DLF: Dominion Leadership & Freedom

Personal Development

Your strong task orientation can often lack a nurturing sensitivity.

Yes, sometimes laser focus on the objective is critical; however, not everybody is wired like you. The sensitivity and ability to nurture is a soft skill that if a DLF is willing to learn, can lead to hard results.

DLFs tend to be susceptible to “betrayal” from within close social circles.

This is a common pattern that has been observed in many a DLF that has built an empire. This often has to do with the use of institutional authority, which can cause partners, associates and even family members to turn on the leader after achieving status within the inner circle. The result can be anything, from nasty corporate splits to bitter divorces.

DLFs can fall into a high debt structure due to vision outpacing current resources.

There is healthy amount of debt that comes from the use of financial leverage. But the DLF can get caught up is systematic expansion in such a way that the foundation of a project or strategy is built upon compromises and thin air. The DLF must be careful to avoid excessive debt because if over-stretched, the betrayal cam become exponentially crippling.

When a DLF is disengaged, the end can justify the means, leading the DLF to become exploitive and domineering.

Yes, the term “human resources” is officially part of today's corporate jargon. However, the word "human" denotes a greater responsibility to Life. If humans are seen as nothing more than a resource to reach a goal, we naturally degenerate as society and miss the whole point. In history, DLFs have been infamous for exploitation. It still occurs today. Remember this is about dominion. Not domination.

Extremes Scale

This scale was created to rapidly and clearly illustrate the spectrum of extremes of an individual’s intrinsic motivations as a DLF. This scale can then be used for coaching or consulting.

+5 Synergized Scalability:

The ability to scale in varying sizes social transformation across society by leveraging systems and resources to produce exponential results.

+4 Social Visionary:

Recognizes business and social structures that are broken and moves to restore the individuals and organizations into positive value.

+3 Institutional Leadership:

Exercising personal acumen to synchronize institutional systems and social value.

+2 Scalable Culture:

Ability to pursue personal excellence while creating organizational scalability at the same time.

+1 Purpose-Driven:

Understands and demonstrates a calling to create social value with available resources.

0 Ordinary But Not Extraordinary:

Acceptable performance and character. Contributes where necessary.

-1 Short Sighted:

Is more focused on “can’t” rather than on “how” when it comes to challenges. Prefers instantaneous results versus long-term investment.

-2 Lacking Professional Boundaries:

Personal issues constantly infringe upon professional performance. Constantly undermined by conflict.

-3 Predatory Leadership:

Leaders that abuse power and exploit those they manage. Betrayal is commonplace.

-4 Organizational Exploitation:

Practices of control, domination and exploitation of business, legal, political and social resources. Unethical empire building.

-5 Corporate Mafia:

The use of fear-based social contracts to enforce institutional loyalty to unethical, even illegal, loyalties.

Legitimacy Gap

The following statement represents the thought pattern that triggers the Legitimacy Gap in a DLF. Believing this thought and acting on it leads to shortchanging the purpose, passions and potential of your MDNA.

“I am only legitimate when I possess the institutional authority to help myself and others.”

The person with the DLF gift must learn to accept and nurture others where they are. Your driven nature and task orientation can sometimes overshadow the emotional needs of those on the team. This is the classic nature vs. nurture balance. Yes, others need to understand how to grow and thrive in a world full of challenges. And yes, you do have the resources and principles to help them for their own good. On the other side, however, those very same people may require nurturing to emotionally develop the fortitude to rise to the task-at-hand.

Two of the most telling signs of a DLF operating from the Legitimacy Gap are the necessity for institutional titles, or attempts to informally dominate a social circle or project if defined hierarchies are not in place. Sometimes DLFs will appear to submit to the leadership of another, while undermining that leader’s authority in the background, seeking to supplant it with their own. One must learn that true leadership is earned and not taken. The cream will always rise to the top in any formal or informal environment. Sometimes learning how to lead requires following imperfect leadership first.

Personal Development Plan

The simplest and most highly recommended method to develop your Intrinsic Motivational Design is to find legitimacy, your personal sense of self-worth, outside of your professional status and performance. Remember, you are a human being and not a human doing.

Ask yourself this question: “If my professional status and ability to perform were abruptly stripped from me, how would I account for my self-worth?”

Many people reference family or personal endeavors and accomplishments as the reason for their feelings of self- worth. If you did not really have a solid answer to this question, you may need to make a serious investment of time to figure it out.

The question then becomes one of priorities. Do you have your priorities in order?

Ask yourself this: “Outside of my professional status and performance, is my personal character truly reflective of where I know it shouldbe?”

This is where we must ultimately arrive before true development can begin. We must become honest about our true character outside of work. Are you the same person with every social circle? If your professional accolades did not count, would the people around you still celebrate your character?

It may sound counterintuitive to approach this in your professional life by starting with life outside of work, but this is the launching point to get to where we all desire to be. So, from a mindset of personal character development, here is a very simple four-step process. Taking these steps will help you close the legitimacy gap and keep on you the path of success and fulfillment.

