To evolve as a leader you must evolve as a person

From reactive to creative leadership

In his beautiful book 'The War of Art' Steven Pressfield writes Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.

I believe this line is more relevant than ever, that we've never felt this resistance as present in our lives as now. The world is changing quickly, and we follow these changes in real time from our smart phones. We're full of impressions, trying to make sense of it all, and trying to make sense of who we are in all of this. And while technology is evolving and creating possibilities in an unprecedented pace, we're still humans with a mind that hasn't evolved much in the last few thousands of years.

We're still tribe animals, primarily concerned with our own safety. The difference is that in modern society our primary threat is not physical death but ego death, still it's the same basic instinctive impulses that we need to learn to manage.

Bob Anderson, founder of Leadership Circle, writes "The primary tension in life and leadership is the tension between purpose and safety, between the part of us that wants to be about something great, make a difference, and demands our deepest commitment—and another part of us that simply is not up for that much risk. This tension is inherent. It lives in all of us, all the time."

With this tension inside and an outside world characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, the biggest challenge we have as leaders is to engage others in our worldly journey. The most powerful tool to create engagement is conversation and since you can't relate to others greater than you relate to yourself our leadership challenge starts within. 

This is what I'm passionate about - helping leaders explore and deal with the tension between purpose and safety, to surface, explore, and shift the beliefs, values, and fears that consciously and sub-consciously guide how we perceive ourselves and how we interact with the world.

It's about the transition from an outside-in to an inside-out mental operating system, the shift from being driven by safety and fear to being driven by courageous curiosity and authenticity. Because that's the only way, not only to engage others to create progressive sustainable change, but to live a fulfilling life.

Three books to help you make sense of your life and leadership

101 questions book

101 Questions with the power to change your life

Your inner journey typically begins with the big questions. This book invites you to this journey as it aspires to trigger those questions that you're too busy asking yourself in the busyness of life.

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book on purpose

Purpose - Workbook to explore and share your unique gift with the world

This 60+ page full color e-book contains all you need to uncover your purpose, articulate your meaningful ideal and share your unique gift with the world - my purpose story, the theory and the tools!

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values book

Values - Live with with authenticity and integrity

This 30+ page full color e-book contains all you need to explore, identify and articulate your core values – both the theory and the tools - to give you "handrails" through the journey called life.

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What happens when purpose drives you?

I'm one of 22 authors that in January 2020 published a book on the topic of purpose and how decisions shaped our journey towards purpose. The book is an evidence-based approach to what a transformational journey may be like.

It's 22 authentic and bold stories, some you may relate to while others you may not. Perhaps some of the stories will inspire you to reflect in ways that are surprising. It’s all welcomed because our intention was to move you through the sharing of our individual personal stories – regardless of the direction it takes you.

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purpose book oxford leadership

Join my weekly virtual meditations

I host weekly virtual meditations in the Rinzai Zen Buddhist tradition and you're welcome to join us.

Rinzai Zen is a wisdom tradition free from supernatural elements and religious dogma. You can read more about this in my post Is Buddhism a religion?  (the answer is: No)

We meet every Monday at 20:00 CET, sit for 30 minutes and afterwards we talk about the dharma and life. Session closes 21:00 CET.

If you're new to meditation join 15 min earlier for instructions. Don't worry, everything will be fine.

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xingru zen buddhism meditation

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