If Not You, Then Who? If not Now, Then When? Purpose - Value - Impact of Leadership & Executive Coaching

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Uneasy lies the head, that wears the crown said William Shakespeare, the Renaissance man.  

In many way, the ongoing pandemic we are going through is akin to the Renaissance era, which came right after the Middle Ages and was about the rebirth of humanity, realism, secularism, naturalism and individualism. Art, literature, science, culture, politics and the economy radically changed, heralding a new era of hope and happiness, growth and progress. Iconic leaders emerged in all fields.


Today more than ever before, what we are seeing is resurgence of another Renaissance! Leadership everywhere is centre stage, under glaring spotlight, expected to protect, guide and safely lead their countries, companies and people out of tumultuous times into the calm waters. 


All of us have all been catapulted to search for deeper meaning beyond the obvious, re-examine organisational and personal purpose, become aware at subliminal level of our inner journey of transformation we must take, to be able to make outward changes necessary to survive and thrive.


In today’s times;

- Humanity is about valuing the person more than mere profit.

- Realism about acceptance of situations and things we cannot change.

- Secularism is all about letting go of concepts and ideas which no longer hold true.

- Naturalism refers to understanding everything within the ambit of science and facts.

- Individualism is an irrevocable fact that we are all ourselves responsible for how we act.


In organisational context, the manifestation of all these will begin to get seen in redrafted company culture, its values, leadership behaviours and ways leaders care for their workforce. Culture after all is the collective behaviour of the workforce, formed in accordance with what everyone sees the leaders saying and doing . So, what is of utmost significance is the central idea that “if uneasy lies the head, that wears the crown” what can be done by leaders themselves for themselves as they strive to stay on track and true to those they serve.


Here is what may work…Leaders should

  1. Try and soar but stay anchored - As times change, so should aspirations and ambitions. Leaders need to have a safety net, a soul friend, a mentor or a friend they can reach out to stay even keeled even as they dream impossible dreams. A coach can keep you  grounded.
  2. Lead the change but first conquer self - Tempestuous times call for unprecedented introspection. As within so without, as above, so below is the path leaders should take. Inner thoughts create what we see and experience and try to recreate. Lean towards and learn from those who have walked the path before. Steve Jobs said: You don’t have to see something to believe it, you have to believe something to see it! Try guided visualisation. 
  3. Grow the business but strengthen inner beliefs - Biases lead to beliefs that lead to behaviours that lead to business. Much of this learning is to be found in ancient Indian scriptures. A leader is only as strong as its weakest link. In this context the weakest link is leaders own mindset. Mind is a muscle. Exercise it under watchful eye of an trusted aide.  
  4. Push for business but gain mastery over their ingrained behaviours - Business is only as good as the way you get it. The path and the journey leaders take matters as much, perhaps even more so than the outcome. We have long left behind those days when results mattered the most, emotions could be sacrificed at the altar of ambition. Get someone to show you the mirror. One whose only agenda is “you”.  

Just like Renaissance period was all about rejuvenation and experimentation, let the times we are in today, help us master the concept of “As within, So without, As above, So below”. Today, we have a chance to be a Renaissance man/woman - Let us not throw it away!


1st published in Economic Times HR...Written by Harlina Sodhi

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