October 13, 2010

CEO Coaching – Leading with Soul

woman with hat

I had the honor of talking with one of the world’s most successful team and leadership coaches this morning. Her recent achievements are off the scale of most independent entrepreneurs I know. We got into a conversation about the future of corporates as we know them and what is required of the leadership to enable them to continue to be cutting edge with awareness in an increasingly changing market place across all industries – cars, property, finance, media, IT, clothing, food production, retailing … everything!

Amongst many things we agreed on was that there’s less opportunity for CEOs, board members and corporate leaders to experience the link between spiritual innovation and pioneering business inside the formality of traditional business structures. Of all the leaders we’d worked with (and combined that’s several hundred) we could bring to mind perhaps 2 or 3 each (identities and situations weren’t mentioned obviously) who we could imagine would be open to a conversation around spiritual intelligence and success with soul. That’s like 1 in 100 corporate leaders being open to the sort of personal development that literally millions of small and medium business owners are making their norm.

The biggest corporates are steeped in working models which to date have successfully prioritsed mind and body solutions; knowing and doing. Can you imagine the power, if their leaders were to integrate heart and soul as well; the feeling and universal elements of each employee being released for the greater good? Oh my days!

It’s a scary step, we agreed, for the leaders we knew to stride into unknown areas of their own potential. I mean why would they when what they’d learned to date had got them to the level of success they presently enjoyed?

The thing is though, the past does not equal the future. And investment in self is what cultures look to leaders for. Alvin Toffler is an award-winning American writer and futurist, known for his understanding of the digital, communication and corporate revolutions. He said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who can not read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”.

So what are the opportunities when for a CEO who leads with Soul? They’re clear about their vision, what their company exists to contribute, what success looks like, how to innovate with meaning, what respectful business is, what long-term client relationships require and how to attract inspired talent. They talk openly about intuition, higher purpose, infinite capabilities, active learning, service to clients, more for all, exchanges of energy, emotional intelligence and co-creation.

What if the top 10 global brands were to lead the way … Coca cola, IBM, Microsoft, Google, GE, McDonalds, Intel, Nokia, Disney and Hewlett Packard. Can you imagine the power the CEO’s and Board Members could release to their employees, and global marketplaces with Spirit and Soul at the heart of every decision? I see love, light and a grateful planet.

Goosepumps!

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