Success, Innovative Leadership and Inner Presence | Prasad Kaipa

IIW Web Team 9 October, 2023


A frequent question we get is — How honing in on inner presence can transform one’s leadership style, making them more successful, a better team player, and a more innovative leader? How does it differ from typical Western approaches?

Here are some answers about all the three points that we are asked.

1. Becoming More Successful:

Behavioral Approach: Traditional Western management models emphasize the importance of actionable skills, goal setting, and strategic thinking. These are undoubtedly essential for success.

Inner Presence Approach: Success isn’t merely about achieving external milestones but also about internal alignment.

Focusing on inner presence and consciousness helps in:

  • Cognitive Agility: Leaders grounded in inner presence tend to have sharper cognitive skills. They can switch between tasks, assimilate new information, and modify their strategies with agility. This is because being in the present moment reduces mental clutter, allowing for clearer thought processes.
  • Enhanced Relationships: Being present allows leaders to be genuinely there during interactions. This helps in developing deep connections with peers, superiors, and subordinates alike, which can be instrumental for success.
  • Decision Clarity: By being attuned to one’s consciousness, leaders can sift through noise and make decisions that are more aligned with their core values and long-term vision.
  • Emotional Regulation: Success often demands navigating complex emotional landscapes. Inner presence helps in recognizing and managing emotions, leading to more balanced reactions to challenges.
  • Stress Management: The rigors of leadership can lead to burnout. A conscious leader is more adept at recognizing early signs of stress and implementing coping mechanisms.

2. Being a Better Team Player:

Behavioral Approach: Communication skills, empathy, and collaboration are often emphasized.

Inner Presence Approach:

  • Empathetic Leadership: Empathy, a crucial leadership trait, is heightened when leaders are attuned to their inner selves. This understanding of one’s own emotions facilitates a deeper understanding of others’.
  • Reduced Reactivity: Inner presence allows leaders to pause before responding, reducing impulsive reactions which can often escalate conflicts within teams.
  • Deep Listening: Inner presence facilitates genuine listening, not just to words but the underlying emotions and intentions. This builds trust within teams.
  • Authentic Interactions: A heightened state of consciousness leads to more authentic interactions, where team members feel valued and understood.
  • Conflict Resolution: Inner presence aids in recognizing one’s biases and ego-driven actions, enabling leaders to approach conflicts with a solution-oriented mindset.

3. Becoming a More Innovative Leader:

Behavioral Approach: Encouraging brainstorming sessions, creating an open culture where ideas are welcomed, and staying updated with industry trends are common strategies.

Inner Presence Approach:

  • Openness to New Experiences: Grounded leaders are more receptive to new ideas and experiences. They approach challenges with a learner’s mindset, fostering an environment where innovation is organic.
  • Holistic Vision: A conscious leader often sees the larger picture, understanding the intricate interplay of various factors, thus innovating keeping in mind the broader organizational goals.
  • Connecting the Dots: Innovation often arises from connecting seemingly unrelated concepts. A conscious leader, by virtue of being deeply attuned to varied experiences, can often see these connections more clearly.
  • Risk Management: Innovation often requires taking calculated risks. Inner presence enables leaders to be more in touch with their intuition, helping in evaluating potential opportunities and threats.
  • Fostering an Open Environment: Leaders who operate from a space of consciousness are less likely to be threatened by new ideas and more open to fostering an environment where creativity thrives. 

By focusing on Inner Presence, We Shift from ‘Doing’ to ‘Being’:

Merely focusing on external behaviors and competencies can sometimes lead to a mechanical approach to leadership, where the emphasis is on ‘doing’. On the other hand, integrating inner presence and consciousness shifts the focus to ‘being’, ensuring that actions stem from a space of authenticity, alignment, and deeper understanding.

The transformational potential of moving from ‘doing’ to ‘being’ cannot be overstated. While competencies and behaviors are tangible and easily measured, the state of ‘being’ taps into the vast reservoir of human potential. It’s akin to using the entire computing power of a supercomputer rather than just its calculative abilities.

Incorporating Inner Presence into Our Daily Life and Work:

  1. Daily Mindfulness Practices and Mindfulness Retreats: Even 10 minutes of daily meditation can enhance inner presence. Organizations can host periodic retreats, emphasizing the cultivation of inner presence. These retreats can be instrumental in breaking the monotony of daily work life, allowing leaders to rejuvenate and reconnect with their inner selves.
  2. Reflective Journaling: Helps in recognizing patterns, biases, and areas of growth.
  3. Engaging in Dialogue: Regular conversations with mentors or coaches who understand the value of consciousness can provide valuable insights.
  4. Feedback Loops with a Twist: While feedback mechanisms focus on behaviors and results, introducing a segment that emphasizes mindfulness can be revolutionary. For instance, questions like “How present were you during the project?” can initiate introspection.
  5. Consciousness Reading Groups: Encouraging leaders to read and discuss books that delve into consciousness, Indic wisdom, and mindfulness can provide a theoretical foundation to the practical aspects of leadership.
IIW Web Team