I recently listened to the audible book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. Based on Toltec wisdom, which is a philosophy or way of life based on the key concept that we don’t really see life at all; what we actually see is our filter system, which is composed of our beliefs, expectations, agreements, and assumptions.
The Toltec’s were a civilization that lived in Southern Mexico around 900 AD. The Four Agreements are on the surface simple, but on listening to the book I realised there is more to it than meets the eye.
Not only did this book blow me away in terms of the infinite wisdom it imparted, I started to think about how this philosophy translates across leadership and what defines great leaders from the average manager.
If you look at the Four Agreements (below) there are certainly some lessons to be learned if you are wanting to elevate yourself to becoming a great leader not just at work but in every day life. Here are my takeaways.
The Four Agreements
- Be impeccable with your word.
When you think about what this means in terms of leadership, this is a very important trait to have. It means always speaking with integrity, saying only what you mean, avoiding using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. It is about saying what you mean and meaning what you say.
- Don’t take anything personally.
This is a great one for leadership, the premise is that nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim anymore. So as a leader if you don’t take anything personally your filter changes and its not about you or your ego its about getting the best out of people, not judging and truly being humble in the face of other people’s struggles.
- Don’t make assumptions.
This one is my favourites as it is so relevant to great leadership. It is about always finding the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, conflict and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. If you think about leadership so much is lost in translation and the product of mind reading or assuming you know what people are saying. Great leaders seek the truth and always clarify with their people about their feelings to ensure there are no misunderstandings or unresolved issues.
- Always do your best.
Great leadership is about taking risks, being fearless and being willing to be vulnerable and make mistakes. This final agreement is about the premise that your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply doing your best, will help you to avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret. It is a great way to always lead by example.
So, if you are wanting some inspiration to guide your aspirations toward great leadership I highly recommend you check out The Four Agreements. You can buy it here => https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-four-agreements-don-miguel-ruiz/prod9781878424310.html?source=pla&gclid=CjwKCAjwhLHaBRAGEiwAHCgG3sBBX01qKkn1ErdOKRZKyAyHKvLfsv8tcxeqBwJsLG8_DlwcA70KMhoCkrcQAvD_BwE
Written by Head Guru Emily Jaksch