Leading Transformation without understanding the Mind is a Sisyphean task!

10 February 2020 | 3 min read

Drissia Schroeder-Hohenwarth Institut für Management und Leadership 2015

This picture was taken some years ago at an interesting Future Lab event of the Hernstein Institut für Management und Leadership in Vienna. Time flies.. after fb reminded me of this moment, it was a good opportunity to reflect. A few years later, a few years older, further, wiser ? The themes that drive me, my corporate clients and the work we do together have not fundamentally changed, leadership, transformation, organizational culture etc.. but the way I work has.

In a world driven by data and technologies I see more and more the impact of our mind and wisdom in the quality of the life we live and the work we do. I see the impact of the mind on our well-being, our productivity, our creativity, our connection both at an individual and a collective level. I see more and more clearly how the only thing that stays in the way of people and organizations really thriving is Thought. And I also see the effect it has on my life and work when i don’t see the effect of thought, when I ignore the power of my mind, when I am more focused on doing stuff than on being, when i am not connected with a deeper part of me. It’s amazing to observe and sometimes even painful to go through. But then I wake up and see it again. Like the Aikido master who always regains his/her balance.

Data and technologies are powerful but our mind is stronger.

The more I work with leaders and organizations the clearer it gets to me. All the outside in interventions in companies, all the transformational efforts, the change projects, the workshops, the restructuring, the flattening of organisations with less hierarchies, the communication campaigns, the new work ideas.. all this can feel like a Sisyphean task sometimes. Like pushing the ball up the hill of change again and gain, ignoring the laws of gravity.
All these efforts are probably necessary, I am not saying that change should not happen outside. I just see more and more how much more sustainable, gentle and even more relevant the interventions can be when we really understand the laws of our mind.

I know organisations don’t like to talk about these kind of things..
but if we don’t see how much we are actually driven from inside, for the good and the bad, consciously or unconsciously. If we don’t see how much stability, health and love we actually have inside of us, even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes . If we don’t see that nothing about it is really personal, that the laws of the mind are the same for all of us. Then any wave of emotion, any feeling of discomfort or insecurity, any moment of doubts has the power to back fire on us and stop processes which are actually so beautiful but cannot be sustained or supported further because we don’t know how to deal with the dark sides of our humanness. There is so much innocence in this misunderstanding. And sometimes also hurt.

Supporting people and organizations thrive, means for me now more and more to help them become aware of what is fully available to them, to all human beings, behind our constant doing and surprisingly even beyond our psychology. It sets energy free to live with more peace of mind, lead with more goodwill and impact, work with more resilience, collaborate with a greater feeling of connection, solve problems more creatively and navigate through transformation and even crisis more gracefully. There is so much more on offer than we often see! There is so much hope for organizations. So much is possible when we look in the direction of the mind.

Compared to five years ago i see even more dreamers ( individuals and organizations) moving towards their dreams but also a world that is more divided then ever. I see both light and darkness. I want to continue to impact the world positively. With the knowledge and experience i have, with my strengths and my shortcomings. Yes, and despite some of the things that are happening in the world, I am still hopeful for humanity. Darkness is only the absence of light.


Written by Drissia Schroeder-Hohenwarth

Transformative Coach for Leaders, Teams and Organisations with a fascination for the endless potential of the mind.

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