The challenges of today require a new type of leadership that goes beyond the deployment of a set of skills – leadership as doing. Leadership must enter the realm of being: the embodied expression of strong values and a unique way of relating to the world, offering a true reflection of who you are. For this reason, leaders cannot operate in today’s environment without deep self-knowledge.
That self-knowledge far exceeds the capacity to label the preferred patterns or our thoughts with a few keywords, or the mastery of a few moving stories from the past that will bring an audience around. What leaders need is the capacity to cultivate a deep and deliberate reflective process regularly, whereby emotional resources and strategic insight can emerge from within as they navigate the ever-changing landscape of today’s business, government, political and social environments.
Clear Head: Gaining Insight through Strong Self-Identity
When things are chaotic, it is easy to get lost. What if, however, you could hold a mental compass that allowed you never to lose your bearings, no matter how confused the world around you is? Sharp understanding of your unique value system and emotional patterns, founded in a strong sense of identity, can provide you with such a mental compass, and be deployed as a powerful way to filter information. This strong ‘head’ anchoring, in turn, will allow you to tap into direct intuition for decision-making in situations of extreme complexity.
With such cognitive freedom, not only will know where you are even in the most chaotic situation, but also serve as a beacon to others.
Strong Heart: Responding with Emotional Wisdom and Empathy
We constantly replay stories from the past in new contexts. As a result, we find ourselves overwhelmed by emotions arising not from the current situation, but our memories of similar ones. Only through deep understanding of our own mental patterns, limiting assumptions and inner stories can we create space and freedom for change and courageous and new actions.
Instead of a scripted reaction, this deep knowledge makes it possible to respond rather than react to the current situation, and encounter its complexity with calm and ease. Such emotional wisdom not only benefits personal actions, but enhances our capacity to hold and process extreme perspectives, listen deeper and empathise with others, and therefore helpful solutions based in a convincing collective vision within a team and with partners or clients.
Vital Body: Enabling Value- Driven Execution
In today’s complex professional environments, we must constantly negotiate with others to build common ground. Without deep self-knowledge, this becomes a source of anxiety. If your values are unclear and common ground must be found, how can you ensure that a decision will not betray your core principles, or that unintended consequences will not directly clash with your deepest desire? If, however, we develop sharp understanding of our core values and their origin, this knowledge becomes a source of strength during negotiations conducted in ill-defined structures. We are then able to distinguish what can and cannot be let go of – and develop the core negotiating muscles to influence large structures in line with our deepest values