Inner leadership – synthesising ‘doing’ and ‘being’
I was reading an article earlier today describing the many challenges and pressures on the shoulders of CEOs in our current world situation and how they cope with them. High on the list of coping strategies were examples of how to maintain physical, mental and emotional well-being and perhaps surprisingly for some people, a good level of reference to reflection and mindfulness or meditation.
Without a doubt the current world pressures can present a huge tsunami style pull toward more action, more doing, much of which may be legitimate. One of the considerations though for all leaders is the degree to which they are targeting their actions and doing from a place of inner leadership, or what is sometimes called being.
All leaders rely to some degree on an inner ‘compass’. That often indefinable, intangible yet very real sense that guides their decision making and inspires new levels of creative or innovative thinking. Many access this inner compass without giving it much thought – it’s there, they expect it to be there and they draw on it as needed.
However, as problems become more intractable and require new levels of thinking and completely new and, hitherto uncharted, perspectives, we might want to start to pay more conscious attention to the development of that inner realm. For some the idea of ‘being’ or beingness conjures up a New Age, hippy style approach to life that has almost nothing to do with action or getting things done. And whilst that may be appealing in an escapist fantasy sort of way, it doesn’t really fit in the boardroom or C-Suite.
A deeper exploration of being and beingness though takes us into the inner mysteries of our higher self. The resources that when accessed intentionally and with practise actually help us to create a meaningful balance, in fact a synthesis, between being and doing. A synthesis that comes from the wisdom that is contained in that higher self and beyond that even in the collective consciousness. To tap into that, we must open up the channel and create a pathway. And in creating the pathway we signal that we value the flow of inspiration that comes our way. The more we create that valued relationship with our own higher wisdom the easier it is to access the flow.
How do we do that? We firstly recognise the value of ‘stopping’. Of finding some stillness. Some inaction in the outer sense We then use that space to reflect – which doesn’t mean churning our thinking, it means asking ourselves a question and allowing space and emptiness to be present so that we can hear the subtle inspiration that will come through….eventually. Mindfulness and meditation help to strengthen the access to this ‘space’ and to our higher wisdom.
Why would we bother? Because a synthesis between being and doing yields immeasurably stronger and relevant insights and solutions. Because inner leadership is the gateway to creating a better world for all and ensuring that our organisations can function in a meaningful and fruitful way within our new world reality.