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While streamlining and cost-cutting may yield short-term earnings gains, the key to sustained business growth lies in the effective leadership of innovation and change. Leaders need to inspire team members to contribute ideas, speak truth to power, and to fully engage with the purpose of the organization – creating cultures of innovation.
It is now widely acknowledged that we cannot inspire others without first harnessing our own true potential as leaders. Imperial College Business School’s ‘Inner Landscapes of Leadership’ program supports leaders in achieving inner awareness and gaining a real understanding of who they are and what they want, so they can be truly inspiring as ‘authentic’ leaders.
What happens in an organization without authentic leadership, was suggested by ex-Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson in a recent interview on the BBC’s Newsnight. Describing the dispiriting reaction of managers to a new film, he said: "Because if somebody was to say, 'that was a great thing that you've just done,' particularly if they wrote it in an email, if it turned out to be controversial and the Daily Mail went berserk, they'd be on record as having liked it, and then what would happen?"
If leadership in a creative organization like the BBC is characterized by fear, perhaps this is a problem, as Clarkson suggested, that “all of Britain suffers from.” It is certainly a potential problem and one that senior executives, entrepreneurs, and L&D professionals need to address through attention to their own inner leadership landscape.
The program at Imperial offers support to leaders who are “able to tolerate ambiguity, are ready to have their beliefs challenged, are comfortable examining values and cultural systems different from their own, and can maintain an open mind when confronted with seemingly strange ideas.”
The program uses a variety of immersive techniques to help participants:
Discover the inner blocks to happiness and fulfilment which we all face
Address these in a positive, empowering, environment
Reclaim their innate confidence, their joy in life
Learn how to eliminate stress and negative thought patterns
Build a personal suite of techniques which work for them and learn how to use them for best effect
Go on to inspire their colleagues, their workforce, the world.
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