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Are you in need of leadership embodiment?

Efficiency savings and the old favourite “doing more with less” are more prevalent today than at any time before, despite signs of economic recovery.

But what does “doing more with less” actually mean? Is it the doing of more things that actually gets us better results? And less what anyway?

The irony is we often end up feeling like we need to be busier and more productive, which can just invoke panic, more haste and less quality of thought and action, which in turn creates more problems.

Having mentioned the word panic, let’s admit there’s a lot of fear in many organisations today. A fear of being seen as incompetent, not good enough, not fitting in, or maybe even of standing out. In our experience, feelings like fear and panic lead us to achieve less with less. 

We all know effective leadership is key to organisational success – Roffey Park’s own research highlights leadership development as the number one focus in meeting organisations’ challenges. Yet organisations report that they do not have the leadership capability required. That suggests their methods of leadership development are simply not working.

Recently we have started to see results with a methodology that brings leaders fully into the power of their own being in the moment – often known as leadership embodiment. Organisations are starting to wake up to the power of this, but many haven’t, yet.

What does this mean in practice?

There are a number of definitions of presence and embodiment, but we define it as the power of our whole being as present and engaged with those around us, achieved by having our mental, emotional and embodied faculties working together.

When you have this, compelling visions and better decisions seem to come more easily and your followers start to find the same energy and conviction.

Surprisingly, perhaps, asking some different questions and adopting some simple techniques is all it can take to access these qualities which might just mean you get more for less.

  • Can you stop and notice habits of behaviour and even body posture that may be blockers to you being more effective? And if you do notice them, are you able to do something different consistently? 
  • Putting aside doing more for a moment, are you doing the right things? Are they the things that matter most to you? Can you stand still, breath and make the courageous choice, while all those around you move ever faster? 
  • Are you able to stay calm and clear in ambiguity? As drivers of change, we see the most successful HR leaders acting more like catalysts, choreographers or orchestrators than managers, with a long term strategic view and excellent connections all across the business.

If you know the answers to these questions are a slightly doubtful “well, maybe”, some work on leadership embodiment will almost certainly help.

We see the most impactful HR professionals facilitating effective leadership development by creating a higher quality of awareness and action, rather than, for example, creating more processes and procedures for others to do. And presence of the sort we have described above is the best route to this sort of action that we’ve found so far.

Your best chance of getting leaders to develop in the ways you know will help is to show them the way from your experience of already having gone there. And if HR wants to serve the business with more impact, a stronger more embodied leadership presence might just be the place to start.

Further reading: Leading with Presence

Sue Binks is senior consultant and Tom Kenward is development consultant at Roffey Park