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Developing Leadership Agility

Posted by Anthony Attan

Sep 30, 2015 10:29:00 PM

“Probably the most important competency for leaders to have in today’s rapidly changing world.”  What could be so powerful and important to leadership that would compel Marshall Goldsmith to make this statement?  Agility.

Leadership agility is more than just the latest buzzword in the leadership literature.  In fact, Forbes has described it as “the ingredient that will define the next generation of leaders”.   With the increasing complexity that leaders face in today’s business landscape, there is good reason why the experts are flying the agility flag. Today’s leaders must continue to rely on collaboration, connection and influence to gain business results. This requires nimbleness, as leaders make adjustments depending on whom they are interacting with and for what reason.  This adjustment, or perhaps more accurately described as alignment, is the essence of leadership agility.

Although many leaders are quick to agree that this is an important, if not necessary, competency to be successful, they often struggle in how to bring about this quality.  When I ask participants in my workshops what qualities leaders MUST have to be successful, they all tend to arrive at a similar list; passion, ambition, innovation, creativity, vision, commitment, accountability, empathy, communication etc.  I ask which of these characteristics leaders can do without, and participants always answer correctly; none of them! 

Great leaders ARE all of these things but they certainly can’t be all of these at once.  This is the heart of agility.  Great leaders know when to be what, and how to get there.  At this point, those that know FEBI well have likely noticed that what we are referring to is Whole Leadership, a concept Ginny Whitelaw developed to describe a leadership approach that utilizes all four of the fundamental energy patterns of personality.  These energy patterns, which are measured by a coaching instrument called FEBI, correspond with the four main categories of leadership success. Great leaders must be passionate, focused and courageous as described by the Driver pattern.  They must be honest, committed, and responsible as described by the Organizer pattern.  They also must communicate effectively, connect, and have empathy as described by the Collaborator pattern.  And finally, great leaders must be innovative, inspirational and have vision as described by the Visionary pattern.

A leader becomes an agile leader when they become skillful at the ability to recognize which pattern a particular situation calls for and effectively makes the shift to move into that pattern. In essence, this means shifting ones internal state to match what they want to create in the external world around them. This has been a primary focus of my own work developing leaders at all levels of the organization and why we developed the Targeting Your Leadership Energy course.  To become an agile leader, they must first gain self-awareness of how these patterns show-up with-in themselves.  I spoke much more on this topic in my Choice Magazine article on Coaching with Instruments: Taking the Guess Work out of Coaching.  Armed with this self-awareness, leaders are empowered to make a choice to shift from a preferred, and thus more utilized, pattern to one that is better aligned with the outcomes they are trying to bring about.  The more they practice this, especially with less preferred patterns, the more agile they become. 

In my own coaching I’ve found the FEBI to be the most useful framework to developing leadership agility.  In other words, agile leadership is whole leadership and the FEBI is a powerful tool to get you there.

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Topics: FEBI, leadership development, whole leadership, Leadership Agility

Personality Most Important to Hiring Managers: Developing Today's Leader

Posted by Anthony Attan

Aug 13, 2014 10:12:17 PM

4patterngraphic-new3The most recent issue of Training and Development Magazine (T+D, July, 2104) noted new research findings that 78% of managers surveyed indicated that personality is the most important attribute in a job candidate.  This study is a part of a larger conversation that personality is increasingly more important than hard skills as one moves up in the organizational ranks. In addition to typically sought after characteristics such as conscientiousness and analytic skills, the study found that the most desirable traits were creativity, drive and flexibility. In other words, in today’s business landscape, in order to be successful as we assume leadership roles, we must ensure we take a whole leader approach.

 

A whole leader is someone who has developed the ability to be agile in ALL these areas, rather than only be effective in one or two. In my own work with leaders it became clear early on that although technical skills are certainly necessary at the beginning of ones carrier, and that they can do well with only one of these characteristics noted above, this will not take them to the next level of leadership.  As leaders, it is no longer ok to only be analytic, as we also need to be creative and have the courage to make tough decisions.  It is no longer ok to be only laser focused on one thing, as we must also see the big picture and navigate competing priorities.  Whole leaders know how to use their strengths AND know when something else is needed.  Recognizing that AND often means a paradox. Whole leaders know how to strike the right balance between leveraging strengths while not becoming a victim of them. 

