Cultivating Transformations: A Leader’s Guide to Connecting the Soulful and Practical with Jardena London

” We need to create organisations for the people in them, and for society, not just for shareholders and the money.”

Jardena and I delve into the world of transformational leadership. What is transformational leadership, why do we need it and how can we constantly hold the balance between the soulful and the practical ?

We look at the 3 different lenses of me, we and the system and get curious about soulful organisations. How can we intentionally connect these 3 levels and stay connected to our ecosystems at an emotional level as well as at an operational level ? What does the dance between the different levels of the system look like, and how can we think about ‘soulful processes’ ?

We need to stop vying for scarcity and build developmental practice to intentionally cultivate, nurture and grow an environment of emotional literacy and purpose.

Jardena shares her insights and experience from working with global businesses and leaders across the globe.

The main insights you’ll get from this episode are :

–       Technology can’t solve all our problems; humans must manage it properly, communicate properly and organise themselves better.

–       We all have an impact on our world (whether we like it or not) and we have personal agency over what that impact will be.

–       Three different lenses/ecosystems produce the butterfly effect: me = know thyself, seek out our blind spots; we = acknowledge, sit in and heal pain; the system = incremental change, the ‘adjacent possible’ to give a different perspective (for the future).

–       How do we connect the three, and connect people? Through empathy, rapport, healing pain and creating a cohesive unit – the third lens requires consideration of the previous two.

–       Transformational leadership starts with better meetings, improved organisational design, and new and better ways of working introduced into embedded systems.

–       It is underpinned by creating organisations for people and society/community; seeing employees as both the raw materials and the audience; and understanding that our behaviour at work is our behaviour in life (= soulful + practical).

–       It holds tensions in the system in terms of the mechanics (process) and their impact on people’s wellbeing. We tend to think only in terms of money, but there is no reason why it cannot also be soulful.

–       A soulful approach understands that the purpose of the process should be to thrive, but it is often soul-crushing. We must understand why and reimagine it, as soul-crushing will prevent transformation – we must sit squarely in the pain to heal it.

–       Top executives often (unintentionally) cut themselves off from the organisation and we must guard against the ‘permafrost layer’ – buffering is not helpful, and neither is ‘don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions’.

–       Transformational leaders must be curious and ask (disruptive) questions diplomatically outside the normal institutional framework.

–       Cultivating transformation requires compassion, nurturing, adaptability, pruning and watering – we are looking after living systems, not building machines; it can be messy, but we must let it be messy because it doesn’t have be orderly to be effective.

–       Scaling/operationalising soulful transformation requires deeply curious, emotionally literate and soulful organisations that have a collective identity; we must apply things we apply to ourselves at an organisational level and put structures and processes in place for it to work.

–       A soulful organisation provides operational support for values such as emotional literacy, e.g. check-ins. Action becomes embedded and transcends individual leaders.

–       There is problematic use of the word ‘failure’ – it should be ‘learning’; we should celebrate learning rather than failing, see everything as an experiment and use metrics to prove a hypothesis rather than measure ‘success’.

–       Language is key for transformation, and DE&I work must precede transformation; conscious inclusion must be a strategic objective, one of the table stakes.

click below to find out more about Jardena’s work :

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Suzie Lewis

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