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  • Writer's pictureKevin Humphreys

Leadership Excellence with the NOBLE Framework

Over the last few blogs, I’ve given you an overview of the ‘what’ of NOBLE Self-Leadership. To be noble self-leaders we need to Awaken, Connect and Lead. This blog I want to get into the ‘how’.

In the pursuit of exceptional leadership and positive mental health, I developed the NOBLE framework; a simple and powerful tool that embodies the qualities necessary for both impactful leadership and personal wellbeing. When learnt and integrated into your daily routine, each aspect will drive meaningful personal and collective change.

They say a picture tells a thousand words, so firstly, the model. 

You’ll recall when I’m referring to Noble, I’m not talking about some kind of birthright. What I’m referring to is the other definition, namely;

  • possessing outstanding qualities; or  

  • possessing, characterised by, or arising from superiority of mind, or character, or ideals or morals.

I believe when you turn up as the best version of you personifying these kinds of attributes, then you're going to make a huge difference in the world.

NOBLE as an acronym stands for Non-Judgement, Observant Questioning, Body, Lead, and Evolve. These five elements are ‘how’ we achieve NOBLE Self-Leadership.

I won’t rehash Awaken, Connect and Lead here (you can look back at previous newsletters for that) except to highlight the double arrows. The first time we go around the loop, we do it for ourselves first, totally, selfishly, totally focused on ourselves. Then we go around again, looking to awaken ourselves to the acts of others, connect with others, and lead others.

N - Non-Judgment

Moving towards the centre, you’ll notice that Non-Judgement starts at the 12 o'clock. It involves understanding who we are, and why we are who we are. Why our brains work the way they do. Why our body may do things we don’t tell it to. What can be done about it and what can’t. Also, the benefit of accepting certain things, because no matter how much we may want to change it, it’s no longer possible to change.

By suspending judgment, we encourage open dialogue, foster collaboration, and unleash the full potential of our teams. Embracing non-judgment and taking the time to listen, enables us to truly understand the needs, strengths and aspirations of others. From this, we gain new perspectives when seeking solutions to problems.

O - Observant Questions

Then we move to Observant Questioning. Here we encourage curious, compassionate self-enquiry.  Stemming from the understanding that ‘just because I think it doesn't make it so’ we observe then question our own thoughts and behaviours. Why am I thinking that? Why am I behaving that way? Is it because of some ill-founded belief from years ago, or is it because of something that's happened recently? And, most importantly; am I happy with that? Does that serve me and others? Do I need to change that?  

By first observing and then being curious, we gain deep insights, challenge assumptions, and foster a culture of continuous learning. This promotes innovation, empowers team members, and encourages creative problem-solving.

B – Body 

When we move to Body, we examine the role of sleep, nutrition, breathing, exercise and more. It’s important this comes third. We must first understand why we are the way we are, and why we do the things we do, if we are to have any hope of effectively changing our habits. Now we can start making changes and enacting things physically, tangibly.  

Exceptional leaders recognize the mind-body connection and prioritize their well-being. They lead by example, nurturing their physical and mental health. A healthy body promotes resilience, energy, and clarity of thought, enabling us to tackle challenges with vigour and grace. Being selfish to be selfless ensures sustained success in the long run.  

L – Lead 

We then Lead ourselves to put this knowledge into action and make these changes happen. Our Great and Noble Cause provides our north star, and our values guide us. Everything we do is intentional. 

Great leaders lead themselves first before they lead others. They walk the talk of integrity, courage, compassion, and communicate a compelling vision that motivates others to strive for excellence. 

E – Evolve 

To improve on our actions we must reflect, learn and adapt. We must Evolve. The debrief is a critical component after any action. No flight mission was ever complete until the debrief had been completed and lessons incorporated for the next mission. Life and business should be no different. What worked? What didn't? Why didn't it work? What can we change? Do we need to change it? Learn from those questions, and then start the cycle again. 

Leadership is a continuous journey of growth and evolution. Great leaders routinely reflect and debrief, learn fast from failures, and adapt to new realities. They seek feedback, challenge a stagnant status quo, and seek innovation. By constantly evolving, we stay ahead of the curve and position ourselves as catalysts for positive transformation.  


Finally, in the center of the model you’ll find the individual, business and team. Individual is self-explanatory. Team represents all the people in their immediate workgroups; the human capital in an organisation. Business represents the tangibles and intangibles of business. Everything from the balance sheet, to policies, to the culture of the organisation.  

Now, notice the double headed arrows in the center. Every one of us influences the people around us, the team can then influence the business, and the business absolutely influences each individual within that business. Likewise, individuals, and particularly those in leadership positions, directly influence the tangibles and intangibles of the business, the policies, the culture. The business has influence on the team and the team influences the individual. 

By integrating the NOBLE framework into our personal lives, we create a mindset and environment primed for success and optimal mental health. We also better weather the workplace storms and life issues that are thrown at us. The result is living a life of our choice and one that fosters harmony, happiness, and high performance.

P.S. Except for this sentence there’s 1001 words in this blog so I guess a picture really is worth a thousand words! ;) 


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