Masterful Leadership: Prioritizing What You Value Most

Masterful Leadership: Prioritizing What You Value Most

Are you authentic, inspired and strategic in your pursuit of mastery and leadership? Have you introspectively reflected and taken inventory on your degree of congruency and clarity of mission?

What follows are a few thought-provoking questions I have been asked by entrepreneurial leaders. My answers could potentially assist you, as the reader, in awakening ever-greater leadership mastery and achievement.

Can you tell us a bit about your work at The Demartini Institute and how its teachings are beneficial to organizations and leaders?

My full-time role at the Demartini Institute is to research, write, travel and teach. I teach meaningful and inspiring principles and methodologies that will help maximize human awareness and potential across the world for individuals who would love to master their lives and fulfill their most inspiring chosen missions.  Anything that will meet my students’ or clients’ needs, whether they be corporate or government leaders, entrepreneurs, celebrities or others, I and my team of experts will research, summarize, organize, edit, package, publish and present knowledge through every possibly known vehicle. Our goal is to assist them in navigating through their individual or organizational obstacles, problems, or challenges and help them fulfill their most meaningful goals, primary objectives or missions.

After experiencing nearly 50 years of multidisciplinary researching, writing, traveling and teaching, I have been fortunate enough to be able to serve many millions of individuals around the world. I’ve helped them clarify their mission and vision, prioritize their strategies of execution and master their skills for leadership or management of their executives. I’ve also helped inspire their cultures of team members to fulfill their intended missions. Helping them break through their plateaus and build their desired philanthropic fortunes deeply inspires me. Helping individuals do what they love and love what they do has been and still is one of my most meaningful objectives that brings me great fulfillment and countless tears of gratitude and inspiration.

In your career, you have worked with countless successful businesspeople, including millionaires and billionaires. Through your experience, what are some of the common traits and lessons to be learned from these successful entrepreneurs?

A high-achieving leader and entrepreneur demonstrates congruency between their mission, vision and primary objectives as well as their highest, most intrinsic value(s) or top priorities. This is revealed in, or demonstrated by, their high degree of integrity, or authenticity, sometimes described as walking their talk, and exemplifying their mission and the human being they intend to be.

These leaders clearly define their one primary or chief aim that they feel they are here to make their difference through, become greatest at, and master. They delegate every action step essential to the achievement of their aims to other highly-qualified experts, thereby releasing all actions, other than those which their highest value-based core competence reveals as theirs and only theirs to fulfil.

They also realize that every symptom and event they experience along their journey of entrepreneurial leadership and achievement is a physiological, psychological or sociological feedback event to assist them in living authentically and with integrity and to help them fulfill their chief aim.

High-achieving leaders and entrepreneurs realize that they only have governance over their perceptions, decisions and actions, not external events, so they prioritize their actions and perceptions to guarantee their intended outcomes. They document their periodic metrics of achievement to refine their highest priority actions so they become more effective and efficient to fulfill their intended mastery. They also maximize sustainable fair exchange in their daily transactions with all of those individuals essential to their primary objective, including customers, employees and shareholders.

Self-doubt is something that many up-and-coming businesspeople suffer from. What advice do you have to help overcome self-doubt?

Self-doubt is an important and essential feedback response to let entrepreneurs know that they are not being truly authentic, nor doing what is truly most important and highest on their list of priorities—their core competent actions. It often results from their subordination to other outer authorities through infatuation or admiration and the injection of these other individuals’ values into their lives. They end up setting incongruent resultant goals and/or fantasies that cloud their own mission and distract them from their focal point of intrinsic power.

According to R. W. Emerson, “Envy is ignorance and imitation is suicide.” When a cat expects to swim like a fish, or a fish expects to climb a tree like a cat, they will beat themselves up for expecting to be something they are not. Self-depreciation is not a weakness. It is simply an important feedback response arising from setting such unrealistic expectations, giving rise to unclear goals and objectives and clouded missions. Subordination to outer authorities, exaggeration of others, minimization of self and non-strategized objectives or pursuits of ungrounded, polarized, hedonistic or immediate gratifying fantasies or results are designed to initiate the self-depreciation response. These are signs that entrepreneurs need to guide themselves back to their most authentic and meaningful goals and objectives in reasonable times with reasonable foresighted strategies.

Knowing ourselves, being ourselves and loving ourselves is a by-product of living congruently according with our own highest values. We are not here to put others on pedestals altruistically or in pits narcissistically. We are here to put them respectfully in our hearts authentically and to master the art of enacting meaningful and sustainable fair exchange in our daily transactions.

On your website, you’ve recently released a three-piece presentation on the science of goals. What is the importance of goal setting in business and what advice do you have for staying inspired while achieving long-term goals?

