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Leaders Need to Slow Down

June 6, 2024 by

Leaders need to solve complex dilemmas in a multi-stakeholder environment with increasing speed and unceasing change. They are constantly on, with barely time to breathe. The risk is that they keep going at full speed without pause. But continuing to accelerate at full throttle without hitting the brakes will lead to underperformance. A state of peak performance can only be achieved when leaders are able to tap into their inner core. For that they need to be centered: calm, attuned, and open.

This insight comes from Hitendra Wadhwa, the Founder and CEO of Mentora Institute. He wrote this in an article in Harvard Business Review of Jan/Feb 2024. We have been practising this insight for over 20 years at the European Leadership Platform.

ELP provides the necessary breathing space for leaders to reflect on essential leadership challenges in the company of peers. It may be counterintuitive but in fact it is powerful to take time to pause and reflect because this will lead to greater impact and speed in the long run. Research has demonstrated over and again that leaders who remain triggered tend to underperform and leaders who are centered are more likely to achieve high performance.

Wadhwa writes in his article that the state of leadership-in-flow can be attained by activating five core energies “we all possess”: purpose energy that is committed to a noble cause, wisdom energy that is calm and receptive to the truth, growth energy that is curious and open to learning, love energy that is connected with those you work with and serve, and self-realization energy that is centered in a joyful spirit. “Losing touch with the five energies amid life’s whirlwind is natural, but rekindling them is within our reach. All we need to do is focus on a goal, open our hearts and mind to new possibilities, and select the right actions that will activate our inner core.” Just like that, after slowing down at an ELP Leadership Dialogue leaders are ready to speed up again with deeper insights and new perspectives.