Mindfulness is great, but inspiration is greater. If leaders of large organisations learn to do inspiration as part of their leadership strategy, all kinds of good things will begin to happen.
First, they will become themselves: if being a leader means being oneself, as Bob Goffe of the LBS remarked, then inspiration will be their fastest and most reliable route to inspiring performance. If, as Peter Senge remarked, being a leader means becoming a human being, then inspiration, the awakening and exercising of the neurones of Pathos, Logos and Ethos will take you there.
Second, they will become creative. They will learn to refashion their own language, making one that is truly their own, by learning to describe people, places and actions, the three dimensions of depth, space and time that are the basis of a picture that tells a story. Instead of looking only for rational arguments, they will discover and deploy a poetic power able to move hearts and guts as well as minds.
Third, they will put relationship first. They will learn the power of Empathy, of human connection that not only means understanding others, but enabling others to understand them. They will find the freedom to choose between reciprocity and transaction, and learn that both can live side by side within their own being.
Finally, they will learn the power of presence: the resonance of voice and torso, the joy of breathing, the magnetic force of stillness and the pleasure of openness. They will find that connection to their physical self is a form of liberation that can infuse others with its energy.
Inspiration comes to us through our three receptors of Pathos, Logos and Ethos. Through these channels we are infused with feelings, thoughts and values by our daily experience of living. For some it will be the waving of the trees; for others it will be the act of kindness, the shine of a motorbike engine, the light on a pool, the selflessness of a teacher. The forms in which we breathe in inspiration are infinite, and they all come through head, heart and guts. We can all do this.
We can breathe inspiration out through four powers: Empathy, Creativity, Authenticity and Presence. We can all do this.
The leaders of large organisations now have to find ways of turning those organisations around so that they themselves become inspired and inspiring. Why? Because this will turn corporate capitalism around, and into a source of human connection with consumers, communities and stakeholders. This will help the large organisation become more connected through channels of human inspiration, reflected in brands and all forms of corporate communication. The corporation will become primarily a force for connection rather than shareholder value.