1. Recognize:

Become aware of where you are feeling insecure professionally. What are your fears? What is the anxiety? Write down whatever comes to mind. Do not judge what you write. Simply explore what may be there.

Do you find yourself considering people as resources to accomplish your agendas? Even though in your mind this attitude is about giving them a chance to mature and learn leadership, it can lead to exploitation.

Are rules and rituals more important than relationships? Do you find yourself judging others because they are now following the institutional order you have established? Some people may even describe your leadership as "cultish" by the way you command loyalty and respect.

Are you controlling? How can you tell? If it must be done your way and you will use any tactic to make it so, you are there. Empowerment is different than using power to control.

Are you building an empire where the people exist for the potential of the system versus a system that launches the potential of the people? Again, how do you know? Ask yourself, if someone within your organization or social circle were to leave and start their own empire, how would you feel? Would you want to empower them or would you feel betrayed and lament the loss of their contribution?

Do people feel you are incapable of receiving personal and professional feedback? Are they afraid to share with you because you somehow make it about them and where they need to improve? This becomes a professional blindness that ultimately stifles you and your team’s potential.

2. Reframe:

Foster a lifestyle of honoring character growth in others regardless of how competent or incompetent they are.

Find someone to encourage in this daily.

Become a ‘‘Facilitative Leader.’’ This is a leadership style that provides the opportunity for involvement and nurture at the same time. It involves developing the habit of asking three questions:

  • What do you think?
  • Why do you think that way?
  • How would you do it?

If you are one of the other gifts and are reading this, facilitative leadership is a fantastic way to become a leader that develops synergy with the DLF and every other MDNA, for that matter. So, using this style of leadership applies to you too!

Develop a lifestyle of integrity and honor. Since loyalty is important to you, practice loyalty in every project or deal you are a part of. Always keep your commitments regardless of what the other party does. Never take the back door in any professional or personal situation. Make sure your promises represent what you desire to see and become in leadership.

Believe in your self-worth even when you cannot power through and conquer a challenge. Not every battle can be won by will and skill alone. Some challenges are designed to teach you a personal sense of security and significance despite a positive outcome. The expression, "That which does not kill you makes you stronger," is true for all. But to the DLF, adding, "And that which you cannot kill also makes you stronger," is a fitting twist.

3. Respond:

Make a list of two types of people. The first are people who have been Life-giving to you, but whom you have hurt in some way. Be honest with those you have destroyed, dishonored, reviled or exposed when their true intentions were just to see you successful. Then make a list of those who have hurt or defrauded you, and despite the situations you were able to grow in Life at least in one area. Take an attitude of gratitude for both lists. Be thankful daily.

Define and document your reconciliation model. This may sound a bit strange, but having a reconciliation model is important for everybody to have, and especially important for the DLF. Whether formal or informal, all leaders have standards. When those standards are broken, alienation of professional and personal relationships occurs. This alienation for the DLF challenges the foundation of loyalty, which causes insecurity. Therefore, a clear path of responsibility to restore trust and reconcile the alienation is required. The mature DLF knows how to clearly articulate how to accomplish reconciliation with those in his or her social circle. Think of it like healthy parents that teach their children how to properly make restitution for breaking any rule in a proactive way that demonstrates maturity and minimizes the need for further disciplinary action. The critical principle here is that typically, the higher and complex the standard, the more extensive and complex the reconciliation model is.

As a DLF, you can save yourself some considerable heartbreak by integrating and teaching your desired reconciliation model in all areas, in and out of your professional leadership.

Find an individual, preferably a mentor or a group, to stay accountable to during this process. Ask yourself three questions and share your plans:

  • What should I START doing?
  • What should I STOP doing?
  • What should I CONTINUE doing?

4. Reflect:

Spend some regular time every week considering the following about being a DLF.

The gift of true freedom in life is often gravely misinterpreted. Freedom is not the presence of options. True freedom is found in commitment. True freedom creates the necessary boundaries that allow us to be empowered and become who we were designed to be. Boundaries may feel like unnecessary discipline, yet they are critical to our functional and professional growth.

Here is an illustration of boundaries-based freedom. In a social experiment involving a school playground, some scientists decided to remove the fence along the edge of the yard to see whether having a fenced boundary was stifling to the children. The result was astonishing. The children naturally huddled in the middle of the yard for fear of the roads and other external conditions. There was no freedom. When the fence was replaced, the children proceeded to play freely all the way to the edge of their boundaries with confidence and security.

We live in a culture where an entire generation often feels entitled to freedom without commitment to boundaries. This sense of entitlement is particularly damaging to any organizational culture that seeks to thrive in any economic conditions. The same applies to families and communities.

You have the dominion-based leadership to grant people the gift of freedom. This can be accomplished by creating environments and experiences where those you lead can grow by committing to boundaries and becoming disciplined through the consequences of breaking those boundaries.

To do this however, you must understand that your true calling in Life is not to build a personal or professional empire based upon products and profit. No. You must be in the business of people. Your greatest product will be character. And freedom will be the game-changer that will stimulate more than enough profitability that can be enjoyed by all.

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