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Evolving Leadership – The 10 E´s of a Conscious CEO

by Achim Feige

Have you heard of the 7S-Model? It is a heuristic, practical rule of thumb that says what is necessary for the success of a company or a specific task. The 7 S are: Structure, Strategy, Systems, Skills, Staff, Style and Shared Values. But, let’s not go into it too deep today. Most of you will have heard of it. The five consultants and writers to develop it were working at McKinsey and the model is basic in all economic theory. And here’s today’s news: We can get rid of it now.

While the classic CEO may be well-versed in McKinsey’s 7S model, there’s a new set of qualities crucial for the modern, conscious leader: I call it “the 10 Es”. These are not replacements for the classic traits but rather enhancements, interwoven with a higher level of consciousness and worldview. They are not complete but lead to the desired results based on research and our professional experience at VERTICAL from our collective experience of over 500 transformational projects all over Europe.

Balancing Classic and Conscious Leadership Traits

The journey from classic to conscious leadership, rooted in the Human Potential Movement, must finally avoid the current common and typical “greenish” or “teal” pitfall of sidelining traditional entrepreneurial and management qualities like performance, results, perseverance, individual accountability, and decisiveness. Sustainable evolution in leadership involves transcending and including these qualities,enriching them with greater consciousness, wisdom, and compassion. This is about a synthesis of the best of both worlds – a McKinsey-plus approach, if you will.

The 10 Es: A Holistic open ended Framework for Future CEOs

Journey through the “E” – a strategic progression from foundational concepts to the zenith of conscious leadership. This is what you will be:

  1. Chief Expanding Officer: Focus on expanding consciousness through practices like self-inquiry and collective learning. Courageously approach fears, shadows, and tensions to understand and navigate through them, rather than avoiding these challenges.
  2. Chief Embodiment Officer: Demonstrate leadership by example. Exhibit a healthy and transformative presence, aligning appearance, sound, narrative, and action to model the change you envision.
  3. Chief Emotion Officer: Cultivate the ability to recognize, understand, and regulate your emotions. Foster deep relationships through compassion and openness, creating a strong sense of belonging and co-creation within your team.
  4. Chief Ecosystem Officer: Move beyond ego-centric leadership to foster a coherent, high-performing team and organization. Recognize the importance of being part of a larger ecosystem, understanding its interconnectedness and impact.
  5. Chief Empowering Officer: Empower your teams and individuals by unlocking their potential and fostering a culture of radical ownership, autonomy, and responsibility.
  6. Chief Enabling Officer: Create environments and systems that support peak performance and innovation, ensuring that your organization remains at the forefront of progress.
  7. Chief Embracing Officer: Embrace complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Master the art of navigating and integrating polarities, leading with a vision that spans from the immediate present to a future encompassing seven generations.
  8. Chief Evolution Officer: Guide your organization’s continuous evolution by providing active challenges, clear development goals, and a supportive environment for measurable experiments and exploration.
  9. Chief Enlightenment Officer: Promote communities of practice focused on self-awareness, belonging, flow performance, and mastery, steering the organization with insight and clarity.
  10. Chief Execution 2.0 Officer: Ensure effective strategy execution with a new focus on results and performance. Utilize the power of flow states, where exceptional results are achieved in harmony with personal growth and well-being. Not against it. So there is a lot to learn and open up to as an evolving CEO or any top leader. Just try it out with some playfulness, flow and fun. HINT: Maybe you dedicate each month to a CEO-quality and practice it in real business life. You will see an increasing followership, connection and trust around you.

Embracing a New Era of Conscious Leadership

As we step into 2024, Conscious CEOs are not just leading businesses; they are igniting a movement in impact and performance. This journey is about evolving into a more authentic self, free from the limitations of a rigid ego and external pressures. With a daily commitment of just 30 minutes, leaders can embark on a transformative path that leads to both personal and professional growth.

This evolution in leadership is a step towards creating a lasting legacy, balancing profits with a broader purpose that impacts present and future generations. It’s a journey of inspiration, courage, and continuous growth – not just a change, but an evolution of your truest self.

Wishing you a year of growth and a new epoch of heightened consciousness – because after all, it’s about evolving into ‘YOU, JUST EVOLVED.’

With inspirational and tough love,