I am currently reading a book called Resonant Leadership. Resonant Leadership is about inspiring a vision that resonates in people so strongly that they feel compelled to action. The opposite, dissonant leadership, tends to create distance between people and a goal.
The book studied both resonant and dissonant leaders. They found that many leaders start out as resonant leaders but the pressures of leadership often make the leaders fall from it into dissonance. They found that dissonance is the default mode of leadership for most people.
The authors devote most of the book to show how to renew and sustain resonance. One of the keys is self-awareness. The fall into dissonance is a slow process that most leaders don’t recognize it happening.
Here’s a great drill from the book - Creating a life timeline. On a piece of paper, write the current year at the top and write each year of your life down the page. Then, write all of the important events of your life, for example, job changes and significant life event like graduating, receiving your black belt, starting karate, etc.
Now the idea is to identify the patterns of your life because they recognized that most people go through cycles of six to seven years. In other words, we are very likely to be more resonant when we start a new job and dissonance usually drives us to leave a job.
I found that my cycle is about six years. I am 1 ½ years into my current cycle, which started when I left my full time job to teaching karate full time. Now, the question is what vision for my future really excites me because they found that maintaining resonance has to do with managing the cycle instead of letting it manage you.
This exercise really helped me clarify my vision for the future. By the end of this cycle, I want to expand the reach and influence of our school. This idea really excites me. That means over the next 3 ½ years, I need to develop instructors and staff to help facilitate this vision.
So what’s in your future?