BECOMING A FULLY INTELLIGENT LEADER PART II … knowing versus being

COVID 19 represents the extreme and full embodiment of VUCA – #covidisvucapersonified

In Part I, I shared with you extracts from Edward Hess’ insightful article ““The #1 Leadership Skill for the COVID 19 War – Inner Peace” on the leadership competencies required for leading in VUCA Times. I postured that VUCA times require the transition of our knowledge and understanding of relevant and effective leadership in times of crisis into who we BECOME. This transition can only occur through intentionality and mindful practice. #becoming #becomingfullyintelligent

Some may recall Chad Meng Tan (former Google Engineer) posed the question in late 2000 “What if people can use contemplative practices to help them succeed in life and at work? In other words, what if contemplative practices can be made beneficial both to people’s careers and to business bottom lines?” – Chade-Meng Tan. 

He entered a collaboration with Daniel Goleman that led to the introduction of a programme based on Buddhist Meditation and Emotional Intelligence. The impact on teams is well documented (see SIY Program Impact Report 2019) and aligned with the competency requirements expressed by Hess. The reality is that the extensive research that has been conducted in the areas of Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence belie the speed of transition of this knowledge into practice. Hess highlights that “Inner Peace is based on science and ancient philosophies and is a state of inner stillness and calmness that enables you to embrace the world with your most open, non-judgmental, fearless mind with a lack of self-absorption. Inner Peace helps you reduce internal noise and distraction and helps you align your mind, body, brain, and heart — so you can better engage with the outer world”.

Although some companies in the US and elsewhere have implemented similar programmes, there appears to resistance to the widespread acceptance of the usefulness and credibility of Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence in the corporate environment. 

Perhaps business leaders are not yet convinced that the implementation of contemplative practice in their organisations will in fact be beneficial both to people’s careers and moreso to business bottom lines. Perhaps there is discomfort at the near relationship between mindful practices, spirituality and ethics. Perhaps the continued reference to Emotional Intelligence competencies as “soft skills” versus “power tools” compels a vision of an organisation with “nice people” and “neutral financial performance”.

What is evident, is that if Inner Peace is the #1 Leadership Skill required in VUCA times, then leaders must implement daily practices that facilitate the transition of knowledge and understanding of inner peace to becoming wise and compassionate leaders who embody inner peace.

Join me in Part III, as we explore the additional intelligences and daily practices.

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