Leadership: What you put in is what you get out

14.12.17

Leadership is less about the position you hold than the influence you have. It’s about doing world-class work, playing at your peak, and leaving people better than you found them. It’s about Leading Without a Title. – Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma draws a meaningful picture of the type of leadership the future desperately requires. As the world of work continues to challenge our perceptions of power, and organisations become increasingly aware of the benefits of diversity and inclusion to keep pace with innovation and business opportunities, the need for a new type of leadership – one with humanity at its core – has never been more apparent.

Finding the balance

Paving the way for an equal society means that businesses need to embrace difference and take action against all forms of dominance (bullying, sexual harassment, inflated egos). One of the ways to achieve this heightened equilibrium of humanity is through our sexual energy – the core source of our life-force energy – a form of communication that transcends both our intellectual and emotional states of human interaction. Misused, it creates dysfunction and abuse of ourselves and others; applied consciously and wisely, it creates a highway for transformation across all aspects of our lives. As leaders, when we are up against it, we may present ourselves as content, self-assured and together. But for many of us, we are bound by the one-dimensional roles we tend to assume in our daily interactions. Firefighters are male and nurses are female, male entrepreneurs stand for ego, resilience and over-confidence; female entrepreneurs denote service and the tendency to be risk averse, men are steady, women are emotional – we tend to accept, rather than question the status quo of this belief system.

These stereotypes are real, and these antiquated attitudes of “men’s work” versus “women’s work” continue to hold considerable influence when it comes to business decisions. It’s 2017, and women are still underrepresented in most industries, men are still seen as primary breadwinners (not caregivers) and female CEOs currently make up only 5% of Fortune 500’s CEOs. From candidate placements, to salaries, incentives and performance evaluations – prejudices are rife and they stem from outdated patriarchal systems and how we have learned to see ourselves in relation to others. So, where does change start then?

An equal society

When we go back to our humanity, we leave gender behind. We leave stereotypes behind. We leave limitations behind. Instead, we focus on leveraging our uniqueness, working with both our masculine and feminine aspects to find a complementary balance between two forces that together, make us human. The leaders of tomorrow are those who can explore the full range of their masculine and feminine, enabling them to express their life-force energy consciously. They come from a place of authenticity where vulnerability is a strength and labels are only found on the back of our clothing. While we cannot flip these judgements overnight, we can all do the inner work required to develop greater empathy and sensitivity toward others and lead from a place of clarity, always showing up as our full selves.

We live in a time when whole industries, economies and political landscapes are becoming more and more volatile and uncertain. It’s the businesses with leaders who know how to connect to the centre of their inner being and lead from a place of “knowing”, that will adapt more easily and thus also be the most successful.

How are you leading without a title?