Low Attachment: A Type E Leader
Updated: Aug 28, 2018
Though it may sound counterintuitive, someone who is not attached to outcomes may have found the answer. In this blog, we will explore how our level of attachment distinguishes which type of leader we are.
The traditional definition of a leader describes a leader as a powerful person who controls or influences what other people do. But what if a leader is defined instead as a powerful person who allows their soul to guide what they do and inspires others to do the same? Whichever definition you ascribe to, hopefully we can agree, we must be highly engaged, fully present, deeply committed, knowledgeable, dependable and extremely responsible when leading.
If all leaders need to be engaged, how can the level of attachment contribute to stifling or energizing the experience? Many still perceive successful leaders as those who are highly attached to achieving the desired results, competing at any cost, and pushing others to perform at their best. This Type A leadership style has been a badge of honor for many for years.
For how long and at what cost can this type leader sustain success?
Studies show that leaders described as type A personalities are driven, impatient go-getters who suffer from high anxiety, burnout, and increased health concerns. The collateral damage to others may be less obvious, but nonetheless just as destructive. When ideas are not welcomed and collaboration is discouraged, people become less engaged, their creativity is curbed, and possibility is limited. High attachment in this form does not serve the leader or others in the long-term.
If high attachment is not the answer, are we saying low attachment is?
Think about how we create fulfilling and joyful relationships. One of the tenets of a strong relationship is the absence of the need to control. We have no need to control when we are not attached to being right, to what others think, to doing it my way, or to solving the problem. What are the characteristics of an inspiring leader? I suggest one who is highly engaged and evolved with low attachment to outcomes. What I call a type E leader.
How does a type E leader achieve results when they are not attached to outcomes? They promote an atmosphere of respect for all: all ideas, all perspectives, all experiences, all people. This encourages others to feel free to contribute and collaborate. Everyone has permission to express their best self. When we are attached to outcomes, we are immediately limiting possibility. However, an open environment allows for solutions to go beyond the coveted outcomes. Type E leaders practicing low attachment coupled with high engagement not only achieve successful outcomes but also many times unexpected riches.
High engagement in life and leadership always comes with a degree of attachment. As we learn to allow our soul to guide our actions, we find we operate more freely and consciously