Be global and be local.

Collaborate and compete.

Change and maintain order.

Make the numbers while nurturing your people.

Managers must focus not only on what they have to accomplish but also on how they have to think, wrote Jonathan Gosling and Henry Mintzberg almost 17 years ago in their iconic HBR article The Five Minds of a Manager.

The world of the managers is complicated and confusing, they said. Making sense of it requires not a knack for simplification but the ability to synthesize insigths from different mind-sets into a comprehensive whole. To cope with it, managers need various »mind-sets«. Gosling and Mintzberg suggested:

  • the Reflective Mind-set for managing self,
  • the Worldy Mind-set for managing context,
  • the Action Mind-set for managing change,
  • the Analytic mind-set for managing organizations and
  • the Collaborative mind-set for managing relationships.

Today the world is even more complex and confusing for all. Volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world, often referred to with the acronym VUCA, is now even more vulnerable also with the new corona virus. But we are facing much more dangerous climate crisis. As the new corona virus, it exceeds the fences of our organizations and the borders of our country.

If we want to bequeath a planet with decent living conditions to our descendants, we need to drastically transform not just our own operations, but the whole system. I believe that this can only be done by leaders who have the courage to open their hearts and perceive the world as a unified whole.

Leadership development lags behind breakthrough technological discoveries and it is slower from the changes of people awareness and changes in the environment. The challenge of leadership is to open up a space for co-creation, to encourage trust, collaboration and transparency, so that organizations actually come to life as living systems.

We need more leaders who see their role in the wider context and are aware that their decisions directly affect the quality of many people’s lives. Such perception goes far beyond the narrow understanding of responsibility as being connected only to the material resources of an organization, the results in the profit and loss account, and the balance sheet. Heartfelt leaders are aware that they are also responsible for the emotional and spiritual development of their employees, who should be healthy, brimming with life, and see meaning in their work. Such leaders do not manage their organizations solely as business ventures, but also as platforms for fulfilling their mission and the mission of their employees, and thereby contribute to the welfare of the community. They know that their responsibility extends far beyond the limits of the organizations they manage.

That is why leaders nowadays need to complement their knowledge of business with their open-heartedness and broaden their mind-set with heart-set qualities:

  • Leading from love.
  • Leading with systemic view.
  • Leading with purpose.
  • Leading with responsibility.
  • Leading in co-creation.

As leaders internalize the five heart-sets of leadership, their attitude towards business undergoes a radical transformation. Consequently, they do not aspire to massive production, but rather cater to the true needs of consumers. This means, for instance, that they do not guarantee lower levels of diesel car emissions only when running tests, but also during their normal operation, thus contributing to a less polluted environment. They do not stockpile. They do not transport goods around the entire globe because production is cheaper someplace else. They do not turn a blind eye to the fact that cheaper production is driven by exploiting either nature or people. They develop different, fairer, and truly beneficial solutions. They do not streamline business only for the benefit of their company, but also the entire supply chain of companies and pay attention to what effect it has on the planet. Thus, they use resources wisely. They are conscious in their use of energy sources as well as environmentally sound input materials. They plan circular models for reusing raw materials.

They see their business as a platform for developing people and sustaining happiness and not only as a means to achieve narrow business goals. They set broader business goals that serve not only the employees and the company, but also the community at large. Amassing wealth for themselves and the company ceases to be their goal. Success acquires a new dimension and is measured in terms of the success of the people around them and the well-being of the entire ecosystem.

The Five Leadership Heart-sets are destilled in the AEIOU of Leadership. AEIOU is the acronym of five words from indigenoeus people from 5 continents, carrying the timeless wisdom:

Changing the Heart-set of leaders of today and tommorow is a vital pre-requisite for sustained results and happiness, Ravi Chaudry and I wrote for The Slovenia Times. It is the high time to focus on new approaches, that come from different drivers as before. For sustainable future leadership decisions and actions need to come from the love for the humanitiy, from the most profound human values and from highly conscious awarness.


© 2015–2020 VODITELJSTVO, Vodenje, razvoj in svetovanje,
Sonja Klopčič s.p.

Design and development: ŠPM

"I give impulses to change and I am paving new ways by finding justice for all."

Sonja Klopčič, Business lady, manager and leader