CEOs also described some kind of ‘individual awakening’, often catalysed by a personal challenge or a ‘defining moment’ or insight. A ‘night of the dark soul’, that initiated them into a new view of the world and shifted their awareness and behaviour. Critical in this transition was the journey from an ‘I’ to ‘We’ mindset, from Ego to Soul. A shift to a deep relational approach that recognises the possibilities that collective action and responsibility can create. Accelerating the emergence of the new archetype – Leadership Journeys It is clear we do not have time to wait for these ‘crucible’ moments to strike but must actively seek to create the conditions in which CEOs and the teams they lead can transition to a new level of leadership awareness and performance. DSM Food Specialities, for example, created such conditions when they embarked upon a series of tailored ‘Leadership Journeys’ co-created and led by their CEO. These ‘Leadership Journeys’ are curated and tailor-made development experiences. The CEO contributes to the design and delivery of each journey providing intention and direction and plays an active part in it. A journey may address conventional issues, but does so using unconventional surrounding and activities, providing ‘impulses’ to trigger defining moments. What might the play ‘The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night’ have to reveal about empathy and communication? What insights are created by journaling? Or what new insight regarding ambition is triggered by a session with the director and primary violinist of the no.1 philharmonic orchestra in the world? The purpose of each journey is not passive content consumption or teaching but active individual and collective awakening to new ways of ‘being’ as a leader. ‘Leadership Impulse’, challenges to the thinking or senses, are used to stimulate and embed new perspectives or to throw old and unhelpful assumptions into sharp relief. Above all the space is created for leaders to explore, share, define and embed their individual and collective sense of purpose for the goal of overall value creation. A Journey sits within an overall context of mindful leadership, driven initially by the CEO. It aims to contribute to a continuous state of being and doing as a leader rather than be a ‘once a year exercise’.
This new archetype… Leaders that no longer crave certainty but have learned to live with and lead in the face of unpredictability, ambiguity and complexity