To Me or By Me

To Me or By Me – That is the question

Whether I come to the keyboard locked and loaded, knowing exactly where the message is going; or agonized over what to say next, writing always offers me the chance of more personal growth. There is always more to learn and through this process, I trust value is being added to you and those you influence.

Today, I continue reflecting on the content of the 15 Commitments of a Conscious Leader. Conscious leadership involves recognizing when you are below the line and consciously making a shift that moves you from being closed to being open, from defensive to curious, from wanting to be right to wanting to learn, and from fighting for survival of the ego to leading from a place of security and trust.

The growth of a conscious leader is not necessarily one that progresses through developmental stages, but rather practices self-awareness to answer,

“Where am I leading from?”

The authors suggest four “states” from which you can lead:

To Me
By Me
Through Me
As Me

You will have to read the book to see what information is provided on Through Me and As Me. There are descriptions provided, however, the focus of the book is on shifting from “To Me” to “By Me”. Here are some key distinctions.

To Me Leadership

Below the Line / Unconscious
95% of leaders spend 98% of their time in this state.
I see myself as “at the effect of”
The cause of my condition is outside me. It is happening TO me.
I believe I am being acted upon by outside forces.
External realities are responsible for my happiness.
I have a “Victim Consciousness”.
I am constantly looking to the past to attach blame for my current circumstances.
Something is wrong and someone else is to blame.

Do you ever go there? Me too. Far too often but, remember, these are states not stages. The key isn’t so much that you are below the line. It is recognizing you are below the line and then making a shift. He is what “By Me” leadership looks like.

By Me Leadership

This is a shift to being above the line.
It is a move from “Victim Conscious” to “Creator Conscious”.
It is a shifting from “at-the-effect-of” to consciously creating with.
To me = Something should be different / By Me see everything unfolding my learning and development.
It is being curious v being right.

The gateway of moving from To Me to By Me is taking radical responsibility for your life.

Here are the four questions a “By Me” leader asks.

What can I learn from this?
How is this situation for me?
How am I creating this?
How am I keeping it going?

If personal growth is important to you (and I am certain it is since you are reading this), I recommend looking at the results you have in every area of your life (marriage and family life, friendships, community involvements, work life, etc.) and asking these four questions. That is what I have been doing and it is eye-opening!


Rick Burris


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