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October 19, 2016

Going Deeper with The 15 Commitments: If You Want Resolutions Focus on Context

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Nearly all leaders we know of are obsessed with content. That is, they spend most of their waking hours thinking, dreaming and talking about the “things” that make up their businesses and lives. Indeed, being good at the content of our work is one of the key things that separates competent leaders from the rest.

The Conscious Leadership Group exists to support leaders to play their biggest game and create sustainable success. To do that, we spend a lot less time focused on the content of their lives.

Instead, we are deeply concerned with the context of their lives. That is, we believe it’s more important to focus on how we are talking about issues than on the issues themselves.

First the distinction. We say that content is “what we’re talking about.” This could include any of the following, and infinitely more:

  • Should we hire Vivek as the new director of data science?
  • My Mom just got diagnosed with alzheimer's.
  • George regularly turns in his work late and it’s sloppy.
  • What is the purpose of my life?
  • I’m not connected to my partner in a way that works for me.
  • I’m so sick of our leaders pivoting.  
  • I’m excited and nervous about the Cubs. Is this the year they win the world series?
  • Our internet is down.

Content is the stuff of our lives. Content is what the mind goes to over and over again. Content is what we think the issue is.

Our experience is that almost all good leaders in the world are experts on the issues that face them and their organizations. And despite that, most of them have a difficult time dealing with those issues, resolving them, and creating ongoing wins around them. That’s because they have not put attention on the context of how they are dealing with this issues. At CLG, we are focused on how leaders and teams are in relationship with their issues.

Context is “how you are being with your content.” Are you being with your content from:

  • Above or below the line?
  • Taking 100% responsibility or blaming and criticising?
  • Wanting to be right or wanting to learn and grow in self awareness?
  • Feeling your feelings or repressing and denying your feelings?
  • Revealing your truth or withholding?
  • Gossipping or talking directly to people with whom you have issues?
  • Being impeccable about or out of integrity with your agreements?
  • Appreciation or resentment and entitlement?
  • Your zone of genius or your zone of competence?
  • Taking yourself and the issue seriously or being in a place of play?
  • Believing your “story” is true or exploring other stories?
  • From seeking approval, control and security from others or sourcing it from within?
  • From scarcity or sufficiency?
  • Seeing others as allies or obstacles?
  • Creating win/lose scenarios or win for alls?
  • Engagement or apathy?

You could explore any of the content issues above, whether it be your Mom’s Alzheimer’s or the internet being down, from above the line or below the line.

Our secret sauce is that we will support you to identify, locate and accept your context first. We won’t explore content until we have defined context. And if you’re like a lot of people, you’ll get frustrated with us about this. You’ll want advice about content and we’ll keep pointing you to context. You’ll want to resolve the content and we’ll ask you to face the context.  

Why? Because we believe that unless you face and shift context, your content will keep recycling and you won’t experience a transformational shift in your consciousness. We’re here to support your expansion in consciousness; that only happens when you bring your full attention to context. That’s our (now) not-so-secret sauce.

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