I was very fortunate to attend IMI & UCC’s Masterclass Series last week where Manfred Kets de Vries shared his thoughts and research on Leadership.  He immediately sparked my interest with his term the “authentizotic” organisation which in his words is an organisation where “people find meaning in and are captivated by their work”.  With this principle in mind what is the role of the leader and how do they create and build these types of organisations? Therein started a journey of exploration of the psychology of people and our “inner theatres”.  What is our “inner theatre” and what influences do we have along the way that creates our script that we play out each day at work and particularly when we experience stress and pressure.

Manfred Kets de Vries spoke to all the leaders in the room and asked them to think about their internal condition – why are they here?, what are they trying to achieve?, what is important to you and are you focusing your time on what is important.  What, among many things, was refreshing was Manfred spoke to us and asked us to connect or reconnect with our values and purpose.  He didn’t get into models of leadership or the best type of leadership. This is very much like our own approach and philosophy in Mojo For Leaders where we believe that “the internal condition of the intervenor determines the success of any intervention” (Bill O’Brien).  He looked inside as all change emanates from us and our ability to reflect and continuously increase our self-awareness.  To thyself be true!.
Whilst looking in he shared some of his thoughts like the Hedgehog Syndrome where many leaders are afraid to show vulnerability and put on this mask. In our Mojo For Leader programmes, we explore the work of Brene Brown as it is showing some vulnerability that makes you human and enables you to connect with another individual at a deeper and more meaningful level.  Some participants in the room were looking for the model – the solution in a neat checklist. I was that soldier in a previous life looking for the item you could box up and roll out.  With my training and experience, I have learnt the answer comes from within and if you give them opportunities and time to leaders to explore the “why?” behind their leadership and support them to be themselves you can start to develop more authentic leaders who can have the capacity to make a positive impact on people and organisations.

In summarising and providing a little bit more of a checklist to the audience we (the audience) need to focus on Values-Driven Leadership

1. Self Awareness
2. Heroism
3. Ingenuity
4. Love

So I share with you some thoughts from Manfred Kets de Vries that you may stop, think and reflect on why you are a leader and what is your highest intention as a leader.  If you want to find more about how to look inside to lead better on the outside then check out our leadership programmes and WISE Coaching where we help people to become powerful human leaders.

Kerry O’Keeffe