“I am not Bob Anderson, My body is Bob Anderson, ” answered Bob Anderson in the xMonks Drive Podcast.
This question “Who Am I?” has been the longest philosophical debate known. Philosophy is about sweeping generalisations, but this question demands particularity: who am I, in a particular time and location, a specific individual, connected to others in particular ways? Philosophical interest exists in this question. It only shows the human capacity to follow world strategies and thus to identify our own responses to the question ‘Who am I?’
Let us break this question into a two-fold question: How does it feel to be me? And in a social sense, how do I function? These questions must be answered by each of us for ourselves, however we can share our responses with others. A significant starting point is the first-person perspective. We each have a story of life, of what has been and continues to be important to us, of what the main events have been that have taken us to the present moment.
We find such timeless human concepts as love and hate, honor and destruction, allegiance and deception, motivation and despair by exchanging stories; and we learn how others have treated themselves in circumstances without having to experience them ourselves. Human society is progressing much faster than biological evolution in this way. We can transcend ourselves by taking an ‘objective’ point of view about our own subjectivity.
We are not bound by chains of instinct or habit; we can see who we are and choose to alter it. The capacity to analyze one’s own perception is something that sets humans apart from other species. We have the capacity, to some degree, to build ourselves. There are limits on what evolution, genetics and culture can place on ourselves, but the ability to know those limits and find ways to function within them gives us not only the special ability to explore, but also to determine and construct the answer to the question ‘Who am I?’
An Advanced Personal Leadership Curriculum was set out by Henley Business School where they brought this topic to the fore and provided senior executives with a space to confront their own personal impact as leaders, good or bad, and to figure out what they can strengthen through transition. The curriculum is about studying and recognizing oneself and the reaction of the participating community to one’s style of leadership. It is not about mastering set abilities or taking a prescribed way of guiding.
The program makes the leader think what kind of leader he is? What is the form or style of leadership he wants to believe in and practice?
As a person and a leader, every senior leader should consider: Who am I? And, how do the people I seek to lead perceive me? In the light of the findings of modern neuroscience, these are especially worthwhile questions to ask: that learning and improving as a person is not, as once thought, the domain of the young; we all have the potential to learn and continually improve throughout our lives.
With a good understanding of Who am I, true issues of power and control, motivation and authority, as well as issues of confrontation, alliances, negotiation and rivalry that are experienced can be handled. Leaders can strengthen how they react to and handle them in the future by better knowing how they individually take on these problems and how their decisions are viewed by the community, resulting in greater self-belief, bravery, authority and trust.
Robert J. Anderson is the Founder and Chairman of The Leadership Circle and Co-founder and Chairman of the Full Circle Group. Bob has dedicated his career to exploring the connections between leadership, mastery, competence, consciousness, spirituality and business.
Over the past 35 years, he has worked to integrate the best of leadership theory and research resulting in a comprehensive framework for developing leaders — the first Universal Model of Leadership to emerge in the field. The Leadership Circle Profile™ (LCP) is a leadership assessment that provides leaders 360° feedback through the lens of the Universal Model. The Universal Model and the Profile provide organizations of any size, in any industry, with what they need to measure the effectiveness of leaders (individually and collectively), chart a pathway for their development, and then assess their progress as they develop. Forbes named the LCP one of its top executive development assessments. Bob is the co-author (along with Bill Adams) of the book, Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results, which has been described as a seminal work in the leadership field. It was a Top Ten Bestseller on 800ceoread and was a Top 10 editorial pick on Amazon.
In 2019, Bob and Bill continued their writing partnership with the release of Scaling Leadership: Building Organizational Capability and Capacity to Create Outcomes that Matter Most.
Bob is a true pioneer in the field of leadership development and research. He spends the majority of his time researching, writing, consulting, and speaking around the world. He is dedicated to impacting the consciousness and effectiveness of leadership globally. Bob’s practical wisdom, humility, creativity, humor, and expertise provide a rare and transformative experience for those with whom he works.
The Leadership Circle and Full Circle Group earned first place in the Large Leadership Partner and Provider category of the HR.com 2015 Leadership 500 Excellence Awards. Bob serves as adjunct faculty for the Stayer Center of Executive Education at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, which awarded him Partner in Innovation faculty award in 2005. The MEECO Leadership Institute awarded him the International Thought Leader of Distinction in 2018.
Bob holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from John Carroll University and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from Bowling Green State University. Bob and Kim, his wife of 32 years, have three wonderful children and make their home near Toledo, Ohio.
Tune into the full conversation between Bob Anderson and Gaurav Arora at The xMonks Drive
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