 

In addition to my work with leaders, I teach talent development practitioners how to develop their clients to be whole leaders by use of an instrument called FEBI.  The FEBI is a personality assessment specifically designed for leadership development that measures precisely the personality characteristics the study above noted as what hiring managers are now looking for when evaluating if a candidate will be successful in their work.  Since we know from personality theory that we have a tendency to prefer one or two of these characteristics, or energy patterns of personality as FEBI terms them, talent development practitioners can help leaders:

 

  • Be self-aware to understand their own preferences and how it impacts how they interpret and interact with their environment.
  • Align their work with what they are natural great at, growing and embracing their strength.
  • Become agile in all patterns but developing their whole self so that they can summon a different energy pattern when their strength isn’t appropriate for a particular leadership task.

 

The way we bring about this self-awareness is through validated psychometrics such as FEBI.  The four patterns FEBI measures have been found to be essential for leadership success:

 

  • Driver – laser focused, drives for results, challenges barriers, stretches for goals, loves to win, gets to the point, fast and direct, and independent. 
  • Organizer - does the right thing, moves step by step, proper, likes order, plans and lists, neat and tidy, stable and reliable. 
  • Collaborator - engages people, has fun, rolls with the punches, sees both sides, works around obstacles, plays in the give and take, builds teams and networks. 
  • Visionary - goes with the flow, lets go, thinks in leaps, sees the big picture, seeks harmony, thinks strategically, future-oriented.

 

Our research has found that although we tend to favor one or two of these patterns, which we call Home Patterns, the most successful leaders are those that can easily access all four and are able to use the right pattern at the right time.  These whole leaders are able to thrive with their strengths, while not getting stuck in them.  They are able to recognize what the situation demands, what pattern is best aligned with that demand and effectively enter into that pattern to approach the situation with the right energy. Whole leaders know their strengths but have also developed a full tool box so that when their home pattern isn’t best, they can flip into what pattern is.

Want to learn more about how FEBI can be used in your own talent development efforts?  Join us on September 7th for the free webinar, Energize Yourself, Energize Your Business with FEBI 

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Topics: FEBI, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership, leadership development

FEBI: The Power of all Four

Posted by Anthony Attan

Jan 31, 2013 1:35:00 PM

In this final part of the five-part blog series called The Patterns of FEBI we look at the power of combining all four.  This series explores each pattern measured by the FEBI.  The FEBI is a validated psychometric assessment and coaching tool that measures four fundamental patterns of personality and the various contexts in which they are expressed; cognition, physical movement, emotions, environment, etc.

 

When thinking of what to write for this post I was hoping to start with a funny story, a wise saying or some brilliant research.  What instead kept popping in my head was the theme song to a cartoon from my childhood, Captain Planet.  The basic plot of this cartoon was five extraordinary people around the globe had special powers derived from the planet; wind, water, earth, fire, and heart.  When villains sought to harm people, animals or the environment, one of the five would spring into action, utilizing their superpowers to fight crime and take down the bad guys. When a force was too great for one of them to take on, however, they would combine their powers, summoning Captain Planet: “With your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!”

 

describe the imageSo far in this blog series, we have seen how important each energy pattern of FEBI can be: How the Driver can be a great warrior, ensuring we clear barriers and reach our goals.  How the Organizer can give process to our brilliant ideas, giving them a way to become reality.  How the Collaborator can recharge our internal batteries, allowing us to be fully engaged and engage others.  How the Visionary enables us to embrace the chaos, expanding our world to all that is possible. Interestingly, these four patterns aren’t far from Captain Planet’s elements of fire (Driver), earth (Organizer), water (Collaborator) and wind (Visionary), and all of them manifest heart. Could you imagine being at your best with any of these players not on your bench?   

The good news is you don’t have to; you have all four of these patterns available already and, with a bit of awareness and practice, you can summon the right pattern at the right time! 

 

Through our work with leaders around the globe we have found that the most successful leaders are those who are best able to utilize all four aspects of themselves.  In one chapter of The Zen Leader, author Ginny Whitelaw asks a group during a leadership development program to describe a ‘whole leader’.   Here is what they say:

 

“gets the big picture and the details, drives results, gets it done, is good with people, thinks short-term and long-term, has a clear focus but still listens, balances work and life, can handle ambiguity, works well with diverse people…”

 

To become such a multi-faceted leader, you better have a full bench!  The best leaders do.  And this goes beyond corporate leadership.  If you’re a parent, a coach, an artist, a teacher, a sailor, a nurse, or an active member or your neighborhood, to be at your best you need all four.  No wonder the Captain Planet theme song kept ringing in my head!

