The most effective leaders in the world have diverse skills that separate them from the masses. While most articles accurately identify some of those traits as consistency, discipline, and a top-notch work ethic, they often overlook more important skills.
All great leaders have discipline and the ability to grind it out hour after hour, day after day, for weeks, months, and years. However, not all leaders are created equal.
There are several traits that separate the top-tier CEOs from their peers. Most of the people who spend time with these powerful individuals notice what their minds are trained to see; they observe the traits that are aligned with the dominant cultural narratives embedded within entrepreneurship and leadership.
They notice the independence, the ability to think and strategize, they take note of the excellent salesmanship, and they are in awe of the confidence each leader carries with them as they enter a room, but they miss the most important skill of all.
The most underrated skill in leadership and business is presence with non-attachment.
I define presence as the feeling-of-being in the here-and-now. Presence involves being so consumed with the present moment that nothing else matters.
Instead of thinking about tomorrow or what happened earlier in your day, presence means that you are grounded in the now, which is the foundation upon which you build a meaningful and fulfilling life.
The top leaders of the world live with presence. Their ability to stay zoned into the present is what separates them from their contemporaries and what guides their ability to be effective and decisive decision-makers despite the overwhelming amount of pressure from shareholders, the marketplace, and themselves.
Presence goes hand in hand with non-attachment.
I define non-attachment as the full expression of true understanding of oneself. Non-attachment involves the moment-to-moment awareness of your social conditioning and ego needs such that you have the ability to transcend your limited perspective, connect to something larger than yourself, and then view life with a renewed sense of vitality.
When you are in a state of non-attachment, you can enjoy the game of life with lightness and laughter, knowing that you are not the avatar--you are the one holding the controller.
Among the top leaders and CEOs in the world, those that embody presence with non-attachment are more efficient, have a higher quality of life, and experience a deeper sense of fulfillment.
Adaptation and flexibility
In a dynamic and changing marketplace, adaptation and flexibility are the keys to success. The old narrative of maintaining one company that has one product for your entire life is outdated and not reflective of the exponential growth of technology.
As we enter a new and changing marketplace, the most successful leaders will be the ones who are able to adapt.
Pioneering new territory in an ever-changing world is much easier when you are grounded in the present moment and practicing non-attachment. Rather than suffering by clinging to your ideas of what "should be" or what "worked in the past," you will continue growing and enjoying the process even more than the outcome. You will develop the ability to find flow and peak performance, which will increase your ceiling, decrease your errors, and maximize your efficiency.
Living in this state of being will improve your mental and physical health because you won't be contributing to the negativistic and destructive self-talk that adds pressure and anxiety to each decision. When you are living in the now and playing the game of life, you experience a deep sense of fulfillment that otherwise cannot be fulfilled from a limited perspective.
If you want to be a top CEO, entrepreneur, or leader in the new age, you need to develop presence and non-attachment.