Most virtues learnt in the past centred on the heart such as kindness and generosity. But if you study the virtues of soldiers or saints, it is not about love. It’s about discipline, constancy of aim and effort.
To become a legendary leader in business, in the classroom or in the family, one needs to develop universal virtues of power, in the heart and mind. What sets legendary leaders apart is the fact that they have also integrated the virtues of good health, sacrifice and group consciousness.
Of these, group consciousness is one of the last virtues to be developed. And, in this increasingly global economy, group consciousness is more essential than ever as people from different countries, companies and cultures come together for the success of multinational business missions.
With these international options come opportunities for individuals to evaluate their own levels of group consciousness. After all, there are people who easily express open-heartedness to members of their own group, but find it difficult to forgive those outside their circle. Likewise, there are people who are intellectual but turn their sharp mind to criticise others. The same is true for those who are powerful but use their influence to segregate.
Legendary leaders harness their will to focus the group on the mission, love to bind the group into a team and tactical strategies so they work together to accomplish their goals. Thus, true group consciousness results from the development of all three aspects of the Trinity of Power – will, love and intelligence, plus, the virtues of good health and sacrifice.
The virtue of group consciousness is comprised of nine characteristics. Readers evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in each criterion.
- Spirit of interdependence and co-existence. Through the spirit of interdependence and co-existence, one realises that they cannot exist without others, that the true nature of life and creation is characterised by co-existence. Nature expresses this through its ecosystems. Humanity needs to learn this principle to attain world peace and right distribution of resources. With objectivity and humility, this principle is easy to understand.
- The spirit of co-operation. People need to know the goal and purpose of a project before they are willing to commit their time, talent and effort to it. Potential team members need to evaluate the project to determine if it is likely to violate their personal virtues and values. It is best for the group members to anticipate the results of the project at the outset. This will lead to better co-operation towards the common goal.
- Proper skills and aptitude. Each individual member should possess the talents needed to make positive contributions to the project.
- Right attitude. This does not mean blindly saying “yes” to every suggestion made by the boss, but rather implies the freedom to express creative ideas properly. Once the team or its leader make a decision, personal differences are set aside for the good of the project.
- Proper communication. This is one of the most important aspects for teamwork to succeed. All visions and goals have to be shared according to set rules and protocols. Openness and integrity are key factors, and so are written reports that track group activity. Group members need to understand the consequences of meeting goals or failing to do so.
- Inspiration. Groups perform better when they are inspired, happy and enjoy what they are doing. While it is up to each individual member to maintain a positive attitude, leaders are responsible for communicating the value of each role and member’s contribution. Teams do best when both members and leaders are focused on the results rather than getting bogged down by petty differences or short-term problems.
- Discipline. This is the make or break quality within a group. With constancy of effort and great performance, projects are likely to succeed. Project leaders must also exemplify this quality.
- Dispassion and detachment. When a group becomes emotional, excessively or fanatically, the team can’t function properly. The virtues of dispassion and detachment are the safeguards. Any agenda brought by anger, jealousy, envy, violence, fear, separateness or stress should beminimised and overcome immediately. The role of the leader and senior members is to dismantle these poisonous qualities. Members should be trained in techniques for switching from a negative emotional state to a more positive approach. Focusing on next steps and long-term goals is important for developing dispassion and detachment.
- Group love and compassion. Each member should be considered the other’s keeper. However, there is no room for sentimentality or passionate love because too much emotion unbalances a group rather than binds it.
These virtues of group consciousness are the foundation to maximise group potential and success.
To become a truly legendary leader, it is essential to add the virtue of good health. Good health requires the will and mental focus to walk away from foods, vices, stressful situations and so on that could rob one’s vitality. It also means developing the commitment to engage in physical activities that revitalise and boost energy such as Wisdom Martial Arts – one of the fastest, most complete training systems for integrating the body, emotions, mind and spirit.
Half of knowing what you want, is knowing what you must give up before you get it. Sacrifice is not relinquishing something bigger for something smaller. It should not be seen as a trigger to suffering. Indeed, sacrifice is a cause of joy or even bliss. Giving up unproductive activities to do more important work and service contributing to society or world needs is a noble ideals. However, it is not martyrdom. True sacrifice is selflessness and service-oriented attitude intelligently applied.
- Begin by listing your goals and ideals, then note the activities you are willing to give up to achieve those noble plans.
- Determine the attitudes and aptitudes that block your success.
- Identify personal desires that you can relinquish in the face of higher aspirations.
- Practice courage while taking small steps. Continually call to mind the inspiration for your sacrifice.
Service is an expression of inner growth and development. It is the muscle-building for virtues. It is also a barometer of inner development and spirituality. Mastery of the virtue of sacrifice is mastery of true leadership. It is the power behind greatness.
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