When it comes to transformational leadership—whether digital or human—we often believe what society calls facts, when it’s actually opinions and perspectives.
Mark Twain got to the heart of everything. Consider his thought that “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.“ When we act on a belief, and believe it to be a fact, we often discover our deepest judgements.
No one knows what will happen in the next moment. We may have a plan and try to control everything. But when we breath and embrace mysteries—not just predictable television thrillers—we become flexible and maybe, even daring.
When innovating and bringing forth new ideas, the pioneer is scarce, and often courageous, and misunderstood and judged. When the pioneer’s vision actualizes, then the timid or critic may join forces, for it costs nothing to be a follower.
But to lead consciously takes curiosity and vision. And a lot of sleepless nights. And what is emerging in the new world is co-creators. Transformational conscious leaders have no followers.
What we believe we know is mostly a story that we tell ourselves that we created or inherited. When I first joined Cisco in the late 90s, my first six months were a gift. The focus was on co-creating with brilliant souls. No one really cared about best practices or what company we came from. It was all about experimenting and testing ourselves.
Innovation was simply present in our creations because we had the runway back then to experiment. We asked each other questions that were aligned with a shared purpose. We held our ideas lightly, testing different ways.
Transformational Leadership Means Everything is Possible
No one really cared about what was made before and worked. It was about poking the bear and leapfrogging; not being mired in legacy. It was about experimenting so we can offer wild new experiences that we first practiced ourselves.
And we were focused more on opportunities and less on solving problems.
We didn’t rely on experts back then because we were able to create what many believed was impossible.
But when the tech bubble burst in 2001, process came in to play center stage. And those first six months are etched in my heart in our power to imagine and create; learning that nothing is impossible. Launching the first internal community and portal in 1999 and having people look at me sideways. Only a decade later, understanding we were opening doors to possibilities.
This is an amazing time for us to understand that everything is possible. All it takes is falling deeply in love with why we are actually here and our creations.
Mark Twain guides us that “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”