It’s a question we’re often asked and 14 years on from the birth of Leaders’ Quest, a single-sentence reply remains elusive. It depends on who’s asking, and how much of a rush they’re in. A couple of years ago I wrote a book in answer to the question. Today, I’d like to try it in a page.
Leaders’ Quest exists to develop wise, compassionate and adept leaders – people who are capable of leading in volatile, disrupted environments with competing priorities and interconnected challenges. Our goal is to contribute to building a sustainable, more equitable world.
We work with people committed to leading transformative change, to balancing cleverness with wisdom. To recognising that life is not just about individual endeavour, but about being a part of the whole.
“Yesterday I was clever and I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself”, wrote the Sufi poet Rumi.
Change starts from within. Leaders who want to transform their organisations or communities have to begin with themselves. Our work is about holding up a mirror and reflecting on what we see. When I encounter anger or confusion, I recognise it because I am familiar with my own versions of anger and confusion. When I see love or freedom, the same holds true.
How am I part of the problem and where am I stuck?
Some of the most powerful learning comes not from books or courses, but from lived experience. Immersion in different environments, perspectives and cultures is fundamental to how we become more conscious of ourselves and others. Rather than ‘us and them’ and the pursuit of certainty, we focus on ‘we’ and getting comfortable with ambiguity.
So, what is it that we do, exactly?
Leaders’ Quest works with individuals, organisations and ecosystems. For individuals, our Quests and diverse global network provide opportunities to deepen purpose, develop resilience and empathy, and build new relationships with people from different backgrounds and walks of life.
We craft bespoke programmes to help organisations become more ‘human’, focus on the future alongside the present, and better balance the extraordinary pressures of multiple stakeholders. We work in the space between strategy, structure and culture – the paths we choose, the way we organise ourselves, and how we show up.
Our work with ecosystems – the banking sector and global food supply, for example – seeks to build trust and a shared vision in a context of complex dilemmas where many people feel a growing sense of ‘dis-ease’.
On my travels, I’m constantly struck by the deep yearning to lead a positive, meaningful life that is core to humanity. The job of leadership is to inspire those around us with active hope and a creative drive to action.