4 Skills Leaders Need for a Responsibility Mindset

by Jennifer Miller on October 23, 2012

in Guest Blogger, Leadership

Guest Post by Debbie Nicol, creator, “embers of the world”

close up of burning fireLeaders of today face the optimum opportunity to transition from entitlement mindset to responsibility mindset, regaining balance while serving all equally.  Executive team members in many organizations are desperate for leaders who possess and openly demonstrate this strong character trait.  Other players of the business world are following suit. For example, customers reward this behavior with word of mouth and repeat business, suppliers are carefully choosing partners who show commitment to their corporate values and investors are following corporate governance regulations as their interviewing sheet.

The following 21st century skillset, part of the ‘embers’ leadership model, is key to the changing business world and is being embraced by those responsible, authentic individuals who lead with character:


When we stop, look, listen and feel, we move from the realm of ‘busy-ness’ into the world of silence and stillness, allowing clarity and meaning to be reachable.  Just like a mirror, it allows us to see reality, which is always close yet often unattainable, especially when we ignore it because we’re frantically reacting to immediate demands and too busy to take a moment to pause and re-group, which is when the worst mistakes happen.  Mastering this leadership skill will help temper reactivity and snap judgments in business with concerns dissipating to allow alignment, synchronicity and good decision making to occur.  We tune in to intuition and learn to trust it.


Just as the connection between a plug and a wall socket turns on the light, constant reflection allows a leader to connect to the core. There are many terms used to describe our core.  Some call it our life force, our energy source or our truth.  Regardless of the label, the inner becomes a strong driving force and mastering this leadership skill will have reactivity, judgment and concern melting away, again allowing effortless alignment, synchronicity and decision making to occur.  It will even welcome vulnerability as a facilitator of transparency and co-learning. Intuition will balance analysis, empowering those who are connected leaders to see opportunity for change, create the way forward enabling solutions to evolve easily and efficiently.


With self-trust and energy flowing through the connection, it’s time to ramp up for the next phase.  With the third stage of the embers process model, an opportunity exists to no longer connect one plug to the socket but rather many, perhaps through a hub of connections, which come together and collaborate. Our stronger intuition will know which collaborations are aligned and which are not.  Find collaborators in places you might not normally look, ask people that you wouldn’t normally ask, explore from all angles and question all answers, recognizing that the sum is greater than the parts.


A connected leader will successfully challenge ‘business as usual’, will step out of his or her comfort zone and will find new ways to serve transformation. The leader may well ‘be’ the transformation itself.  He will instinctively know what will serve and will effortlessly discover new paths for that to shine and use past misalignment as a learning opportunity and a navigation tool of risk management.

Discovering and being more of whom we already are and leading with these strong character traits while allowing it to take us to a place that serves is the very essence of leadership.  It allows all to ‘become’, thereby strengthening resolve, co-creation and the inter-dependency of the world around.

About today’s guest blogger:

Debbie Nicols photoDebbie Nicol is the Managing Director of Business en Motion and creator of the ‘embers of the world’ model. Her book, Corporate Embers came about after she watched the floodwaters of the 2004 tsunami wash away the entire resort she was staying in, all except for her own bungalow.  It was a wake-up call, similar to the one many corporations around the world are hearing. Debbie’s mission is to spread the message that corporations of the future can serve all equally and still prosper both financially and ethically.
Image of fire: copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

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