A distinguished-looking woman in beautiful African attire approached me with an odd mix of confidence and trepidation. I had just exited the large auditorium after delivering my talk entitled Noetic Leadership: Liberating the Power of Mind at the Leadership Energy Summit Asia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 600-person audience of executives from Southeast Asia and beyond had been quiet during my concluding Q & A session, leaving me a bit dismayed that perhaps my message had not resonated with anyone.
“I really need to speak with you,” the woman said, “Everything you just talked about in your presentation has happened to me. May I share my story with you?” I quickly learned that this woman serves as a top treasury official in her home country. Noetic experiences including intuition and sudden downloads of innovative ideas had filled her life since youth and guided her in her profession, yet she was deeply uncomfortable sharing her stories—until now. More than just a sympathetic ear, I represented someone with a mission to lead the conversation in a clear, professional manner—expanding our shared understanding of how to apply noetics in our professional lives and leadership roles.
The encounter with the African official repeated itself numerous times with other conference attendees during my remaining days in Malaysia, revealing amazing stories about inspiration, intuition, epiphanies, and other noetic experiences that had influenced careers and shaped personal lives. The momentum has continued since returning to the U.S. as we formally launch the IONS Noetic Leadership program and speaker series. I have heard from technology executives, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, nonprofit change agents, and many more.
So what exactly is “Noetic Leadership”? I like to think of it as where mystic meets MBA. How can we best use our inner-knowing in harmony with classical management tools to produce results that are both successful for our organizations and sustainable for our interconnected world? What can we learn from science to expand our ability to tap into our noetic gifts? To what degree can the integrity of our purpose actually strengthen our noetic abilities and thereby affect greater positive impact as leaders? These are all questions we are exploring through the Noetic Leadership program.
Organized around the “Three I’s” of Inner-Knowing, Interconnectedness, and Integrity, the Noetic Leadership programs provides multiple options for leaders to engage and learn. This year IONS will offer workshops in day-long and multiple-day formats, on-site facilitation in organizations, and one-on-one coaching. In addition, we currently are offering a dynamic speakers series featuring successful executives, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders who incorporate the noetic as a primary ingredient in their daily leadership.
At IONS we are eager to advance Noetic Leadership throughout all sectors of professional and community life. At this exciting early stage of the program’s development, I personally invite you to share your stories, insights, and enthusiasm to explore with us—and to bring noetics out from the shadows!