A Personal Perspective on A more Conscious World after CORONA
The next Level of Consciousness is Emerging
Why the coronavirus and "social distancing" make us more human and help us to thrive.
I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good.J.W. Goethe
Wow. Today we are not planning our next Easter holiday or contemplating what to buy next from Amazon. Because we are in the grip of the biggest crisis since the Second World War. On a global, national, social and personal level. After not believing or claiming this is a Chinese or European virus, even leaders in the UK and US are now reacting with strict directives of isolation, limiting social get-togethers to the size of small families under 5 people (Austria). Now we see and feel that there is “such a thing as society”, or a European identity consisting of millions of individuals starting to connect with one another again. Now it is everybody's responsibility and it is up to every individual to make sense of it all, like Christoph Niemann illustrated and shared perfectly on the latest cover of the New Yorker.
What does this situation mean for us and how do we make sense of it?
First we see, as Goethe wrote in the quote above, how resilient we are as a species and how the worst crisis starts to bring out the best in us: Our human capacity to adapt and evolve in response to challenges, once we start to accept and no longer ignore them. When we calm down, take a deep breath, stop watching alarmist news on all sorts of channels, shift our mind to the inside and start to ask about our own feelings and thoughts about the whole situation, we take the first step on the journey from survive to thrive:
Social Distancing Fosters Empathy
Because we are physical isolated in our homes we feel more connected to others sharing the same fate. In fact we are getting more social. We re-connect on a human level. We phone, skype, zoom with with family, friends and colleagues, because we care about their health and feelings about the situation. We are creating from a former eagerness to become independent from each other a new interdependence on higher level between all of us. We become liberal individuals in a collective using digital connections to become more human again.
From Isolation to “Communitas”
The Italians are singing from their balconies, thousands initiatives of solidarity are emerging and the workers forgotten are becoming the societies new heroes. All this is creating a feeling of oneness, co-creating a new national identity that was lost before, as we all know. Why?
Because the ego’s hungry spirit is sated after having bought enough toilet paper (oh, we Germans), its attention is diverted from “what I want” and directed towards “what I should do”, to help others to survive. „Surviving together“ is the new mantra of our identity We are no longer seeking personal satisfaction, and the very restrictions that are limiting us are giving rise to new opportunities for making sense of our lives. Many helping and caring initiatives are co-created. Simple digital hang outs are mushrooming and will stay to share fears, problems, have fun, sing and co-creates solutions. We are reconnecting ourself to us and others and feel the interdependence between everYthing and create a sense of belonging and stop seeking for appreciation. Because we already belong as humans. With out the help of the now tamed ego.
From the Ego to the World
Quite by accident, we are starting to save the world with lower CO2 emission across the globe. Everybody will feel the lack of “more stuff” and start to question whether they really need to buy and own this or that thing right now. This is the beauty of “awakening” or “being enlightened” or just having some real new insights and realizations: You will never revert back to over consumption or seeking satisfaction in being like Kim Kardashian or driving a big car. This seeking will be over for many of us living in abundance since years. Manifesting this post materialistic insights in your day-to-day life may be difficult and perhaps take years. But the consciousness is there to stay. The good news is that if we want to change a habit we can. It takes about 60 days to do it with daily practice. We are. Already starting to service the others in crisis. Let´s continue this after the lockdown. On our own liberal will. So it is all in our minds and in our hands.
From Inside to Outside
We now see and feel what it means to be human again, beyond roles and facades.
Now in the crisis imprisoned we have time and motivation to find again access to our inner world and ask the right questions. What does really matter to us? Who am I, how do I want to live, what do I want to create with others in the world and what impact do I want to make. As a full grown human and a leader of a organisation. We know that with this new upgraded mindset we will feel different, so we will think different, than we will act different, we influence our family or teams to chang. As leaders we will have impact through the offerings to the market and through our products and services on the society and the planet. This is what everybody of us could do. Always and ever. But now it is the time where everything is shifting and drifting into a new paradigm of living a life, running a meaningful business and societal architecture. Let´s shift our minds, and rethink our lives and business models to rebuild an economy which is a force of good and more balancing profit with purpose. How does a real natural business model look like and how to co-create it?
More Conscious Leadership is Emerging
All of this needs a new perspective on (self-)leadership. Now in the complex and ever-changing VUCA world, it´s time for exploring leadership first and management second. Now is when leaders are made who can make decisions guided by their inner compass and values, not waiting for laws and orders from higher authorities. They do not follow standards or convention. Some are following their Ego to show up as a „strong all knowing leader“ without having the reflection on themselves and the insight, that the reality or solution could be different. But many have woken up to themselves and their lack to know it all. They are leading authentically from within, showing their own vulnerability and insecurity to their followers. But still being able to lead clearly the way by walking it Guide by an inner compass. This allows them to connect with their need to belong and co-create a new purposeful community and meaningful change. A community that will solve the crisis or rethink the business model to make it more human, help employees to become the best versions of themselves and foster “growth that matters”, as my Nordic colleagues so aptly put it. To execute these new frameworks and sense-making tools we need classic management skills, discipline, diligence and a clear decision-making process, based on clear legitimation. If it is top down, consent, or consents style of decision making. It doesn't matter if it is agreed consciously upfront and it works.
Being more conscious doesn’t have to mean something fancy or esoteric or spiritual. It is just like walking to the top of a mountain, starting to see more perspectives, seeing further, feeling more open, having new insights, taking them back home and inspiring others in your community to climb up the mountain to find those same new insights for themselves. So don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone, your valley of problems, by living your question. The answer will emerge on its own along the way.
What are the frameworks and skills needed to become a more conscious transformational leader?
Walking or climbing up a mountain by yourself takes different mindsets, skills and behaviors than walking in group on a paved road of common sense. Here are some ideas that the members of GROWTH POSITIVE and I will cover in the coming weeks and months:
- What is the difference between transformational leadership and management?
- What does a leader really need to know and do during a crisis?
- How to help and support the weaker ones to survive?
- How do you become a self-author and write your own narrative under stakeholder pressure and in the VUCA world?
- How do you turn stress into more focus and productivity?
- How do you calm the nerves and recover after peak performance?
- How do you make sense out of chaos in a post-truth world?
- How do you make better decisions under ever changing conditions?
- How do you run a business and disrupt it at the same time, and still function?
- How do you lead your people bravely into the unknown?
- How do you create a culture more open to experiments and learning to cope with complexity?
- How do you help people to grow as individuals?
- How do you balance profit with purpose?
- How to become more „natural“ or finding a circular natural business model
To sum up: I firmly believe we are all growing into a more conscious post-money world where it really counts to be fully human, and we use technology not for its own sake but to serve our evolution. We see that the coronavirus is fostering a new level of consciousness, kicking us out of our comfort zone and forcing us to re-think who we are, how we live, re-imagine how we can create more meaningful business and re-shape our economy to foster a more conscious society that will leave a better legacy.
To answer the questions of where this MNDSHFT leads us, what “Conscious Leadership” really means, and how to successfully transform ourselves and our organizations, the members of GROWTH POSITIVE and I will share our perspectives in our upcoming articles, videos and comments, hoping to help you thrive.
Start your journey now to become a more conscious leader and let us build brigdes together to co-create the next - more human & natural -business paradigm.