 

While you don’t have to hum the theme song or dress up in blue tights and a cape, the power of multi-faceted excellence can be yours.  It starts with self awareness.  While it is certainly true that we have the ability to summon all four energy patterns, we also have preferences.  In psychology we might call this personality type.  Most people have a preference for one or two of these patterns, naturally utilizing those patterns more often – both when they’re useful and when they’re not.  Conversely, most people also have one or two patterns they use less often; it takes more energy to engage these weak patterns and may cause some discomfort.  Discovering what patterns you prefer and don’t prefer, what you are utilizing and not utilizing, is the first step in creating that full bench of pattern players.  Perhaps you already have a sense of your preferences just from reading this blog series.  If you want a more scientific answer, you can complete the FEBI, a validated psychometric assessment that measures these four patterns and tells you to what extent you prefer each of them. It will also show you numerous ways to cultivate a weak pattern, and how they might help you.  Armed with your newfound self awareness, you can begin to use your personality more fully, rather than be stuck in it.  You’ll also gain new insights into those around you, and be able to pick out which patterns they prefer.

 

As we saw throughout this blog series, certain patterns are best at engaging certain situations.  For example, the Visionary is best for creating a strategic vision.  The Organizer is best at creating steps to bring that vision to reality, and so on.  You’ll begin to have awareness of what pattern is best for a particular situation.  Putting this all together, with a bit of practice and intention, you can become proficient at bringing out the right pattern at the right time.  Since we do have preferences, those patterns that are least preferred do require more energy and intention to access. You can kickstart any pattern by engaging its various forms, such as using physical movement, cognitive activities, playing a certain kind of music, or putting yourself in a particular environment. Take time to practice engaging all the patterns, especially those that you are less comfortable with. This will allow those bench players to be ready when they are needed – when your inner equivalent of Captain Planet needs to summon those elements.  With your powers combined, what couldn’t you handle?

 

Need help getting started using all four patterns?  Download this worksheet from best-selling book, Move to Greatness, to learn how to build your own best by effectively utilizing all four energy patterns of FEBI.

Want to learn more about FEBI?  Join us on February 12th for the free webinar, Energize Yourself, Energize Your Business with FEBI.

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership development, managing energy, whole leadership, energy patterns, Driver, whole leadership. whole leadership development, Organizer, Collaborator, Visionary, whole self

Visionary: Embracing the Chaos of Possibility

Posted by Anthony Attan

Jan 25, 2013 2:50:00 PM

Part 4 of this five-part blog series called The Patterns of FEBI, expands into the Visionary.  In this series we explore each pattern measured by the FEBI.  The FEBI is a validated psychometric assessment and coaching tool that measures four fundamental patterns of personality and the various contexts in which they are expressed; cognition, physical movement, emotions, environment, etc.

 

“No chaos, no creation.  Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime.” – Mason Cooley

 Visionary logo

As a child, one of my favorite toys was a set of bricks made of cardboard that I could stack and build into just about anything.  I used to love creating forts, race car tracks, cabins, buildings, castles and more.  Have you ever watched a child play with blocks, legos or other such elements of creative construction?  For that child, those random pieces can turn into anything, limited only by imagination.  I still recall the feeling that all the possibilities in the world existed in that chaotic pile of cardboard bricks.

 

One of the more unfortunate side effects of growing up is that we often lose this childlike imagination.  Instead of envisioning a fort, we see a mess of boxes that needs to be picked up.  Instead of seeing potential, we see only the stress that chaos can bring.  Chaos, however, brings with it possibility.  Losing one’s job, for example, can be one of the most chaotic events that a person can encounter.  This event can certainly be stressful, and full of all the negative side effects that accompany stress: headaches, stomachaches, lack of sleep, feeling inadequate, depression, etc.  Now, consider if this event were instead approached by embracing the chaos.  Think of all that is now possible, that you are no longer tied down by that job, that you can now create a new chapter, a new world.      

 

Consider chaotic events in your own life that have shaped where you are today.  I can certainly think of a few.  For me, those events earlier in my life were not filled with the enthusiasm and excitement of possibility.  They were full of fear and stress.  “What am I going to do now?”  “How will I get past this?”  Questions like these ran through my head as the fear took over my body, making me physically ill.  I felt small, unimportant and inadequate.  Just think of the kind of world I was creating, one that was just as small as I was feeling.  Now, imagine I instead embraced the chaos, empowered by all that is possible. 

