Soulful Leadership

What do Soulful Leaders look like?

Soulful Leaders shine! These are the leaders whose presence and energy is felt, even when they aren’t in the room with you. They not only have a compelling and values-driven mission, they have an abundance of self awareness and the power to nourish themselves, and others, to be the best that they can be.

Soulful Leaders have the ability to harness their own wisdom and internal resources, including their emotional and spiritual intelligence, to navigate challenging contexts without losing themselves, their values and their authenticity in the process. Soulful Leaders know not only the power of being vulnerable, but they have the experience and the emotional intelligence to know when, and with who to be vulnerable with. A Soulful Leader, therefore, has a values aligned network around them, they are not an island.

What do Soulful Leaders do?

Soulful Leaders have a captivating leadership presence; their behaviours and actions support their own belief systems and values. They aren’t afraid to fight for what’s right, consistently evaluating their motives to ensure they align with their ethical code. They trust their inner compass. Soulful Leaders are at peace with the decisions they make because they are creative decision makers who carve out time to reflect on their experiences, evaluating them robustly so that they are always moving their teams forwards. They rest their heads on their pillows at night knowing they did their best and that what they did was right, not what was easy or expected. They have learned not to be afraid of change, because they know that change leads to new beginnings. You’ll find Soulful Leaders doing the inner work; reflecting, being intentional about their own wellbeing and eliminating distractions and negativity so that they can nourish themselves and nurture their teams and communities too.

What has been your experience of Soulful Leadership?

I strived to be a Soulful Leader in my role as a Headteacher and now as a network leader and coach. Integrity, self awareness, connection and authenticity are the core values underpinning my ethical leadership and soul mission. Part of my journey has been to work on my own Ikigai; my core purpose. This beautiful journey began after transitioning from Headship and into freelance coaching and consultancy in 2020. I continue to work on my ‘raison d’etre’, by recognising what it is that I am good at, what brings me joy, and what my community and clients need. After all, leadership is about taking people on a journey to a better place. This is no mean feat when you work in a particularly tumultuous and challenging system like the UK education system. There have been many times when I’ve felt my own values have been challenged or compromised, but being a soulful leader, I am deeply ambitious about being able to bring my authentic self to the table; my whole self with all the courage and vulnerability I can harness! With that comes the gracious ability to admit when things haven’t worked out or when I was out-right wrong! In essence, I believe Soulful Leadership is about developing our inner authority as a leader through raising awareness levels of ourselves holistically, and in others.

How relevant is it to be a Soulful leader today?

Entirely relevant and completely essential! The education sector in particular needs leaders, not managers, who can unify a community and lead with integrity, without becoming compliant and disconnected. Teams and communities thrive when there is harmony, and Soulful Leaders strive to provide the conditions where everyone, including themselves, can thrive and belong. As leaders, we have a responsibility to consider the social, emotional and environmental impact of our leadership on others and our environment. Soulful Leaders do this organically because of their strong moral compass and ethical values.