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How to stay grounded as a federal leader

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Leadership expert Bob Rosen is the author of the new book "Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted in an Uncertain World." He is also the founder of Healthy Companies International, which provides leadership coaching to top executives. Rosen spoke with Tom Fox, a guest writer for On Leadership and vice president for leadership and innovation at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. Fox also heads up their Center for Government Leadership.

Q. You have outlined six dimensions that are vital to leadership. What are they?

A. Healthy leaders build teams and organizations that outperform. Who you are as a human being drives what you do, and who you are must be grounded. Our research has shown leaders need to be healthy in six roots: physical (how one lives), emotional (how one feels), intellectual (how one thinks), social (how one interacts with others), vocational (how one performs) and spiritual (how one sees the world). The world is constantly changing with the winds of uncertainty, complexity and globalization. The only thing that keeps leaders grounded is these six roots.

Q. How can leaders maintain focus on these attributes?

A. First, they must be self-aware. It's the most important leadership quality. When we interviewed Tom Ryan, an Ohio congressman who wrote "A Mindful Nation," he talked about the importance of mindfulness and not getting hijacked by the partisan politics on Capitol Hill. Second, one must be committed to self-development and to reinventing their leadership every day. Leaders also must think with an open mind in a world that is constantly changing and be willing to change their perspective on things very quickly.

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