importance, like peace, service, accumulation of wealth, health, emotional balance, etc.
- Trust that what worked before will work again
- Commitment to walking a path not previously explored
- A call to fulfill purpose & meaning
Whichever of these seem familiar to you, all of them require 3 things:
- Emotional commitment
- Accompanied by clear thinking
- With savvy strategies that reflect the values and dreams of those who’ve chosen to follow
Of course, leaders today know the follower is actually more important than the leader. Why? Because they are the ones who will do the hard work of creating the actual change. So it’s the leader’s job to lead the way.
In the 21st Century, leading requires a new element of conscious awareness.
With the emergence of the need for mindfulness and presence in conscious leadership, there also comes a new twist. This twist adds the requirement for the conscious leader to stand on the razor’s edge while leading and staying on purpose. That twist?
To stand on the razor’s edge requires a way of being capable of
evoking more cooperation than competition, more clarity than chaos, and
more emotional balance than emotional turmoil.
What Is The Required ‘Razor’s Edge’?
Webster’s Dictionary defines the razor’s edge quite simply:
The razor’s edge is a phrase that refers to a position in which two different things are carefully balanced.
You may know this phrase from the 1944 novel of the same name by Somerset Maugham. Apparently, the novel’s title comes from a translation of a verse in the Katha Upanishad, paraphrased in the book’s epigraph as: “The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard.”
Balancing the push and pull between polar opposites is not easy. But it’s also easier with an understanding of how to do it. And with that comes how to rewire your brain to support this new perspective and set of behaviors.
This means viewing from the bigger picture – a picture bigger than the one you currently hold. This is the circumstance that calls for the use of controlled opposition to inspire action in yourself and others.
The Call For Making The Big Picture Bigger
When things are not carefully balanced, polarization occurs. Polarization ranges from a minimal preference for one thing over its opposition to a burning desire to get rid of the opposing thing completely. We live in an age consumed with a polarized way of making sense of the world. But the polarization in others can only be effectively met with an awareness of polarization’s presence and its effects inside of yourself.
Give it a test. Let’s say you want to rearrange the furniture in the other room. You can’t actually see what furniture is actually in the other room or how it’s arranged right now. You can only see it when you focus your attention on it. Right? Well, you also can’t see your own polarization unless you’re aware of it. And you can’t see how it’s blocking the fulfillment of your desire for more consciousness in decision-making and future planning. Your own polarization will remain outside your awareness unless you focus your attention on its presence.
To accomplish this task. there are three additional things that can only be done by being mindful, present, and consciously aware (not just intellectually clear) of what they are and why they are needed. The catch is that this awareness only arises when the leader’s attention is focused on the reality and availability of these next three things.
That requires an expansion of the leader’s perspective. It’s this shift in perspective that transforms your very way of ‘being’ in the world. In other words, honoring that the bigger picture you have in your mind wants to get bigger still.
Before sharing those three things, however, let me reiterate:
This is not about controlling those who oppose your own ideas, values, or beliefs.
I am talking about controlling your opposition to those who oppose you.
Transform Your Unbridled Passion Into Harnessed Passion
The best way I’ve found to accomplish this ‘controlled opposition‘ is to take your unrestrained passion and harness it. Riders have little control over an unbridled horse. But control is placed in the hands of the rider when a bridle is placed on the horse’s head harnessing its power and strength. It might seem strange to say, but almost all leaders are, at some level, passionately against continuing things as they are. At the same time, they are passionately for making things different.
It’s easy to lose sight of this hidden polarization. But it is what generates resistance, unnecessary obstacles, stress, and emotional turmoil when it is not consciously recognized and addressed. So to reiterate, I’m talking about controlling your own opposition. It’s your opposition to the very thing that stimulated your call to a new vision of how things could be different. When accomplished, this produces a new variation of leadership that I call ‘authentic love in action’.
