Navigating volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity with meditation for effective leadershi
Thank you for joining with me for a few minutes to explore effective leadership and meditation.
The most effective leaders who navigate with us through volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) know who they are. They are comfortable in their own skin and connect with others fluently. They recognize their own mind and its tendencies, its instincts and capacities. They have clarity in their own sense of self and can call on that even under great stress (under stress our senses, purpose and sense of self can be politely sidelined and buried). With awareness an effective leader manifests their goals, recognizes opportunity and makes wise choices that make a difference and embody their core values.
Meditation is a powerful ally in effective leadership. With a little practice it takes us immediately to stillness and a readiness to act. Not just react impulsively by habit or instinct. Most importantly it gives us a relationship to our own mind, so our mind becomes our ally and serves our highest awareness and self.
In meditation and when I look at my own self, my mind is all over the place. It wants to be stable and have control, but it wants change. It wants to be loved and connected, but it wants to be strong, well defended and independent. Those polarities and paradoxes fueled by our instincts pull us to one side or another. We think we must choose a side rather than use both to navigate successfully.
Through meditation we augment our natural ability to discern and act from that still place of our authentic self. We are a clear channel. With that awareness we can see the tendency of our mind and recognize how to act with an appropriate measure to all these different pulls and polarities within us and around us.
We can lead and deliver what is real and meaningful for me and for my team. It takes a little practice. Then a few minutes of meditation can quickly shift our state and give us the perspective we need.
I know we are part of nature. We are not separate. We embody the laws of life and all of nature. The language of nature, when I listen deeply from my core, is poetry. It embraces rhythm, rhyme, and the sense of timely synchronicity between things. Effective leadership has its own poetry. It invites us to see and feel beyond the surface to the currents and tides that move us. It asks us to embrace feelings and logic, perception and discernment and all the other paradoxes that make life alive and full.
The poetry of nature, and effective leadership, are comfortable with the unseen and unpredictable. It has room for a bit of mystery and the human heart. When we embrace those paradoxes and complexities through meditative stillness and rhythm, we become truly free, intuitive and analytic, unique and connected as needed. Disciplined and spontaneous.
This new era of intense VUCA calls us to experience that dynamic awareness and what we call integral leadership.
Gurucharan Khalsa PhD
This is an image of some the inner polarities that pull us.