Do you agree with this statement? Let’s explore.
There have been times that I have carried my mission on my back like a ton of bricks and while I sought positive impact, I grew weary and tired.
It is actually my own journey of burnout, a chronic-illness-call-to-action, and subsequent rising anew that has profoundly impacted my relationship with work and my current leadership paradigm.
I have also experienced moments facilitating teams of brilliant leaders where I witnessed a beautiful sense of togetherness toward the mission and heartfelt enjoyment. Moments where everyone truly synced up.
It’s happened at offsite events leading connection activities, but it’s also happened on Zoom facilitating, for example, a Steering Committee on an organizational initiative. People didn’t want to hang up at the end of the two-hour meeting. There was a palpable feeling of connection.
This is my first blog post and I’m excited to test my unique leadership hypothesis as I invite you with me on a journey of researching the science of peak performance and team excellence.
Leadership, done right, is a pleasure. When an organizational culture prioritizes creating a culture of trust and belonging that is both connected to shared purpose and fun to be part of, their impact, profits, and success are significantly increased.
Over the next year, I’m going to do the research and make a case to either prove or disprove this hypothesis or modify it to ring true.
My background is renewable energy and specifically, I have a PhD in materials science and postdoc in physics. The scientific method will bring rigor to this inquiry. I also promise to keep it fun and lighthearted so that we may enjoy ourselves.
In my experience working in laboratories, project management, and business development representing my lab or company’s new technology at events and at large, there was something that I hungered for throughout my career that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
When I joined a community that was able to successfully engage each person’s heart’s desires while together staying connected to a greater purpose, I was struck and in awe. I could no longer do business as usual.
At that time in my life, repping my company at renewable energy and agricultural events, the passion in the room and on big stages felt surprisingly flat. There was some excitement here and there, but the general enthusiasm within these groups of leading experts tackling the world’s energy and water and food situations felt less than optimal.
It is literally not possible to be at your fullest potential if your head, alone, is engaged without your heart’s passion.
If instead, your head and heart are in a measurable state of coherence (which feels like love, gratitude, enthusiasm, etc.) the result is production of oxytocin, a feeling of aliveness, and a deep yearning to create solutions.
The science of heart and mind coherence is kind of incredible.
The HeartMath Institute, an organization studying the communication between the heart and brain aimed at reducing stress and increasing wellbeing across industries, has discovered that the heart sends more information to the brain than vice versa.
They’ve found that the quality of this information aka heart coherence measured via heart rate variability (HRV), hugely impacts cognitive function, clarity, focus and one’s capacity to be in a state of peak performance.
The key is to be able to shift out of stress, including emotions of frustration, anxiety and anger, which produce an irregular, jagged HRV corresponding to impaired brain function, into a state of a smooth, rhythmic HRV associated with emotions such as appreciation, confidence and compassion.
There is so much more HeartMath science to explore! Things get really interesting when you examine multiple people’s heart coherence while relating. It’s coming in future posts…
Creating work atmospheres for ourselves and our teams that elicit positive feelings will be the subject of this exploration. The importance of workplace culture in this formula is essential.
One thing I’ve discovered doing this work is that while it doesn’t happen automatically, engaging in an intentional process to create a culture of trust and belonging within your organization is most effective when it is a joyful process!
As my favorite of Einstein’s quotes reads: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
Alas! A new leadership paradigm is not only possible, but required for us to regenerate our beautiful planet. Also to regenerate ourselves, our aliveness, and the meaning we have the pleasure to experience each day in our work lives.
2021 was the year of the Great Resignation where the largest number of humans in history quit their jobs. The people of today will not tolerate an uninspiring workplace that they have to grind through to survive.
Our world is ready and ripe for innovation.
The new leadership possibility values connection and enjoyment of the process in equal measure to valuing results.
Stay tuned, subscribe now, and join me in my scientific inquiry setting out to test my hypothesis, and of course enjoy the process all along the way. Let’s do this!