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Awakened Influence: The Evolution of Leadership in a Dynamic World

As we step into this era marked by accelerated change, technological advancements, environmental turbulence, and shifts in social dynamics and the workforce landscape, there is a pressing need for a new archetype of leadership to take the stage. This is an adaptive, empathetic, and forward-thinking leader who can seamlessly navigate the complexities of this new world because they've done the inner work, continue to actualize themselves, and leverage the fruits of their growth to bring out the best in others. 

We’re beginning to see this emergence in the form of what one of my collaborators, Rebecca Maklad and I call Awakened Influence. Don’t mistake this for “wokeness”. Rather, Awakened Influence is a form of leadership that sees the bigger picture, trading dichotomies and zero-sum games, for win/wins and the long game (shout out to Dorie Clark).  It's about transcending an ego-driven scarcity mentality rooted in fear and self-preservation, clinging to power and resources for personal gain. Awakened Influence operates from the understanding that enduring abundance and success arise from generosity, generative collaboration, and a mindset of, as JFK said, a rising tide lifts all boats.

Awakened Influence embodies a conscientious ethos deeply rooted in authenticity, integrity, and a recognition of the interconnectedness of everything. It transcends conventional leadership paradigms and the drive to hit business objectives and profit margins at the expense of everything else. Instead, it creates ecosystems where growth, well-being, and purpose are prioritized, yielding sustainable high performance from individuals and the business.

These adept leaders navigate uncharted territories with grace and resilience, embracing ambiguity and complexity as fertile ground for growth and innovation. At the heart of their influence lies the art of building trust, fostering authentic connections, and igniting the flame of potential in others. Effective leadership, they understand, is not about wielding control or dominance, but about empowering individuals to realize and contribute to their fullest capacities.

How, then, can leaders cultivate Awakened Influence within themselves and their teams? It begins with a resolute commitment to personal and professional growth, a willingness to confront biases and assumptions, and embracing the richness of diverse perspectives and experiences. They must carve out spaces for creativity to flourish, championing risk-taking and embracing failure as invaluable stepping stones on the path to learning and evolution.


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