 

Now, this is exactly how I approach situations cloaked with unknowns and chaos.  The energy pattern that got me here is Visionary. The Visionary is a pattern of no pattern, it is a pattern of big picture thinking and future orientation, of connecting with the essence of situations and thriving in the unknown.  For me, a strong Organizer/Driver, this was not a natural pattern.  It had to be cultivated.  When I approached chaos as an Organizer, especially when the solution could not be immediately known, the result was always fear and stress.  When I learned to instead approach these situations as a Visionary, the fear went away and I felt big with all that was now possible. This shift in emotion occurs because the Visionary is simply better in these situations.  In fact, it thrives in them. 

 

NVisionary Energy Patternext time you’re faced with chaos, try this exercise to approach it with all the possibility of the Visionary.  To get the most out of this activity, I strongly encourage first entering Visionary physically, such as is shown in the Visionary Pattern Energy you can download below.  With blank paper and a pen, find a quiet open space.  A park bench, a meadow or by a body of water is a great space for this activity.  Become aware of your breathing, let your body relax, and let your eyes soften to take in full peripheral vision – seeing the entire scene around you all at once.  Now, in the middle of the paper draw a circle and write the phrase “what is possible now?”  Over the next 20 minutes, write down any thought that pops in your head.  You don’t have to think too hard about it, nor do the thoughts need to make sense now.  Just keep feeling the flow of your breath, feeling into the bigness of the Visionary, and let thoughts of all that is possible arise on their own. After writing down a thought, rather than focusing on it, just let it go and await the next thought.  With this random smattering of possibilities in front of you, turn your page over and again draw a circle except this time write the phrase “what wants to happen here?”  Again, take 20 minutes powered by the Visionary and, with this question, write down whatever thoughts decide to pop in your head.  By the end of this activity, take a look at your paper and see what you came up with.  Check in on the feeling this framing brings whatever issue you were facing.  Empowered by the Visionary, it will be hard to find anything you can’t handle.

Want to learn more about FEBI?  Join us on February 12th for the free webinar, Energize Yourself, Energize Your Business with FEBI.

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership development, leadership coaching, energy patterns, Visionary

Science of Somatics: Interview with Amanda Blake

Posted by Anthony Attan

Dec 7, 2012 12:14:00 PM

Amanda Blake is a FEBI-Certied Coach who is doing some amazing work around the Science of Somatics.  I recently caught up with Amanda about her work with leaders, her forthcoming book and how she utilizes the FEBI patterns in her work.


Amanda Blake HeadshotTell me about Stonewater Leadership.

I started Stonewater to support social change by helping people become more deeply embodied. New research is revealing - and yogis and martial artists have been telling us for generations - that as you increase self-awareness in physical, emotional, and mental domains all kinds of benefits open up, from increased health to reduced stress to greater empathy.

In my line of work as a Master Somatic Coach I primarily apply those insights to the challenges of leadership. When done right, cultivating mindful embodiment can have practical leadership benefits as well as personal benefits.

Through Stonewater I work with two groups of people: practitioners who want to learn more about the science of embodiment, and leaders - primarily social entrepreneurs - who want to increase their capacity to lead during these challenging and turbulent times.


What can we expect in your forthcoming book, Your Body Is Your Brain?

The big promise behind the book is that it will help people get smarter about what matters to them by harnessing their full intelligence, including the wisdom of the body. Your Body Is Your Brain surveys the research landscape in a wide variety of fields - biopsychology, embodied cognition, neuroscience, and psychoneuroimmunology, to name a few - and connects that research to powerful and compelling stories of change told by somatic coaching clients worldwide.

In the book, I explore how leaders can cultivate the social and emotional intelligence they need to effectively galvanize people around their vision, manage their mood when the going gets tough, handle conflict when it arises, and so on. Most importantly, I explore why it’s imperative - really, truly non-optional - to include the physical body in any kind of personal development. There are sound neurobiological reasons why this is so, and in the book I explore those reasons.


During a recent FEBI Certified Coach webinar, you discussed how subtle changes in body posture can induce powerful changes in ourselves and those around us. Can you speak more to this phenomenon?

