Inner disciplines for success a leader should develop

When you are told that a large part of a leader’s work has an inner-dimension, some might roll their eyes. But notwithstanding the use of facial muscles in such a manner, the fact remains that leaders and change agents in organizations have to continually rearrange the way their mind works, to help guide the container(organization) in a profitable direction.

What makes this process particularly demanding is its continual aspect. It’s not as though you could focus on your inner life to guide the external processes of business one day and then switch it off the next. For organizations are in a permanent flux- on certain days, the leap of transformation is farther than on others, that’s all.

Warren Bennis, the author of ‘On becoming a leader’ among other books, mentions five key inner disciplines leaders should possess to be successful.

On the path of transformation, inner-disciplines are valuable companions


Stepping on to the leader’s podium, the commitment level expected of you is huge. Not just that, you are also expected to remain committed to your position for a protracted period of time. For that to be practicable, the cause or purpose for which you commit should be worthy to you. This is why discernment- the act of identifying a personal purpose you hold dear- is of utmost importance.


Discerning your purpose is the first battle won. The next crucial step is to translate that purpose into the vision of a desirable future.

If purpose is the arable land for vision, vision is the seed from which the tree of the future sprouts. Your vision acts as a guiding force- a pointer that urges you onwards, towards an accomplishment that will fulfil you.

The churning of the mind by which the True Personal Vision rises to the top and presents itself to you is the central motif of the Temenos Vision Lab or TVL- a proprietary lab developed by Temenos, using over twenty five years of business consultancy experience. Aside from helping evolve a personal vision, TVL also helps groups discover their Compelling Shared Vision.


Identifying your purpose and translating it into a vision for the future, you now come to the point when you should completely commit yourself to that particular future. This involves multiple levels of mental preparation- keeping updated about the goings on in the relevant arena, building skill sets to aid you in your journey towards the set goal, ensuring the people you enlist for the purpose are all on the same page, and more.

The future is built by those who train their mind to do so


The term ‘introspection’ is used here in its broad sense. For it implies not just looking inwards and seeing the thoughts and ideas that echo within the walls of your mind, but also actively looking into the fears and other mental obstacles that may be pulling you back as a change agent. In fact, this latter aspect is more important for the leader. The obstacles may include apprehensions born from previous experiences, misguided conclusions you may have come to about a person/process etc.

The Clean Slate session which forms a key part of TVL is designed specifically to help you overcome such obstacles. You can read more about Clean Slate and what it involves right here.


While intuitive thinking in a general sense is part of the human faculty, once a leader is committed to a vision of the future, s/he would have to develop the particular brand of intuition which would help them balance the rational analysis of a scenario. While rationality is a powerful weapon in the change agent’s arsenal, it’s not imperative that every scenario that arises in your journey to the future would submit itself to rational thought. To tackle certain issues, you would need to rely on your intuition quite a lot. Evolving this intuition would help balance your analytical mode of leadership, so that leaning too much in one or the other direction, you don’t end up failing to seize opportunities.

A real life inspiration for inner discipline

Sam Walton- An inspiration for generations of entrepreneurs

If you seek inspiration from business success stories, you would find many. But for the particular manner of setting a vision(something more than “Make a lot of money by any means”) and then pursuing it with determination, the example pool might not be all that broad.

Inside that constrained pool, you would find the figure of Sam Walton: the one who brought Wal-Mart to life. In 1962, he started the chain’s first store. Since then, he has pursued the singular vision of what was then a radical philosophy of cost cutting. In his vision-led journey, Walton also became the first businessman to hire a computer expert to reinvent his firm’s logistics and inventory systems. This not just improved the company's efficiency, but also helped them out-compete practically every other department store in the process.

The inner work which Walton must have put in to enable this transformation is a perennial inspiration for leaders.

Banner image credits: Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

For change agents and leaders, not to benefit from meaningful events and gatherings is a missed opportunity! We invite you to indulge in some of the most transformational events from Temenos; designed with hard-earned understanding, organized just for you.

Temenos Vision Lab- Online ( June 29, 2018)

We invite you to this special gathering, which brings together a group of wonderful people who fill workplaces with joy and energy. By connecting with each other, you embark on a journey that leads to better clarity about the changes you seek, gain collaboration opportunities and leave with a concrete action plan.

Temenos Vision Lab- Amsterdam, Netherlands( Nov 2, 2018)

Another venue to take an exquisite inner journey, to find your true Vision.

Temenos Effect Gathering 2018- Bengaluru, India(Dec 8 to Dec 9, 2018)

An event dedicated to the idea of personal mastery, for nurturing your beautiful self, for change agents and leaders to become their true selves.

For more details, visit our website -

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