13 February 2021: Exploring 'Centred Leadership' for success

I’ve seen a lot of great articles from McKinsey recently, but this one caught my eye: how centred leaders achieve extraordinary results.

It’s partly because we need leaders to pull some extraordinary results out of the bag right now, but also because for me ‘centred leadership’ resonates with ‘balanced leadership’. And, in our work with leaders using the Logical Levels Inventory (lli) tool, alignment, congruence and balance are key determinants for effective leadership.

In the McKinsey model they focus on five broad dimensions – all of which are measured in our lli profiling tool:

  • Meaning – finding your strength and putting them to work in service of your purpose
  • Positive framing – adopting a more constructive way to view your world
  • Connecting – building stronger support networks
  • Engaging – crossing the line to pursue opportunities you might avoid because of risks
  • Managing energy – practising ways to sustain and renew your energy.

Meanwhile, within the lli tool we measure the following:

  • Purpose – the view a leader has of the larger system they are part of and for whom or for what a particular path is followed
  • Positive thinking – one of the nine Leadership Qualities measured in lli. Leaders recognise that being positive is a state of mind that comes about by choice i.e. they are masters of their own happiness and positivity
  • Collaboration – another one of the nine leadership qualities measured in lli. This quality measures desire to build strong relationships creating human connections that lead to harmonious groups and teams.
  • Environment – here leaders see the external opportunities and constraints (risks), that they need to respond to. The more a leader leans towards opportunities the more connections, possibilities and opportunities they see.
  • Personal sustainability – this is also one of the nine Leadership Qualities measured in lli: we look at how leaders are able to manage their lives in a way that balances optimum growth and success with sustainable health.

In reviewing nearly 2,000 executives on how they use these five dimensions of leadership, they found each dimension was associated with higher levels of personal and professional satisfaction.

A recent McKinsey global survey found that executives who have mastered just one of these dimensions are twice as likely to feel they can lead through change as those who have mastered none.

Of all the dimensions, ‘meaning’ has a significant impact on satisfaction with work and life; and its contribution to general life satisfaction is five times more powerful than any other dimension measured.

Centred leaders often talk about how their purpose appeals to something greater than themselves and the importance of conveying their passion to others.


Finding meaning or purpose

So why is the contribution to general life satisfaction so high? According to Robert Dilts, creator of the logical levels model, meaning or purpose has to do with our sense of being part of something on a very deep level that is beyond ourselves.

A leader’s experience is related to his sense of vision or purpose. It comes from asking ‘For whom?’ and ‘For what?’

Leaders who have the answers to these questions are often following a vision and that gives them direction and focus in their lives and when that vision is shared by the people in your organisation and you know you are making headway towards the achievement of that vision that brings with it a high degree of satisfaction.

These leaders achieve extraordinary results.

If you would like to explore how the Logical Levels Inventory, lli, can support your leadership and finding your meaning or purpose, do please get in touch.

Until next time, please stay safe

Hilary Barnett, co-founder, Logical Levels Inventory (lli)



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