Sure. Dr. Stephen Porges, a prominent researcher focused on the autonomic nervous system - a part of our nervous system involved in stress and relaxation - collaborated with bodyworkers to study the effects of Rolfing on stress. They found that changing the angle of the pelvic bowl from a slight anterior tilt to a more balanced position was associated with a sustained increase in parasympathetic tone. What this means, in lay terms, is that people experienced a greater sense of calm when their hips were in a healthier and more efficient anatomical position. This is because the parasympathetic nerves involved in calming physiobodybrainbehavior V2 resized 600logical systems run right through your pelvic bowl. Your everyday posture actually plays a role in your resilience to stress.

So what does this have to do with leadership and organizations? What I and other somatic coaches consistently see in our clients is that as they make sustained postural changes, several things shift in conjunction with that, including their typical mood, their sense of confidence, and their capacity to take actions that were previously difficult for them. This can include speaking up in meetings, or modulating their flashes of anger, for example. This claim that posture impacts more than just physiological health is supported by Amy Cuddy’s research on power postures at Harvard Business School, which I mentioned during the webinar.


How are you utilizing FEBI in your work? How do the patterns connect with your work?

Obviously, FEBI is a great fit with my work. Most of my work is about helping people learn how to be in their body in a new way so they can take different actions. FEBI is the only instrument I know of that goes beyond increasing self-awareness to help people actually move differently in the world, both literally and metaphorically. For this reason, it’s the only leadership assessment that I use.

I often play a little game with myself: I tend to guess at people’s FEBI profiles by watching them move, and then when I have a look at their FEBI results, I check how close I was. This has really helped me hone my ability to see how clients’ behavior and personality shows up in their gestures and comportment. Sometimes I teach in programs that don’t include use of the FEBI. In those circumstances I’ll still observe participants through the lens of the patterns and help them access new options and actions through other qualities of movement. Overall, I have found the FEBI to be a really helpful tool.

I should also add that I have written about the patterns in Your Body Is Your Brain and I refer to them as well in my Body = Brain practitioners class. I interviewed Betsy Wetzig, Ginny Whitelaw's co-author on Moving to Greatness, to get a deeper understanding of how she came to her understanding of the patterns. And several FEBI coaching clients have been generous with their time and stories as well. Many thanks to all of the wonderful folks at Focus Leadership for supporting the effort!

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership development, leadership coaching, embodied learning, managing stress, energy patterns, mindful practice

What Differentiates FEBI as a Coaching Tool?

Posted by Anthony Attan

Sep 4, 2012 11:01:00 AM

 

Blog Rewind:  This short post was written by Zen Leader author Ginny Whitelaw responding to a question that came up in a FEBI Certification session.  This recently came up again when I was working with one of our FEBI Certified Coaches, so I thought it would be good to repost Ginny's answer.  Like many, this practitioner was great at coaching with FEBI, but was struggling with the step before the coaching even began, describing the instrument to people that have never heard of it.  This can be an important step for practitioners that are in the 'selling' phase of a coaching engagements, which as we know, sometimes continues after a contract is signed.   

 

Near the end of our FEBI certification webinar yesterday, I was asked how I would – in a 30 sec pitch to a client - differentiate the FEBI from other assessments. What are 3-4 key talking points? Great question! Here’s my answer:

1- Connects Being with Doing

Creates an immersion experience where leaders feel on the inside how they need to be FEBI Patterns logoto authentically behave in a certain way or create a certain climate or performance around them; FEBI can then be linked to all other course content

2- Is both Descriptive and Prescriptive

Many assessments give insight into personality, but only the FEBI prescribes specific, mind-body practices to enable and support desired shifts

3- Scales from Individual to Groups

Gives insight into individual personality, as well as how these same patterns emerge in relationships, on teams, in organizations, and across demographic, professional, and national cultures. In all cases, leaders learn levers for bringing out more of a needed energy pattern, and can tie that back into themselves, and how they need to be

4- Accelerates Development

Study after study has shown that mind-body awareness accelerates awareness and development in general; the FEBI makes this crucial link

 

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Not FEBI Certified but want to learn more about this coaching tool?  Join us on September 10th for a free webinar: Energize Yourself, Energize Your Business with FEBISign up today!

 

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership development, leadership coaching, energy patterns, business coaching tool, Ginny Whitelaw, coach training

There Should Be an “I” in Team

Posted by Mark Kiefaber

Mar 30, 2012 12:20:00 PM

In almost every team locker room anywhere, there is a banner that says, “There’s No “I” in Team.  The intent is clear.  Don’t be selfish, and make sure you suppress your individual ego for the good of the team.  But there is a possible downside to this sentiment.  Imagine a swimming relay team where one of the simmers gains 30 pounds and starts smoking, or less dramatically, just doesn’t stay in the best possible condition.  S/he is not likely going to help the team much.  S/he is not focusing very much on being the best possible “I”.

