I spent the weekend at 1440 Multiversity, expanding my knowledge of leadership from Dan Siegel. I began following Dan’s work last year after reading his book Mindsight. Dan is a synthesizer and scientist (an interpersonal neurobiologist, specifically). He uses research and data to inform his theories. Going into the weekend, I did not anticipate learning about the complex systems born from mathematics and how they translate to leadership, but that is some of what I received from his instruction. I have a photo of the graph he drew stored on my phone as a poignant reminder.

Dan defines mindsight as the inclusion of 3 components:

  1. Insight into self

  2. Empathy for other

  3. Integration

The third concept, integration, is the linkage of differing parts where the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. The whole preserves the differences and cannot exist without those differences.

For ease of explanation, this of the difference between a fruit salad and a smoothie. Or harmony created by a set of instruments, all of which contribute to a piece of music, each of which can be heard independently.

Creating a leadership brand is a process of integration.

Leaders make an impact and influence others when they integrate what they know about themselves with how others perceive them. Leaders know what is in their fruit salad - their unique set of skills and vision - and make that known to the world. A leader has the adaptability to know when to serve a specific piece of fruit, over another, based on whom they are leading and their plan for success. With this lens, leadership is not authority extended to you by someone else in the form of a title. Instead, it is a self-created power, visible to those you influence.

The power comes in knowing your fruit and choosing what to serve. Serving the same smoothie to everyone in every situation rarely works.

Spend a few minutes identify your fruit. Do those around you know it exists?