Anna Kusela628-2

Reaching the next level in leadership thinking

How to make your thinking more intuitive, creative and energetic for better leadership?

When I moved to London in 2012 to continue my career in management consulting, it was a thrilling experience to say the least. Working side-by-side with some of the most prevalent CEOs and their leadership teams in the fashion and luxury industry was not only exciting but also intellectually stimulating.

Changing career as a catalyst for new thoughts

However, the more you have, the more you want! Spring 2018 I felt this strong energy, a pull away from my corporate life, nudging me towards creating something on my own and so asking me to contribute in a different way.

While a great idea, little did I know how deep the end I threw myself into, actually was. Through first-hand experience I finally grasped the concept of

Our thinking creates our reality

and to be honest, got pretty overwhelmed as I realised I would need to level up my thinking game, pronto.

For the first time ever, I realised that to achieve this very different result I was after now, I would need to develop different thoughts at pace.

What also became quite obvious is that while corporate environments can be great places to grow, they can also act as hiding places for complacent thinking. Sure, having talented people around me as colleagues and clients enabled me to improve my capabilities in a safe environment but at the same time (and by the way, it’s always easier in hindsight right?!)

Doing things how they’ve always been done because it works’

definitely inflicted some sort of laziness in my own thinking and the development of my mental models.

Next level thinking is needed…now

Today, as I coach future leaders, both professionals and business owners, it has become increasingly apparent to me how much it is needed to develop our ability to think better and different. It’s clear that technology has changed our environments for good and when it comes to business, some of the managerial approaches have become irrelevant, or at least seem to create very little value. Instead, what is needed for a thriving business of today is that kind of thinking and leadership that allows teams to collaborate, explore, innovate, fail…and ultimately to succeed.

All good action starts with a thought – and for me, this new way of thinking must be prevalent at the leadership level. I believe we need more nimble, fluid and adaptive leadership in the future – which requires bold, intuitive and creative thinking. Thinking outside the box…when there’s no box! I see a huge benefit in developing the thinking and mental models of leaders to produce creative, energetic thoughts that act as a catalyst, creating trust-based teams to unleash their potential.

How to produce intuitive, creative and energetic thoughts?

Coming back to my business owner journey, I took this initiative on with curiosity and explored a variety of ways to develop my own thinking in order to meet my desired business outcomes. I know I’m looking at this from a very personal and holistic point of view but I do hope this helps you to see that the more wholeness and consciousness we bring into any leadership position, the more creative, innovative and authentic the following activity can be – and I’m sure we all agree how important this is today!

Firstly, it is obvious that creative thought needs time and space. It doesn’t typically happen in an office environment but might be fuelled by having fun, being outdoors and even without any agenda. The more we can entertain childlike curiosity and put imagination to play in our everyday life, the more of us we open up to experience life and so attract a wider and deeper way of being. I trust this will ultimately find its way to our professional lives.

For a monkey mind like me, this has proven very effective. Distracting my conscious mind can be a clever way to access something new in form of a thought. In the end, common sense is less likely to give you the answers to disrupt status quo, if that’s what you’re after.

Secondly, we cannot underestimate the importance of enhancing our self-awareness. Knowing ourselves and how our programming works is so important and what I’ve found particularly useful is to use both my mind and body in whatever I do, not only to maximise my performance but to tap into my intuition and the deeper well of creativity which lives in the body.

While it might be a preferred modus operandi to look for the answers somewhere external, I’m a firm believer we already have the answers within. Personally, I’m glad to see how we are starting to recognise the far-reaching benefits of meditation and mindfulness.

Finally, I have to say that a certain level of commitment and believing I can do this are certainly a prerequisite for anything new to flourish. We also still have a hard-wired pattern of valuing ‘doing’ more than ‘being’. However, as said, to produce a different outcome requires a different thought. Think about if your desired outcome is not limited by your environment…but by your very own thoughts?

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