Not all forms of leadership are created equal. There’s a difference between what we might call “standard” leadership and truly enlightened leadership. While the average variety may be good enough to get the job done in some situations, enlightened leaders are capable of creating transformations.
What separates regular, everyday leadership and enlightened leadership? Here are a few of the distinctions.
First, standard leaders may be in it for themselves. Enlightened leaders aren’t thinking about themselves at all. Let’s be honest. There is a certain glory associated with being a great leader. The idea appeals to the ego. As a result, we often find leaders who are at least partially interested in glorifying themselves, padding their own resumes or otherwise acting selfishly.
Enlightened leadership involves a completely different mindset. The enlightened leader isn’t particularly interested in how his or her actions affect him or her. Instead, the focus is placed squarely on meeting the larger goals for the benefits of others. In the faith-based world, people often refer to “servant leadership.” In a sense, that’s at the very core of enlightened leadership–it’s all about serving others and greater objectives.
Second, traditional leaders often rely upon an accidental combination of job status and innate charisma to make things happen. They have some level of management clout and experience to inform their efforts at motivating, persuading and directing others, but the nature of their position is basically unintended.
On the other hand, enlightened leadership is an intentional process. It doesn’t rely on a genetic lottery win or a fortunate job promotion. It comes from a deeper place and motivation. Then, it’s carefully honed with ongoing education, consideration and practiced.
The enlightened leader is a very intentional leader–he or she understands his or her role and makes all possible efforts to understand how to make the most of it. Enlightened leaders make a concerted effort to master their skills and to learn new techniques.
Those are just two of the primary difference between run-of-the-mill leadership and enlightened leadership. As you can undoubtedly tell, there are appreciable differences between “good enough” leadership and that which is especially powerful.
By Samuel Ryder