The First Requirement For Every Conscious Leader To Embrace
First: Every conscious leader is being called upon to recognize their own polarization. Specifically, their polarization against what they believe is no longer working or relevant and needs to change. Paradoxically, it’s this very viewpoint that is at the root of most leaders’ vision for the future. But to remain unconscious of this, or only pay it lip service, becomes part of the problem. Unconscious polarization begets more unconscious polarization, and that is not the goal of conscious leaders.
So the first requirement is recognition of your own polarization against whatever it is that you want to change.
If you want fairness, you’re naturally polarized against inequity. Wanting freedom causes a natural polarized against imprisonment. If you want conscious leadership, you’re naturally polarized against some of the dry rituals of old-style leadership. Wanting to be happy evokes a natural polarization against unhappiness.
Clearly, polarization happens naturally in the presence of polarization.
And this is why conscious leadership is now a requirement.
Nature requires balance in all things. Homeostasis is the fundamental rule in all living systems. You are no exception. And neither are your emotions. This polarization happens automatically at the unconscious level of your mind/body in the presence of anything that does not reflect your values, vision, or goals. That’s why it is imperative to understand polarization and to recognize it within yourself.
When you do this, you create the possibility of bringing yourself back to balance.
And from there, the probability of reaching your goals
The Second Requirement For Transforming Unbridled Passion Into Harnessed Passion
Second: Once you’ve recognized your own polarization, it’s time to neutralize it. Now, this doesn’t mean you lose your motivation to lead or to act. Nor does it mean you lose faith in your vision. On the contrary. The payoff is the return of equanimity or emotional balance in the face of emotional turmoil.
Neutralizing your polarization
puts the goal of controlled opposition within your reach.
This is a paradoxical circumstance that often evokes the response of “That’s not possible!”. Yet, a few thousand folks I’ve worked with have given it a try and found it not only possible but granting a quantum leap in conscious awareness. Then you can be more effective at calmly meeting the challenges of freeing your vision to come alive and claim its place in real-time.
So the second requirement is the neutralization of your own polarization.
Your own controlled opposition is more able to act wisely and to inspire others to also consult wisdom before action. Paradoxically, there is no decrease in motivation. Rather there is actually an increase in the desire to act in order to manifest the vision in the outer world.
The Third Requirement For Reorganizing Your Power To Lead Consciously In A Polarized World
Third: Once you recognize your own polarization and neutralize it, you’re on your way to re-establishing your emotional balance and clarity. And, you also gain back your personal power that gave this polarized position its strength. What to then do with this freed up power? Use it, of course, to take action.
But the specific action that empowers your conscious leadership is the redirecting of that freed up power that was behind the polarization in the first place.
The third requirement is to redirect your freed up power & strength that the unconscious polarization had held captive.
With this third step, you are now free to redirect your power & commitment to the primary goal which usually doesn’t change. Broadly stated, the general goal of conscious leadership in today’s world is to evoke more cooperation than competition, more clarity than chaos, and more emotional balance than emotional turmoil. When you’re balanced, this goal is much closer to fruition. And your actions will have the sweet fragrance of real love in action.
What To Do Next
There are various ways to learn how to evoke your own controlled opposition. However, I can only speak to the veracity of the one I know best. This is a tested and proven process for controlling your own opposition and unconscious polarization. It’s called Centered 24-7: Leading From The Eye Of The Storm.
I currently have a FREE Mini-Course available HERE that offers you quite an in-depth introduction to these ideas and how to make them your own – in body, mind, and brain.
I’ve put about 35 years of work into developing a pretty easy way to evoke your own controlled opposition. I want to help others make this transformation in perspective a natural part of everyday behavior by influencing both the unconscious mind and the neurophysiology of your brain. It’s very cool and definitely eye-opening.
Again, I invite you to check out this FREE Mini-Course HERE. And if you see the possibilities in it for your desire to continue becoming a more conscious leader, you can schedule a complimentary call with me right there to discuss whether or not my full mentoring course is right for you.
Meanwhile, I wish you a peaceful holiday season, and a much more relaxed 2021.