Think of all the teams that operate in organizations.  Sometimes they work in series, like a relay team, and sometimes they work in parallel like a rugby team.  In all cases, they need each of the team members to maintain a maximum level of both competence and energy.  In the organization sense, maximum competence means technically up to date, and a critical part of maximum energy means matching the right energy type to whatever task needs to be accomplished.  There are four basic energy types (Driver, Organizer, Collaborator, Visionary), and each of us has access to all four types.  We also, however, have preferences among types, so we don’t access them all the same.  Learning your preference hierarchy and how to strengthen your weaker preferences is key to being the best “I” for any team. An online assessment called the FEBI will help you learn about and strengthen your energy.

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, leadership development, energy patterns, business coaching tool, teamwork, teams

4 Tips for Leadership Coaching

Posted by Mark Kiefaber

Mar 6, 2012 9:00:00 AM

Often times when I work with high level leaders I’m shocked by the lack of real leadership development they have experienced.  Usually highly intelligent and talented people, they have risen through the corporate ranks to a position of leadership on their technical skills alone.  Here is where leadership coaching comes into play, which can be the difference between a highly talented employee that meets goals and an integral leader that changes the game.  Below are a few tips on how to ensure your leadership coaching is developing great leaders. 

  • Self-Awareness:  Start by helping the leader become aware of how s/he shows up as a leader.  What is his/her personality?  Thinking style?  Communication style?  Behavior?  You can’t get to where you want to go without knowing where you are, so first help your clients start with this important self insight.  

  • Others-Awareness:  Provide a frame to see how these different styles/preferences show up in the people around them and perhaps more importantly, how to use this knowledge to meet people where they are.  Leaders can gain important insight when considering what the message looks like from the followers’ perspective.  Understanding follower personality preferences, behavioral styles, needs, etc. and approaching leadership from that perspective is one of the most powerful tools that a developed leader have.

  • Situational-Awareness:  A third important piece of the puzzle is what the needs of the situation are.  Sometime the situation means we just need to get things done, other times we need to slow down and think outside the box.  Help your client develop an awareness of what the situation calls for.

  • Putting It All Together:  In my work with leaders I have found that the most successful leaders, the ones that their people look up to as great leaders, are those that can effectively and continuously put these three elements together.  The most developed leaders are those that understand themselves from the inside out, meet their people where they are and incorporate the needs of the situation in their approach.

At Focus Leadership we have developed the perfect leadership coaching tool to guide this very process called the FEBI.  Click on the link below to download a free FEBI Coaching Guide.

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, leadership, leadership development, change management, leadership coaching, whole leadership development, business coaching tool

What is Whole Leadership?

Posted by Anthony Attan

Feb 24, 2012 1:39:00 PM

If you are reading this post you have likely heard the term ‘whole leadership’ and are wondering what in the world we are talking about.  You also likely care enough about leadership to wonder in the first place.  Fear not, you are in the right place.

Picture these scenarios, the leader who…

  • Has brilliant ideas but lacks the follow through to do anything with them.

  • Is incredibly hard working when alone but lacks the ability to connect or work with others.

  • Is laser focused on ambitious goals but fails to anticipate where the industry is going.

Do these people sound like the next successful leader?  The next great CEO?  Our research says most likely they are not.  Why?  They are all partial leaders. 

Although leaders should know their strengths and use them to reach desired goals, those same strengths can also get in the way of success when overused.  For example, you could have a real strength of breaking down big processes, analyzing all of the individual parts and get stuck in those details, not seeing the forest for the trees.  Or you’re a great innovator but you spend so much energy creating that nothing gets done. Whole leaders know how to use their strengths AND know when something else is needed.  Recognizing that AND often means a paradox. Whole leaders know how to strike the right balance between leveraging strengths while not becoming a victim of them. 

To further describe whole leadership let me concentrate the discussion on the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of whole leadership.  First the ‘what’.  One thing that is certainly not new about leadership, or personality in general, is that we take on preferences in how we show up in the world.   These preferences have been call personality types, cognitive modes of thinking or behavioral tendencies.  From our research, and similar to many models in the past, there are four main preferences, which we call energy patterns of personality

  • Driver – laser focused, drives for results, challenges barriers, stretches for goals, loves to win, gets to the point, fast and direct, and independent. 

