We all have filters through which we look at the world, and these filters have a direct impact on our experiences. Because we don’t function in the world alone, our filters also affect those we come in contact with and those we spend a lot of time around. If you don’t have confidence in your goals and dreams, the way you see the world may be to blame. Great leaders look at the world differently than others. When you become aware of your own filters, and explore other ways of looking at situations, you can change your results.
What is a “Filter”?
A “filter” is a lens through which we look at our experiences and the people in our life. In the simplest form, this can look like the typical pessimist or optimist contrast. A pessimist looks at the world around them and sees problems. An optimist sees opportunities. That’s a simplified example, but it demonstrates what a filter is and how it can affect your experiences.
If you expect the worst, that’s what you’re going to see – and if you expect the best, then your experiences will reflect your expectations. For example, if you go to a restaurant and expect lousy service, then you’re going to notice everything that the server does wrong. If you go expecting good service, then even if you do get less-than-stellar service, you’re going to focus on the things that went well.
How Do Great Leaders See The World?
- They believe in the power of the collective. Great leaders see their team as a group, with themselves as part of that group. They don’t approach leadership as an authoritarian experience. It’s a collaboration. It’s a lot easier to be self-assured when you believe that you’re part of a powerful group.
- Great leaders believe in openly sharing information. You’ll find that some leaders throughout your life only tell you what they think you need to know. Great leaders don’t filter information or knowledge. They believe in the open sharing of information. After all, they’re part of the team, and when everyone is on the same page it’s more productive and efficient.
- They engage in creative problem solving. Great leaders are often skilled problem solvers, but you’ll find that the best leaders engage their team in collective problem solving. They listen to the ideas and thoughts of everyone on their team and encourage idea sharing.
- They’re proactive. You can be either reactive or proactive. You can wait until something is a problem and then deal with it, or you can look ahead, try to identify potential problems, and create a plan to avoid them. Great leaders respect time and efficiency; they know that being proactive is the best approach. And by being proactive, you’ll gain confidence in your ability to problem solve and persevere.
Shifting Your Own Focus and Changing Your Filters
There are two ends of the spectrum of energy and leadership. At the bottom of the spectrum are emotions and filters like fear, overwhelm, blame, anger, and victimhood. At the very top end of the spectrum are emotions like passion, non-judgment, creation, joy, and peace.
Changing your filters can take time, and isn’t always easy, but it is powerful. When you can look at your team (personally or professionally) and strive for a situation where everyone is functioning at their best, you’ve achieved great leadership.
The process of shifting your filters and learning to lead this way is called Energy Leadership. It’s a process that develops a personally effective style of leadership that positively influences and changes not only yourself, but also those with whom you work and interact. Everyone is a leader in their life; we all move people into action. Whether you’re a parent, a significant other, a volunteer, or a professional, the Energy Leadership process can change your life.