Achieve Conscious Success
If you want to achieve success, you should ponder these three questions:
- What is my best purpose to achieve conscious success?
- How can I demonstrate high awareness for conscious success?
- How can I positively differentiate myself from others?
Those three questions are literally on the front flap of a new book, The 9 Dimensions of Conscious Success. They pulled me into a narrative by David Nielson. In the book, David shares the dilemma of how to achieve conscious success and outlines a process that helps you move to a life that fulfils your purpose. David is a management consultant who has spent over three decades in consulting and leadership development. I followed up with him to talk about his work.
“You cannot differentiate yourself based on a false image of yourself.” -David E. Nielson
What is conscious success?
Conscious Success is knowing how you want to show up in life and business, and following a prescribed behavior set which deliberately produces the success you have defined for yourself. The elements and behaviors are specifically the 9 Dimensions.
“How you show up in life is a conscious choice – an import choice, it turns out.” -David E. Nielson
What are some ways to move from unconscious to conscious, and from incompetence to competence?
It starts with increasing your own self-awareness. We emphasize in the 9DCS model that the foundation is defining your purpose, increasing your self-awareness, and increasing your social awareness. As part of the 9DCS model and book, we created an assessment to assist individuals in increasing their self-awareness. We believe this is the starting point for developing your own plan to move toward your own conscious success.
Know Your Purpose
Knowing your purpose is a critical aspect of success. If someone is struggling to find their purpose, what do you recommend?
The first recommendation is to complete the exercises in developing a personal purpose statement. Two basic lists are the starting point – what do you like to do most and what are you really good at? Additionally, there are a variety of ways individuals can gather data of what path might be the best path. One of the assessment tools that I worked with in the past 20 years is called The Birkman Assessment. This is an excellent tool for helping individuals define some of their aptitudes and inclinations.
“If you are truly authentic in all you say and do, people will trust you, look up to you, and want to be close to you.” -David E. Nielson
What are some shortcuts you’ve learned to improving self-awareness?
Perhaps the most important shortcut is learning to ask for feedback and then listening actively. Feedback from others whom you trust is a great way to eliminate blind spots.
What is social awareness?
Social awareness, very simply, is knowing what the impact on others is, when you say or do anything. Again, being clear on your intent in interacting with others is the starting point. Then checking your intent against the actual impact is a great way to increase your social awareness.
“No one sets out to fail in life. No one goes into the world with the aim to become nothing.” -David E Nielson
What are the hallmarks of someone who demonstrates authentic leadership?
Not surprisingly, the first hallmark of authentic leadership is high self-awareness and social awareness. My definition from the book, for me personally on authenticity, is that I never want to deceive myself or others.
Importance of Humor
Humor often doesn’t appear in these types of books, and I love that it was a major part of your model. Talk about the dimension of humor. Is it the one that most are surprised to see?
For me, it starts with taking the important things in life seriously without taking yourself too seriously. Being able to laugh at yourself is a healthy attribute. Also, being able to see the humor in life is useful. There are so many examples of humorous things in our daily lives if we are just open to them. A good laugh allows us to defuse tension and reduce stress and is well worth the energy.
“It is impossible to improve yourself without self-awareness.” -David E. Nielson
How do leaders best put your lessons into practice to create sustainable success?
Let’s take a lesson from the previous question. My “tongue in cheek” response is that any leader obviously should buy my book. Truly, I do think this book can be of help to most. A more serious answer is to go online and purchase the personal assessment. As previously stated, that’s a good starting point for raising self-awareness. Sustainable success is being able to create your own conscious success action plan after completing the assessment. An action plan will help you stay focused on the important things for you. We talk in the book about the power of writing things down, and that is a key step. Creating sustainable success will be easier if you revisit your purpose at least once a year and adjust as necessary.
Your mentor was John Jones. I’d love for you to share a little about him with us.
Dr. John Jones was a co-founder of University Associates in 1973. He was one half of Pfeiffer and Jones in creating a premiere training and publishing organization. John Jones was instrumental in creating resources for trainers, coaches and organization development professionals. John, himself, was a true genius. He was extremely well read on a variety of leadership and human potential literature out there in the world. I was fortunate enough to meet John Jones in 1986 and immediately realized the benefit of bringing him into my company. What evolved was a close personal friendship and mentorship that I really treasure.
For more information, see The 9 Dimensions of Conscious Success.
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