I just wanted to share this great quote from a new book I am currently reading by Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer – Leading from the Emergent Future – From Ego-System to Eco-System Economics:
The blind spot in the twentieth-century toolkit of economics and management can be summarised in a single word: consciousness.
Today’s real economy is a set of highly interdependent eco-systems, but the consciousness of the players within them is fragmented into a set of ego-systems. Instead of encompassing the whole, the awareness of the players in the larger system is bounded by its smaller subparts. The gap between eco-system reality and ego-system consciousness may well be the most important leadership challenge today – business, in government and in civil society.
It is very hard to find business leaders discussing consciousness and mindfulness, especially CEOs and Presidents of national and international companies. One such Brazilian leader is Sergio Chaia, who last year launched his own book “Será Que É Possível?” (Is It Really Possible?). In this book, Sergio discusses how although he reached a personal goal of becoming the president of a multinational company by the age of 36, he felt empty and alone. Through Buddhism, he discovered a way in which business and spirituality could co-exist in balance, and hence he tells his story of his business and leadership philosophy. Unfortunately the book is still only available in Portuguese, but Maria and I did interview Sergio and you can read the article here: Dialogue on Leadership: Presidents who Practice Mindfulness – Two Amazing Examples from Brazil
I was lucky to meet up with Otto when he came to Brazil in 2011, and it is great to see him discussing Natura, the Brazilian cosmetics company which is one of the world’s most sustainable businesses in a case study. We do have a number of examples now of conscious leadership, but hopefully this new book will inspire many more leaders to explore their own relationship with themselves, their organisations, the environment and society, and through systemic vision, and a comprehension of the whole, move to a more conscious and aware style of leadership and development.