You have seen the person who is a warrior at work. You know that person who readies for battle, the win-at-all-costs type of person? You may be that person; do you see the finish line and let nothing get in your way? And when you do cross it, it is on to the next task and battle – you are going to outwork, outthink, and outlast everyone else. You are the warrior body disposition. As we continue our study of how the body shows up in leadership, we now look at the body of the warrior, the driver, the body of determination. He or she is moving toward success, in their actions, at all times. In the body of the warrior we see the following:
Overall view of the world: This is the body of take charge, of determination, the warrior spirit, the athlete in competition, taking all challengers on in the struggle. It is the body that puts itself at risk for the sake of something larger than itself, risking for an ideal. This is the body that will not fail, will not let its master down. It is also the body that controls its feelings, not allowing them to show, because feelings can be a sign of weakness and caring, and this body does not have time for them.
Moods and emotions: Moods and emotions in this body are not welcome; they can be the enemy of getting things done. They can be that which takes us off task so they are pushed out of sight, many times just below the surface. If there are emotions allowed it is often those of anger and resentment, but only in a limited quantity, because after all there are tasks to be completed, time is limited. When emotions come out in this body it is often with intensity, in a flare of anger, in a focused barrage of feedback for the unlucky recipient, then it is back to work. If feelings appear of the sort perceived to show weakness, such as caring, pain, or sadness, they are quickly corralled and sent back into hiding. Even emotions that create laughter and spontaneous silliness, and those of joy and happiness only peek out briefly before the job ahead ushers them back.
How it manifests in the body: In the body of determination, one is striving, so the body is leaning forward, the direction of success. The head and eyes are focused on the desired direction, but are open to any new important stimuli. The face can seem to have a hint of tension, coming across to many as anger. There is not much smiling or other overt signs of emotions. Since the body’s energy is slightly forward, there is tension throughout the body to counteract gravity, and the feet are not planted on the ground; the knees loose and ready to move forward. The chest is out towards the world, expansive, and ready to have challenges bounce off it like Superman or Superwoman. The greater the challenge in this body the greater the tension, the greater the focus and muscle tension. The body also can come across as closed and uptight to others, not warm or open.
The Mantra of this body: The mantra that arises in this body is “THIS is the direction we are going!” Or, “I WILL be successful.”
Where this body might serve or hinder you: The advantage of this body is the ability to direct the individual to success, regardless of the challenges or the adversity in the way. This body is hardened to weakness and fear, which allows it to take on great challenges and persevere.
The challenge in this body is that the tenderness and caring that supports others and allows for mistakes is kept controlled, often sending the message to the world that this person is mean and callous. In determination, you are intentionally putting yourself, or some part of yourself, at risk for the sake of something larger such as an ideal, idea, vision, value, village or nation. When leading, determination allows you to risk your employee or team not liking you as a result of you making a fiercely passionate move or decision, or asking that bold, difficult question out of your commitment to the larger vision or purpose. Remember, there is a difference between being liked and being respected.
In this body, as in all bodies, the greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. Yes, it gets results, but many times the cost to others and to relationships is great. To show up as the warrior at work means that we are always ready for battle, but the reality is that not everything is a battle. It follows the old adage, ‘If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything becomes a nail’!