Embracing Ikigai as a Leader: Redefining Purpose and Leading with Passion

  • postauthorOnsurity Editorial
  • postdateDecember 18, 2023
  • postreadtime4 min read
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In the fast-paced world we live in, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of tasks and projects, losing sight of the world around us. As leaders, it is our responsibility to support and empower our teams, bringing out their best potential. In the past year, several leaders have embarked on a journey to discover their true “Ikigai,” their reason for being, and redefine my purpose as a leader. In this blog, we’ll explore the concept of Ikigai and how it can shape our lives, all while incorporating wisdom from thought leaders in the wellness industry. 

Ikigai: The ‘Reason for Being’ is Applicable to Leaders, too!  

In this always-on, always-go era, it’s vital to pause and reflect, avoiding the trap of burnout. Balancing our time and responsibilities is crucial, both for our teams and ourselves. Building trust, respecting boundaries, and being present in the moment are key elements in fostering a harmonious work-life balance. 

Each year is a perfect opportunity for leaders to ignite their passion, energy, and drive. Let’s hit the refresh button and start anew, writing inspiring stories that will become cherished memories in the years to come. 

Cultivating Empathy for Exponential Growth  

As leaders, we strive to be inspirational and motivate our teams. It’s important to understand that influence, rather than authority, is the key. Building empathy allows us to truly listen, fostering innovation and meeting the unmet needs of our team. By putting ourselves in others’ shoes, we gain a deeper understanding of their actions and perspectives. 

Shaping Your Reality and Spotlighting the Extraordinary 

Leadership requires a strong belief system and the courage to do what we truly believe in, rather than conforming to others’ expectations. Stepping out of our comfort zones and taking risks is essential for personal growth and team development. As we shape our next decade as leaders, we must constantly challenge the status quo and embrace new change. 

“The perception is our reality. It’s important to make sure we look at the glass as half full vs. half empty.”  

Exploring Your Ikigai 

Discovering your true ikigai involves finding what brings you joy, what you excel at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. It’s the synergy between passion, mission, vocation, and profession. This journey is about self-reliance and not living to just satisfy the expectations of others. It’s about finding what makes us unique and exploring the balance between our aspirations and core beliefs.  

 “Do not live to satisfy the expectations of others.” – Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga  

As leaders, we have the power to redefine our purpose and lead with passion. Embracing the concept of ikigai allows us to align our personal fulfilment with our professional roles. By being true to ourselves, building empathy, and embracing a growth mindset, we can create a positive impact on our teams and the world around us. Remember, the journey to finding your ikigai is unique to each individual. So, go forth and explore your passions, embrace change, and lead with purpose! 

A Holistic Approach to Leadership 

In today’s dynamic landscape, harnessing the full potential of Ikigai goes beyond mere job security; it involves embracing one’s role and purpose. As leaders, our mission is to empower and connect with individuals throughout our organisations, extending from the heart of the company to every individual employee. By ensuring that they feel acknowledged, supported, and inspired, we unlock their true potential. 

But our approach doesn’t end with our employees. It extends to the very core of our products. For instance, leaders who possess the ability to transform their global supply chains into models of circularity and sustainability, particularly in areas such as climate-positive products and pricing, will position themselves advantageously. By tapping into the vision of sustainability, where people willingly invest in climate-positive products, we not only foster deeper loyalty among stakeholders but also capture the attention and trust of investors. 

It’s a holistic journey that integrates purpose-driven leadership, employee engagement, and sustainable product strategies. By intertwining these elements, we create a powerful synergy that propels our organisations forward, leaving a lasting positive impact on both our people and the planet. So let’s embark on this transformative journey, igniting the power of ikigai and shaping a brighter future together.  

Encouraging the Harmony of Purposeful Leadership  

In the ever-evolving realm of organisations, Ikigai offers a precious opportunity to pause, reflect, and re-evaluate their authentic purpose. It calls for a departure from the relentless pursuit of progress at any cost and invites a deep contemplation of the essence that drives their existence. Companies, much like living organisms, continuously evolve, and so does their purpose. To truly flourish, they require equilibrium and temperance, rejecting the divisive forces of polarisation, nativism, tribalism, and nationalism that plague our society today. 

Forward-thinking leaders recognise the power of striking this delicate balance, allowing their organisations to tap into the profound sense of purpose and joy that propels them forward. By effectively harnessing the boundless energy of their people, the world’s most renewable resource, these leaders unlock a realm of enduring benefits. Engaged, motivated, and, above all, happy employees become the driving force behind sustainable success. 

The journey to harmonising Ikigai within organisations holds immeasurable potential. It invites leaders to embark on a transformative quest, aligning their people’s individual sense of purpose with the collective vision of the organisation. By fostering an environment where everyone’s ikigai is nurtured and celebrated, organisations cultivate a powerful synergy that fuels growth, innovation, and lasting prosperity. 

So, let us embrace the wisdom of Ikigai, embracing the profound connection between purpose and joy. Together, we can shape a future where organisations thrive in harmony, people find fulfilment in their work, and the world flourishes with shared prosperity.

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