Who is The New Leader?

As I wrote in a previous post, “Why did I change my company name”, the choice of my company’s name was influenced by the Wisdom conference, I attended in San Francisco, two years ago. This year I saw that a new version of the Wisdom conferences take place, only this time the theme of the conference was the “New Leader Summit” and its partnership with LinkedIn.

From the start, I did not let the fact confuse me. I said to myself that it’s not the right time to go to the conference from a business point of view and I forgot about it. After a while a colleague of mine reminded me about the conference and although the fact that my reaction was from the automatic behavior mode, I rejected it again, but something did resonate in me.  After our meeting, I once again read about the conference and it was then when I listened to my intuition and got enthusiastic about the theme of the conference and it was then that I felt I should go, even if it means pausing to ask what I am doing and investing energy in this. Due to the fact I had earlier commitments, I was able to reschedule them, and I succeeded. The decision to attend the conference came from my curiosity to deepen my understanding about what’s happening worldwide and especially in the Silicon Valley, to get to know better the community I am part of and to be inspired to continue what I am doing.

At the conference, they spoke about who is a leader. They discussed the need to handle the tension between what I need to do and the drive for results and bottom line alongside the need to be authentic, sometimes vulnerable and with compassion for ourselves and others. If in the traditional leadership the ability to bring ourselves fully in an authentic manner means to be vulnerable, was a sign of weakness. Nowadays, the ability of the leader to be authentic, sometimes to dare to be vulnerable, and sometimes to be in a “don’t know” state of mind, means not always having the answers is part of the new leadership.

In addition, discussions were held about the new leader as one who helps the employees to bring the best version of themselves. New leadership is based on the ability to motivate from inspiration and to know “why” we are doing, what we are doing, and not only “what” we are doing. I can continue telling you about what have been said, however, the word the resonate in me was “spaciousness”. The meaning of the word is wide space. A word that, in my opinion, lies beneath a central tension that characterizes the new leadership. The tension between the doing and the being.

Most of the time we are busy in a doing mode and moving things forward in order to improve the bottom line and results, even sometimes we push too much, and this can harm the results. The ability to be in a being mode, to pause, reflect, to become wider and to take a space for breath, is crucial in the hectic world we live in. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable to be in that pause or can feel like it goes against the rational thinking, but sometimes the ability to pause and stay there can allow new ideas to emerge and sometimes even helps us to precise the way we layout, the service or the product we are offering. Being in this space can enable new things to evolve and new surprises to emerge and enable us to experience more flow in our doing and at work. That does not mean not doing anything but doing from deep listening. It’s the ability to know how to stop and listen to ourselves, to a colleague, to a client, to what’s want to be said. Even if the situation is not so comfortable or perhaps it’s against our automatic behavior.  In a paradoxical way – the ability to pause, sometimes, shortens the way and valuable in different ways, that sometimes it’s to soon to know.

And as for me, for my experience from the conference, in a spontaneous manner, I was invited to participate in a Mindfulness Retreat at LinkedIn. It was a great experience and enabled me to connect more with people from the mindfulness community and to deepen the understanding about what is happening in the business world regarding mindfulness and the way organizations implement those tools. I was glad to learn, some of which is not new to me, that various organizations like LinkedIn, Salesforce, Cisco and more engage in different practices of mindfulness, as part of their routine.

Leaders and organizations adopt the mindfulness as a tool that enables us to pause. A pause that enables doing and acting from a calmer way and a self-center, even in stressed periods. That, in the end, brings better results. A pause that enables us to widen ourselves and to deepen our listening to ourselves, to what wants to emerge, a place, in which enables new ideas to emerge.

Finally, as leaders, who lead people, organization, but first of all ourselves, it’s important for us to be able to pause, to let go of the wandering mind and the annoying thoughts and from the stories we are telling ourselves, in order to be able to see clearly and  from this place to inspire others.




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