Every day new books, articles and theories on Leadership are being published. A Google search on “Leadership” and “Books” will give you over 360 million hits. Why is it that we have such an insatiable appetite for this subject? And why do we need others telling us how to be, become a leader or give us direction in our lives?
It is in our nature to have an external focus when it comes to finding answers regarding our fears, dogmas, norms, values and uncertainties. Therefore we place the authority of our own lives outside of ourselves. The cause of all this, in my view, originates from our upbringing, education and the social context in which we have been raised. As a result we are in conflict and by choosing the comfortable path of seeking leaders who offer us the easy way out, we are not able to break this pattern. And as long we choose the path of comfort and not the inner path of awareness, there will always be followers longing for and creating leaders.
Leaders who encourage conformity and favouritism, will create a homogeneous culture of fear and an ineffective, unproductive, unhappy workforce of followers with all the negative effects on the company goals. This is caused by the outer-focus habit most leaders have. So this disconnect with your inner-self is the main cause of not being able to connect with the environment we live in or work in. The time of leading by position and by fear is diminishing. This short term approach of making a quick win worked in the past but to be able to make it in the new world of transparency, the internet of everything and a new generation of creative minds, we need leaders with passion and the ability to engage a whole workforce and win their hearts and minds.
It is self-evident that the process of deconstructing all the layers of cultural programming, traditions, norms, beliefs and so on, is an arduous process and it is a pursuit that is going to entail a confrontation with all the things we believe in and hold sacred.
I call this process, “learning to read your own book”. It is the most complex and challenging book but it will give you more insight than all the books in the world combined. Just do it, without any motive or goal, and watch every movement or pattern of thought and behaviour unfold without rejecting or accepting what you see and feel.
“The moment you follow someone, you cease to follow truth” J.K.
Adnan Basaran is the Founder of Kamran International. Feel free to visit our website;