In my previous blog I summarized the essential elements of our Awareness Quotient (AQ) and touched on the fact that our AQ is at the foundation of our experience in leadership and in life. We briefly explored how we can either directly or indirectly expand our AQ by involving ourselves in specific practices such as meditation or mindfulness, or by exposing ourselves to various perspectives and associating with people who are also committed to growing their AQ.
Now let’s dive a little deeper into this important topic and explore some of the practical elements of our more expanded AQ. We know from experience that there have been times in our lives when we were not able to see or understand all of the unintended consequences of our actions and choices. We have probably done some things that, when we look back on them from our present, more expanded perspective, we can clearly see that other options were available to us that we just couldn’t perceive at the time. This can be a very common experience for us.
So, at this most practical level of our perception and decision making, our AQ or our degree of awareness related to the key variables and the most likely outcomes of our decisions, is a key driver of our experience. Once again, we can see that it all starts and ends with our Awareness… and our AQ is the key determiner of our experience with everything in between.
This exploration can seem so simple and common sense that we can easily miss the critical nature and depth of possibility related to our AQ… and many of us do. Even after we have looked back on multiple occasions and witnessed the impact of our more limited awareness, many of us still take it for granted that we have complete clarity regarding our current circumstances. We almost can’t even imagine the possibility that we are not seeing and understanding everything we need to, in order to make the best decisions. Yet reality continues to show us many examples of where we have failed to identify key variables in a given situation, indicating that we have much more opportunity in this area.
The problem has been, however, that most people have not been exposed to the concept of our AQ and the practices that support its more expanded growth. As a result, our perception of the deeper reality and possibilities of a given situation or challenge can remain unnecessarily limited. The impact of our actions and interactions can therefore also suffer. So, as a leader, and I use that term in the broadest of applications, it behooves us to more purposefully explore and develop our AQ.
The good news is that there is so much material available to help expand our AQ. There are many great articles, books, podcasts, and workshops for us to explore. And there are a growing number of people and leaders who are actively pursuing this journey. It should not be too difficult for us to connect with this material and these people. We simply need to make this part of our purpose here, and then just open our eyes and ears a little wider, and look around and listen, and then we should see numerous opportunities to more deeply engage our AQ.
We can research and begin a meditation or mindfulness practice, and there are many to choose from. Or we can utilize any number of additional, well known activities to bring more awareness to our daily lives. We can even join or create an article or book discussion group, or simply start an informal discussion with others for the purpose of exploring and growing our group AQ. When we do any of these on a consistent basis, our AQ will grow noticeably and fairly quickly for us. And there is really no limit to how far we can take this. Our potential with expanding our AQ is BIG and it can have an incredibly positive impact on our leadership understanding and performance. And since our AQ is at the foundation of our leadership potential, this would be a good area to focus our attention.
This exploration into our AQ can actually be quite easy, fun and incredibly impactful for us and those we serve. But as with anything else, in order for us to further develop in this area, we must commit to it. We must become clear about what we are attempting to do and, even more importantly, why we are attempting to do it. We should also get clear about where our efforts will take those we serve and, finally, how we are going to get there. When we answer these four key questions, we are able create valuable clarity with our purpose related to our AQ. Our clear purpose can then become our compass and our anchor, and the source of inexhaustible energy that can keep us going through the challenges of life and our leadership journey. This is The Leadership Revolution that I am talking about!
What do you think? Please share a comment or question that further explores this topic.