Your inner leadership journey

Are you feeling like you’re riding a roller coaster these days? And you must have noticed that a massive change is upon us? Evolution is kicking us in the butt and ordering us to wake up.  “What does that have to do with me as a leader?” you may ask.   The answer is, “EVERYTHING.” It’s time to start your inner leadership journey.

In the extreme and exponentially growing immensity of today’s world, our hierarchical, centralized, top-down command and control system has become too slow and ineffective to deal with the massive complexity and the relentless changes we have to tackle.

Systems change is needed

Systems change is needed as the existing structures have simply outgrown their capacity. But to make that happen, we need leaders, visionaries, and innovators with a different way of thinking and being from the mind set which created the old systems, according to genius Albert Einstein.

We need innovation and disruption in leadership thinking. This is so businesses are no longer operating as a machine with the only mandate to turn out a profit. We need to turn companies and institutions into thoughtful and powerful vehicles for social change and forces for good in the world. An expansion of mindset, worldview, and beingness is required to move us from the ME-focus to WE-focus.

Change initiatives fail more often than they succeed

The above-mentioned challenges may explain why, according to research, most organizational change initiatives fail. Only around 30% are said to succeed. An executive I spoke with recently told me that she has witnessed many failed initiatives throughout the years. She claims the reason is that leaders are too afraid to let go of how they have thought and done things in the past. They are too afraid to transform from within. Instead, they focus on external, cosmetic fixes and ignore the internal changes needed to manifest the outward shifts required.

As the limitations of pyramidal, siloed structures are guiding us to more balanced distributed systems, inspired and architected by the wisdom of living systems, leaders need to be able to adapt, live, and lead from this new paradigm if they want to be a part of the solution that our new reality is calling for. They need to radically transform their leadership styles before changing and transforming their organizational systems and company culture and that calls for them to change themselves first. They need to “BE the change they want to see in the world,” as Gandhi so famously said, and role-model that to others.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” — Victor Frankl

Traditional, horizontal leadership training falls short

But here is the challenge holding most leaders back: The traditional MBA training and on-the-job learning in conventional organizations likely haven’t provided manual or experiential training, which is critical to expanding leaders’ and managers’ mindsets in adapting to these new, emerging requirements. As children, our minds are filled with curiosity and eagerness to explore and create, and we grow naturally. But as we grow up, that natural creativity is socialized out of us. And now, as adults who know that, we need to purposefully work at our growth and development and tap back into the spacious freedom of the mind of the child.

To stay relevant, we need to go back to that true nature that lies within us. We need to continue to evolve, learn, and grow — with intention — experientially adding new skills to our leadership toolboxes. We need to cultivate and integrate internal skills with our outer abilities to become life-long learners — the HOLISTIC leaders the world needs right now. To be a world-class leader, you must go through a personal transformation by exploring the practice of conscious and transcendent leadership.

Vertical leadership development is required

Out of the Center for Creative Leadership, Nicholas Petrie created an impactful study in 2011, outlining the dimensions of vertical development. He claims that when we focus on a leader’s interior and character development, a skill is formed that will never become obsolete, a skill that becomes a true source of power benefitting the leader not only professionally but also personally.

Petrie likes to explain this with the metaphor of cup and water. He says that horizontal development is having an expert fill your cup with concepts, techniques, and skills, and it’s about WHAT you think. Vertical development is about growing the size of the cup, (your mind) so that there are more capacity and space in which to grow your abilities to think, feel, and act in complex, systemic, and interdependent ways. It’s about learning through life experience, and HOW you think.

The bottom line is that personal growth and development, and internal transformation is now necessary for the effective leaders of our new era — the conscious leaders.

Benefits of leadership development that become your TRUE Power

Deepak Chopra’s new book is called “Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential.” I refer to this infinite potential as your TRUE Power. Here are some of the benefits of coming through your inner leadership journey and living and leading from your TRUE Power:

  1. You have become an emotionally and spiritually intelligent leader
  2. Your mind (ego) is in service to your Being (and all others’)
  3. You move through change and uncertainty with resilience and calm
  4. You embody wisdom and leadership presence
  5. Your Being leads your doing
  6. You make decisions from multiple intelligences
  7. You see the world as an interdependent and interconnected web of life
  8. Your worldview is holistic, expansive, inclusive, and equitable
  9. You are a life-long learner with a growth mindset
  10. You wield power wisely for the benefit of all
  11. You’re connected to yourself, to others, and the higher mind
  12. You lead from a loving and radiant heart
  13. You’re healthy, vibrant, and living a life of significance
  14. You take full responsibility for your leadership and your life
  15. You know who you are being and operate from evolutionary purpose, values, and vision

What is your reality today? Have you already embarked on your inner leadership journey? If not, the New Year may be just the perfect time to commit to taking the plunge. I encourage you not to wait until life forces you into it. Not only will you become a better leader, but you’ll also get a jump-start on contributing to the co-creation of our new collective story. On top of that, you may find your life starting to take on a different meaning with more joy, fulfilment, and well-being. It’s truly the best gift you can give to yourself.

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For more information about Runa, scroll down to her bio below

Rúna Bouius is a former CEO and entrepreneur from Iceland and the founder of the True Power Institute. As a keynote speaker, bestselling author, mentor, and advisor to visionary leaders and progressive entrepreneurs, she is on the vanguard of the new-business-paradigm thinking, creating better workplaces, and developing the emerging leaders. Rúna is a co-author of the bestselling book, “The Successful Mind,” a contributing author to several other books and publishing platforms, and sits on advisory boards. She is a co-founder of several social-impact platforms, including the Conscious Capitalism LA Chapter and Coventina Foundation. She specializes in helping CEOs, and C-Suite leaders accelerate their journey towards greater consciousness and TRUE Power.