Infinity Leadership Pathway

Infinity Leadership Pathway

I’m delighted to share with you the “Infinity Leadership Pathway” which has been developed to provide a framework for developing exceptional leaders…

The model describes a pathway for conscious personal and professional growth. All conscious, goal directed growth starts with an increase in Awareness – something new enters your realm of experience. This gives rise to Choice, which is followed by Action. As we take action we receive Feedback from the environment which raises our awareness and so the cycle goes.

This pathway can either continue to flow and expand or it can falter and implode depending on a number of capabilities. A new experience can generate strong negative emotions resulting in a reduced capacity to think clearly. Therefore, between Awareness and Choice, the ability to Regulate Emotions is critical if we are to effectively evaluate our choices. Between choice and action our ability to broaden our perspectives and Envisage Possiblilities will give us access to a wider range of potential actions. As we take action, the mindset we hold will significantly influence what we see in the feedback and whether or not we learn from it. If we Adopt a Growth Mindset then we will look for the learning opportunities in the feedback. If we do not, then we will be more likely to look for evidence of the success or failure of our actions and miss valuable information that could help us to grow. The extent to which we then Pause, Reflect and Consolidate to extract meaning from events will influence the value and relevance of what we feed into our awareness which sparks the next cycle.

At the centre of the Infinity Leadership Pathway is Attention. What we pay attention to determines whether the pathway falters and implodes or flows and expands.

Paying attention to our emotions facilitates choice and gives rise to Expanding Possibilities. As we take action, we develop new habits and create Expanding Capabilities. Through action and feedback we generate Expanding Experience. Finally, our ability to consistently build awareness results in Expanding Wisdom as we gain greater access to the full depth and breadth of our knowledge and experience.

The Infinity Leadership Pathway is proving to be particularly powerful in helping clients to grow their leadership capability. The capabilitiy building that we have done in each area, based on relevant and established leadership theory and Neuroscience research, has provided tangible and relevant tools for people to apply in their daily roles.

Above all, the realisation that high attentional control is a critical skill for leaders has been both powerful and daunting for our participants. Leaders have relentless demands on their attention and it takes effort and practice to build the mental muscle required to exercise conscious choice over where we place our attention. While this is certainly not the only essential leadership skill, we think it is one of the most important of all.


“To Do” or “To Be”? That is the leadership question

“To Do” or “To Be”? That is the leadership question…

I began this morning with my daily question – What is most important today? I use this question to focus my attention on the most important tasks of the day. As I completed this morning’s list I felt pretty uninspired. It had been a tough night with both kids waking us up at different times the night before and I was feeling tired and frustrated. Through this lens, the list before me looked daunting and not much fun. I looked around… my wife was cooking some eggs, my 4 year old was eating his Weetabix, and the baby was quietly chewing on his fist. In that moment two things occurred to me:

  1. My state of mind today will influence everyone else around me, and
  2. Today will be an uphill struggle for me (and therefore everyone else) unless I change my state of mind

Then the idea came to me… I needed to write a “To Be” list.

So, I gave the “To Do” list I had just compiled a new title – “What are most important things I need to do today?”

Then I started a separate “To Be” list entitled – “What is most important about how I show up today?”

The new list was much more inspiring and my state of mind began to shift the moment I started to write it! Here is this morning’s “To Be” list:

  1. Be positive
  2. Be disciplined
  3. Be connected to your higher purpose – ‘to be a positive influence on the people around me’

My “To Be” list provided the fuel I needed to spark up a positive conversation with my wife, and to have a bit of fun with my two boys before tackling my “To Do” list head on. Incidentally, item 3 on my “To Be” list resulted in me adding a task right at the top of my “To Do” list… and here I am, energetically writing an article that, I hope, has a positive influence on you.

As I began writing this piece, I realised that there is a link between my “To Be” list and Emotional Intelligence.

Goleman’s research showed that, in high-IQ roles, emotional intelligence becomes a much stronger indicator of exceptional performance than IQ. In other words, successful leaders who pay attention not only to what needs to be done, but also to how those things are done, are likely to achieve better results for their business than their peers.

Holding the right balance of attention between tasks (the ‘what’) and emotional intelligence in relationships (the ‘how’) is one of most difficult of all leadership capabilities. It requires strong neural networks that connect logical with emotional regions of our brain – regions that many people have worked hard to separate! So how do we develop this capability in leaders?

Leadership development that engages logic alone is not enough to create or reinforce the necessary neural networks. Attending a lecture on new and interesting leadership theories is valuable at one level, but it will have little impact on shaping the networks that connect logic with emotion in your brain. Neuroscience has shown that “Brain cells that fire together, wire together” (Hebb’s Law). So, if a leader wants to become more effective they should consider strengthening networks between logical and emotional regions of the brain by immersing themselves in development experiences that activate both simultaneously.

So, “To Do” or “To Be”? I hear you ask…

In my view, an exceptional leader will pay attention to both.

Supplementing your “To Do” list with your “To Be” list could be a very good place to start!