Inner leadership isn’t a luxury.


It’s a necessity in our complex world.

In Apple’s recent special event unveiling the latest MacBook Pro innovations, I was reminded of how Steve Jobs led these events. With Jobs on stage, it wasn’t just about unveiling a product; it was a journey. 

An invitation to think differently, challenge our norms, and awaken to fresh possibilities.

Have you ever taken a moment to reflect on what truly motivates your leadership? Remember, every one of us, by virtue of our humanity, is a leader in some capacity.

Today, let’s venture into the domain of inner leadership—a journey that might redefine your life.

The heart of this voyage is beautifully mirrored in the teachings of Joseph Jaworski, Dee Hock, David Bohm, Dianne Collins, Eckhart Tolle, and, of course, Steve Jobs. These eminent figures have been cornerstones of my own inner odyssey. Each presents a distinct lens on leadership but converges on a central insight: the most transformative leadership journey originates within.

Joseph Jaworski, author of Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership, highlights the profound power of “synchronicity.” It’s in these moments, when leaders are attuned to their inner selves, that they harness an intuitive power surpassing the limits of the rational mind. Such leaders emerge as visionaries, cultivating an environment of trust, openness, and innovation. They don’t merely respond to change; they anticipate and mold it.

Dee Hock, founder and CEO emeritus of Visa, through his “chaordic” principles, urges us to discern harmony amidst chaos and order. Hock envisions leadership not as a singular entity but as a decentralized force, paving the way for agility and adaptability. By understanding themselves, leaders enhance collaboration, nurture long-term vision, and empower every faction within their organizations. It was Dee Hock who said, “The inner leader path is the journey we all must take in the 21st century.”

David Bohm, theoretical physicist and author of On Dialogue, empowers leaders to peer beyond the obvious, grasp the interconnectedness of all entities, and engage in authentic dialogue and deep listening. Recognizing this interconnectedness, leaders can champion a more holistic and inclusive decision-making process, thus embarking on an internal voyage that aligns with their organization’s aspirations.

Dianne Collins, author of Do You Quantum Think?, illuminates the inner leadership landscape. She points out that true leadership isn’t about dictating actions but rather about guiding teams to allow for the expression of each member’s unique genius. In an enlightened workplace, every employee’s viewpoint is sought and considered, contributing to a collective vision and direction. The essence of forward-thinking leadership, according to Collins, is creating a participatory environment where directions are set through the input of all, reflecting a shift from the ‘command and control’ model to one of inclusive collaboration.

Then there’s Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now. Though not traditionally associated with leadership, his teachings are deeply transformative for those who lead. For Tolle, genuine leadership thrives in the present moment. It’s about surpassing ego, nurturing empathy, and perceiving challenges as catalysts for growth.

Among these luminaries, Steve Jobs epitomized the principles of inner leadership. 

Jobs once said:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

This sentiment transcends mere occupational titles or corporate affiliations. It’s about alignment with one’s very essence, with one’s genuine mission.

When was the last time you truly journeyed inside? 

What might we create if every leader and transformative thinker embarked on such an inner expedition? 

In the relentless hustle of today’s world, remember: the journey of true leadership starts within. It distinguishes good leaders from the exceptional ones. 

As Jobs might imply, don’t merely tread established trails; carve out your own. Echoing Apple’s iconic campaign, “Here’s to the crazy ones, the mavericks, the round pegs in square holes.”

Here’s to those who perceive leadership not just as a title but as a voyage of discovery, metamorphosis, and profound influence.

Let’s do this.

— Bill