leadership practiced well is no accident.  

It is difficult. It is not normal.  It requires a change in ourselves and in how we view our responsibilities.  This change is so significant that leadership might be considered a deviant behavior.  We must leave the normal or ordinary and enter into an extraordinary state of mind.  Robert Quinn calls this the ‘fundamental state of leadership’.  He guides us with four transformative questions:

Am I results centered? In the normal state we make decisions based on comfort, familiarity, and past practices.  But moving to results centered changes our conversations.

Am I internally directed?  Externally-directed choices are based on what others will think or say. In the ‘fundamental state of leadership,’ an internal compass guides us to make decisions not because they are expedient but because they are right and based on our core values.  We become internally directed.

Am I other focused?  We naturally see the world through our own eyes, from our own perspective.  But leaders deviate from this perspective and remember, ‘It’s not about me.’  We become inclusive of others and their needs, or other focused.

Am I externally open?  Having all the answers leaves us internally closed.  But being open to new ideas, asking good questions, and exploring new ways of doing things keeps us alive or externally open (and we might find this to be actually a lot more fun).

To those around you, you are the most important person in the organization.  How you accept that responsibility matters.  Practice good leadership by asking the following question.  How can I today become more results-centered, internally directed, other-focused and externally open?