If you do not fill your days with your highest priority and most meaningful and inspiring actions, your days will fill up with low-priority meaningless distractions, or entropy. If you do not fill your life with meaningful and inspiring goals and objectives, it can fill up with unfulfilling injected expectations from opportunistic others. If you are not living by design, you will end up living by duty or default. Your life can therefore be either ontological and inspired or deontological and despaired.

True realizable goals are actually foresighted, pre-balanced and risk-mitigated objectives that are congruent with what you value most—what your life truly demonstrates spontaneously that is intrinsically most important to you and what you show perseverance towards and are willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill—regardless of pains or pleasures. A true goal or objective is deeply meaningful and inspiring to pursue and it is important enough to strategically plan out with foresight—thereby mitigating obstacles and risks along the pursuit— increasing the probabilities of achievement.  It is unwise to pursue goals that are not truly most important and deeply meaningful. Meaningless fantasies are one-sided and meaningful objectives are balanced. Goals that are fantasies result in unprepared nightmares of illness and distress. True goals that are meaningful objectives result in achievement, wellness and eustress.

Overcoming obstacles and challenges is one of the key parts of running a successful business. How do business leaders face challenges head on, and why is challenge essential to the growth of a business?

When an entrepreneur pursues solutions to great humanitarian challenges or problems that are truly inspiring and deeply meaningful—those that when solved serve vast numbers of customer’s needs—they become engaged, mindful and present and their days do not become filled up with challenges that are meaningless. Uninspiring challenges are incomplete perceptions, or perceptions with missing information that result in entropy. The quality of your life is based upon the quality of the questions you ask. Quality questions awaken you to unconscious information that was previously missing in your awareness.  You have control over your perceptions, decisions and actions. It is not what happens out there that matters—it is how your perceive it and what you decide to do about it. If you ask how, specifically, is the challenge you are facing presently helping you achieve your mission of service, you become more fully conscious and mindful. Ask yourself, how is it on the way and not in the way? How can you use your perceived challenge as an opportunity to fulfill your most inspiring mission of service? All challenges are actually also opportunities to grow in meaning and service. Obstacles are opportunities of creativity to an individual on a meaningful mission. They help you grow, learn, become innovative and master your life through serving others.

What is your go-to advice for business leaders?

Identify your true general hierarchy of values. Then narrow down and clarify what is truly most important and meaningful, or the highest value on this hierarchy—the one that your life spontaneously demonstrates that you love doing and that no one has to extrinsically motivate you to do.

Next, set primary objectives for your life that are fully congruent with this one highest priority so you can live with integrity and be spontaneously perseverant and inspired. Then explore how specifically this one priority action that you would love to do most could fill in the voids or needs of ever greater numbers of others, i.e., how doing this one action could be a great service to ever greater numbers of people.

Then fill your day doing the very highest-priority actions that are most meaningful to you and that serves the greatest numbers of others, so you can’t wait to get up in the morning to do what you love, and your potential customers can’t wait to get up in the morning to receive it. Sustainable fair exchange emerges in transactions when both parties are being equally fulfilled. Sacrificing yourself for others is unsustainable. Sacrificing others for yourself is unsustainable. But equitably exchanging in your daily transactions is fully sustainable.

Then, delegate all else to competent, experts who would love to do what you would love to delegate, thereby sticking to your core competence and letting them do the same. This liberates you to be more innovative and awakened in genius.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

It is wise to delegate everything off your plate to other fully-engaged individual specialists that would love to do what you would love to delegate and then get on with what is most inspiring and meaningful within your life that you would love to master that serves. You won’t live an inspired life doing low-priority actions. It will require delegation. Delegation also provides jobs to the unemployed, expands the economy, reduces illnesses when the delegated jobs are meaningful and liberates those that delegate to go on to do what is truly most inspiring, engaging and productive. Be a master of your destiny more than a victim of your history.

About The Author

Dr. John Demartini

Dr. John Demartini, one of the world's leading authorities and educators on human behavior and leadership development, is the founder of the Demartini Institute, which offers an extensive curriculum of more than 76 courses on self-development, life mastery and leadership. Demartini's knowledge is the culmination of 46-plus years of cross-disciplinary research, and he travels internationally full time, addressing audiences in media, seminars and consultations. He is the author of more than 40 self-development books, including the bestseller The Breakthrough Experience, and he has produced numerous audio CDs, DVDs and online programs discussing financial and business mastery, relationship development, health and healing, the art of communication and inspiring education and leadership. Demartini has been featured in film documentaries such as “The Secret,” “The Opus,” and “Oh My God” alongside Ringo Starr, Seal and Hugh Jackman. He has also shared the stage with influential educators Stephen Covey, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Steve Wosniak, Tony Fernandez and Donald Trump. He has appeared on “Larry King Live,” “The Early Show” and “Wall Street,” as well as in the publications Shape, Leadership, Success, Prestige, Entrepreneur and O. For editorial consideration, please contact [email protected](dot)com.

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