The Empowerment Equation

Take a deep breath in... you should read this.

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Photo: http://www.kubaphotography.ca/

Spencer Delisle is a Faculty Member of TLEX Canada, the International Association for Human Values(iahv.org) Canadian Corporate Program for Transformational Leadership Excellence (tlexprogram.com).
He has conducted programs for hundreds of people around the world in North America, and across Europe, most recently for members of the European Parliament and Top Business Executives from IBM, and Air Liquid and the Federal Government of Canada. His specialty is teaching a powerful breathing technique called Sudarshan Kriya that deeply cleanses the mind and body, so one can let go of the past and live in the present moment. A sought out speaker, he has presented at Conferences from San Jose, Costa Rica to Paris, France.
Earlier to his association with IAHVC he was awarded a bachelor of science from Mount Allison University winning the Henry Habib Scholarship for Academic and Leadership excellence, graduating the president of his class. Formerly involved in academic research at Mount Allison, and McGill University in the fields of cancer research and heart disease respectively, he continued his career in marketing with Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Let me start off by sharing a story with you. The founder of The International Association for Human Values and The Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a global humanitarian and expert on the mind. Sri Sri was invited to give the keynote speech at the international head quarters of Nokia, in Helsinki, Finland. The address was incredibly engaging, and inspiring. After the address, the executives of Nokia organized a private dinner with Sri Sri. During the dinner the then President and CEO of Nokia International, Olli Pekka, leaned toward Sri Sri and said “I run an international corporation with fifty thousands employees, and to be perfectly honest with you, it is a complete headache! I am so tired of it” And I see you, and you are running an organization which is present in over 150 countries, you have over 300 million people that have taken your programs or have been involved in your projects, and your always smiling! How do you do it? There was a moment of silence and Sri Sri said, “I would say I don’t control people, I inspire them”.

In my international travels with Sri Sri I have seen the way he inspires people the world over, but how does he do it? This I feel is a question that is even more valuable than the answer. I have experienced that simply the quest to inspire others brings out the greatness in you and everyone around you. So if this question has popped you’re your mind, you can count yourself lucky. Nonetheless, lets look into this.

Most people’s public and private lives are run by motivation. Motivation very often is focused on fear and greed. The problem is that motivation doesn’t last because it is stimulated from the outside. For example I give you a raise in your salary or I threaten your job. Maybe you’re motivated for the moment but with time it looses its allure. You need to keep amping up the motivation. Every time the effect wears off you need a bigger carrot or stick to get the same result. Inspiration is different. Inspiration is based on love and acceptance. Inspiration is there for the long haul because inspiration comes from with in.

Lets do an exercise. What are the qualities that we admire in an inspirational leader?

Dynamism, good listener, intelligent, creative, aware, dependable, balance of strength and sensitivity, honest, team player, big vision, enthusiastic, happy, sense of humor, focused, are some of the qualities that come to mind. Now let me take you back. Remember back to when you were a child playing your favorite game outside and your mother called you in for dinner. Were you at all concerned with the broccoli that was on the table? Not likely. You were 100% emersed in your game, focused, happy, and joyful. But do you wake up with same joy and enthusiasm every morning? Where have these qualities gone?

I would say that these qualities haven’t gone anywhere. These qualities are your very nature they are simply covered by layers of stress. So, becoming an inspirational leader is not so much of a learning process as it is an un-learning process. If you’ve been on vacation for a month and someone at work explodes on you, chances are you will see that that person is under a lot of pressure, and move swiftly to address the issue behind the emotional reaction of your colleague. However, if you are exhausted from months of stress and pressure at work, and at home, what are the chances you will have the same awareness and patience to act intelligently? Slim.

So, it’s obvious, we need to find a way to increase our energy level and get rid of excess stress so we can live the qualities we aspire to. My next article will outline some powerful tools, that you can use where ever, and when ever you want, to do just that.