  • Organizer - does the right thing, moves step by step, proper, likes order, plans and lists, neat and tidy, stable and reliable. 

  • Collaborator - engages people, has fun, rolls with the punches, sees both sides, works around obstacles, plays in the give and take, builds teams and networks. 

  • Visionary - goes with the flow, lets go, thinks in leaps, sees the big picture, seeks harmony, thinks strategically, future-oriented.

Our research has found that although we tend to favor one or two of these patterns, which we call Home Patterns, the most successful leaders are those that can easily access all four and are able to use the right pattern at the right time.  These whole leaders are able to thrive with their strengths, while not getting stuck in them.  They are able to recognize what the situation demands, what pattern is best aligned with that demand and effectively enter into that pattern to approach the situation with the right energy. Whole leaders know their strengths but have also developed a full tool box so that when their home pattern isn’t best, they can flip into what pattern is. 

This brings us to the ‘how’.  To become a whole leader means developing your whole self.  As models on personality have evolved, we now know that patterns of personality are actually impacted by a range of interconnected elements such as cognition, behavior, communication styles, our environment, our emotions and how we physically move.  The whole leader uses all of these elements collectively to develop these patterns.  At Focus Leadership, we have developed a tool called the Focus Energy Balance Indicator (FEBI) to measure these energy patterns and help leaders develop their whole self.   

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership, leadership development, whole leadership development, whole leadership, embodied learning, energy patterns

Energy Patterns Helping To Form New Habits

Posted by Anthony Attan

Feb 9, 2012 9:18:00 AM

We are now five weeks into the New Year and for many this means resolutions are beginning to fade in lieu of old habits.  What is the best intention on January 1st often becomes just another a failed resolution by now.  By March, many of us have for forgotten them all together.  So, what will make this year different?

I should first point out that I am not against resolutions.  In fact, quite the contrary, I think it is really important to take the time when the calendar changes to reflect on the past year and verbalize goals for the future.  Take the time to stop and reflect on all that you have accomplished in the past year, what your greatest challenges were and your greatest victories.  I find myself getting so caught up in the daily grind that I lose sight of all that has occurred over the past year.  So I encourage everyone to take the time to reflect, celebrate those victories and learn from those struggles.  

Next, think of what you want to accomplish this year.  What needs to happen so that on January 1st, 2013, you will look back on your year and say, “2012 was a great year!”  The energy patterns can help with this effort.  Enter the Visionary pattern to help you broaden your thinking to be more future oriented and picture what would have to happen to make 2012 a successful year.  Stay in this pattern and envision what the emotion is and really feel into what a great 2012 would feel like.  You don’t have to do this alone, in fact, you shouldn’t do this alone.  Enter Collaborator and share your thoughts and this feeling with others, building on the collective energy of those around you.  Next, enter the Organizer pattern and capture what needs to happen to make it a great year.  Think of the steps that must occur for those things to happen and write those down too.

So, how do we prevent this year from being just another year of broken resolutions?  For this we will summon our inner warrior, which we call the Driver energy pattern.  The key is to turn good intentions into habits that define us.  The Driver energy can help as the best way to form a new habit is to start today.  It’s really that simple: every day enter Driver and get it done!  If ‘it’ is working out, the best way to form an exercise habit is to workout TODAY!  Not tomorrow, not next week, but today.  And tomorrow will turn into your new today so guess what, it's again time to summon the Driver and workout today.  Eventually, this will become a habit, as the activity will occur with minimum thought and more psychological distress will arise when not doing the activity - even when the activity is hard.  Until then, let your Driver be your inner warrior, fighting for today.

As we see in leadership, the patterns can support your efforts in making 2012 a great year.  Just as whole leadership has shown to be best practice in business, so can all the patterns support you in forming new habits, reaching goals and creating an amazing year.  This year, let your whole self, with all the potential within you and all the support around you, make it the best one yet!

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, energy, leadership, leadership development, managing energy, whole leadership development, whole leadership, managing stress, energy patterns

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The FEBI Learning Lounge is the official blog of FEBI Assessment.  In this blog we discuss all things related to the energy patterns of FEBI, digging more into each of the patterns of personality and discussing various applications that can benefit from a pattern perspective.

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