BY Nick Jankel

Author, Leadership Futurist, Philosopher, Transformation Catalyst

I’ve been working in leadership for almost 20 years, 13 of which has been focused specifically on purpose-drive, conscious or ‘switched on’ leadership. I’be started to note down this set of principles to guide both myself and my clients on how to cause breakthroughs that bring about a more  thriving world for ourselves and the systems we touch. Feel free to add comments below:

As leaders, we relentlessly seek to transform ourselves in order to transform the systems we touch so that the people and places within them thrive more. We know this is the point of all genuine leadership and that all leaders must transcend their own egoic needs as much as possible in order to serve the whole (whilst taking care of ourselves emotionally, spiritually and physically so we flourish and can continue to lead). On this journey we never succumb to cynicism, which means we can act as a beacon of hope (and if we do feel despairing, we go to the source of the fear and transform it)                                                                                                               

We observe our craving for fame and fortune and find ways to hack it in order to devote our lives to our purpose – or ‘love-in-action’. We explore and unfold our leadership purpose and ensure that everything we do that significantly impacts others has been filtered through our deepest and most noble aspirations and values. Thus we focus our time, energy and resources on breaking through problems that really matter to the world and deliver solutions that are already inclusive, contributive and sustainable

We swap ‘blame, shame and complain’ for genuine ownership, the prerequisite for all breakthroughs, always acknowledging where we have no done what we said we would or acted without impeccable integrity. We take personal ownership of every fail on our watch – rapidly learning from each mistake (without resorting to guilt which we know is redundant) – yet we share the rewards with all, generously spreading the love around so everyone feels seen, heard and valued

We know that anytime we flip back into blame, shame and complain mode it means that there is an old way of being that is no longer serving us and our world which we can then release. We let go of obsolete moods, beliefs and habits no matter how comfortable and familiar they are without resistance and so expand into an ever-more purposeful, creative and collaborative version of ourselves. We hold space for others to do the same, gently but powerfully guiding them when they get stuck

We lead from a dynamic creative tension between profit and purpose, protection and connection, income and impact, hierarchy and network, directional and collaborative, ’me’ and ‘we’ – constantly course-correcting as we learn how to optimally change lives in different harmonies between these polarities

We actively let go of any front and defense in order to truly connect with those we want to influence and lead. We meet people where they are at, emotionally as much as cognitively and without judgement, and tell them stories and act as examples so that we elevate them towards what’s possible, empowering them to serve their greatest role in manifesting the vision (without enabling a sense of entitlement or codependency). We are always looking to create safe spaces where those around us can take risks, be vulnerable and grow

We proactively refine our intuition through ever-deeper understand of our ‘felt sense’ – so we can use intuition along with objectivity and rationality to make powerful decisions that serve everyone with a win-win-win (a win for our team, a win for our ‘users’ and win for the planet). We master (but don’t control) our emotions so that know when we are emotionally-activated and triggered and so should not be making any decisions at all; and when we need to boost our emotional courage to transcend our fears through decisive choices to act

We fearlessly scan for the weak signals that might show that either our leadership style or our organization’s activities are losing ‘fit’ with the world (which can show up as stress, disengagement, disloyalty, underperformance, obsolesce and fail). We metabolize these problems into possibilities – before they turn into crises – so that our leadership style and organization’s activities fit the emerging future… and actually forge it for the good of all

We have no need to be right or look good all the time; and are unafraid to be wrong, knowing that nobody can have all the answers in the complex, fast-changing world. So we get input from different people in the system at the moments when their insights and ideas can most add value – but we are also happy to put a stake in the ground and belief in something, knowing that people will not always like us or admire us for going forward with what we intuitively feel is the right thing to do

We never blindly rely on rules, assumptions and best-practice as we know they create fails in fast changing environments. Instead we actively gather a set of principles over time that can guide our decisions, knowing that every leader needs to develop their own model of leadership and their own map of the world if they want to guide others to a better place

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