Every year, month and minute leaders are immersed in training and development for themselves, their teams and company. Yet, despite enormous investments, employees are still leaving their jobs in droves. The continuing exodus is not because people dislike their role, but they are leaving their leaders and their style of leadership.
Trust, as the bedrock of leader-employee relations has been eroded and there is no sign of a sustainable reversal of this trend.
Despite ever increasing spend on well-being and engagement organisational productivity and growth continue to fall.
Leaders are stretched beyond breaking point, yet despite crisis, they resiliently continue with more of the same results.
Our world is changing rapidly on every level. However, current leadership models widely used are based on an old paradigm and fall short of solving crises our business world faces today.
Leaders are being called to step into transformation, yet this transition will not emerge automatically. Instead the transition to transformation requires a different set of core competences which need to be awakened, nurtured and embedded to become the new norm.
The fundamental question is: Will continuous reconfiguration of embedded leadership models and mindsets be sufficient to turnaround organisations, or does leadership need a new narrative and one that is more aligned with today’s complex and ever changing world.
Re-Awakening Soulful Leadership
The narrative may be new, but the essence of soulful leadership extends back to ancient wisdom and how people used to lead.
After many generations, soulful leadership is a re-emergence of a positive and purposeful response to a world in greater crisis. The inconvenient truth that anything less than purpose alignment, business outcome and personal balance simply won’t work anymore.
The re-awakening of soulful leaders delivers a message of hope for a better world.
Characterisation of Soulful Leadership
Transformation is the essence of soulful leadership. It is defined as being guided by an inner awakening that diligently considers the full range of sacrifices embedded in all leadership decisions is the ongoing prosperity and wellbeing of all involved – the leader, the organisation, people (including employees, customers, communities) and the planet (health and resources) – can be increased.
This narrative approach is more likely to align person to person, heart to heart, and inject leadership with greater purpose and the much needed beacon of hope for a better future.
Whilst some desire and talent is helpful for leadership development, passion and perseverance are the foremost conditions for leaders to develop. To know there is a better way, to be sure about oneself and one’s course of action, yet being humble.
Commitment of Soulful Leadership
Leaders used to be appointed to do something, to sacrifice something or somebodies, leaving them with the only choice of who, how much and when to sacrifice.
Sacrifice was the fork in the road, often driven by market and changing customer requirements. The results were exclusion, inequality and the majority of employees beginning to believe that the system was not designed for them. Stress increases, well-being declines and the people leave as trust in leaders declines.
Soulful leadership takes the other fork in the road. It shifts the narrative from privilege for the few to “greater good for all” encompassing improving well-being, prosperity and abundance for all including people and planet.
The shift from “market-centric” to “human-centric” consciousness encourages greater inclusion and equality. The shift from micro-focus to macro-focus and activating “well-being and prosperity” not just with rhetoric, but in real, tangible terms.
Soulful leaders are not hidden in boardrooms and offices, but are visible and connected to people. They are congruent and visibly taking action generating greater well-being and prosperity on the journey from crisis to celebration.
Thank you for reading.
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