Leadership is not an intellectual pursuit

Over the last year, I have been investigating the trends of technology and how work will shift as economies reshape.  Paradoxically, what is clear is that as technology continues to evolve our lives, there is a fundamental calling back to the basics of what matters: humanity, wisdom and connection.  This calling is not only happening on the personal level; it is also happening within organizations, as employees demand more from their places of employment than ever before. Rightly or wrongly, work has increasingly been asked to serve as a way to make a meaningful life.  A job is often not just a job.

As we march into a new era of economic and societal structures, there is a crying out for organizations to transform. Leadership must answer the call, not by reading more books or going to more trainings but by seeking deeper self and other awareness.  This ask is a fundamental shift from doing leadership to being a leader. It is a deeply personal endeavor.

The first step forward may scare you. It is vulnerability. You must dare to look deeply at yourself and truly see what is there- all your imperfections and glorious gifts.  But perhaps most importantly, you must dare to show this to others with humility and honesty.

But let’s not stop at self investigation. As a leader, you must know yourself, but you must also get over yourself.  Being wholly yourself and inviting others others to do the same is what creates a culture of care and belonging. There is no check box or master change management plan for this type of effort. It comes from believing in the importance of the human experience at work, where so much of life is lived. It comes from building your own internal well of understanding so you can offer it back. It comes from showing up for yourself so you can create an environment where others show up for one another.  

Leadership is not an intellectual pursuit. It is a practice.