Your ability to lead or join an entrepreneurial environment requires a conscious mindset, conviction and character to shape it

By: Bill Van Eron Friday November 9, 2018 Tags: Bill Van Eron


By Bill Van Eron

CEO, Conscious Design Strategist

Headwaters Marketing and Innovation

Why is this important?

  • Too many people “expect” an enabling culture. In truth, you have to help shape it and keep it. Doing so requires a shared mindset that comprehends the needs, values and where change creates an advantage.
  • Entrepreneurial environments inspire, require and enable people to be their best. This type of culture-enabled environment is crucial for mid & large business relevance, worthiness and revenue growth, especially when companies need to attract, prepare, enable and recognize quality talent.
  • As a system and design thinker, and conscious business strategist; seeing often missed forces in motion reveals opportunities most orgs regard as rare and major. One key factor; as Gallup and others show, Millennial and younger gens strongly prefer to be entrepreneurs or work in entrepreneurial environs.
  • But how many are really preparing themselves to achieve their goals and make a difference? That includes the ability to create more open entrepreneurial cultures, synthesize opportunities & resistance factors, present new relevance, earn trust, and lead actions that inspire wider support, recognition and success across their internal and external ecosystem that determines success.

Wow, you say what?

  • Large businesses and CEO’s say talent recruitment is at or near the top of their priority list. Yet most large businesses struggle to be entrepreneurial, innovative, inclusive, and accountable to their own success system, which translates to greater difficulty attracting new talent or developing current talent.

Clearly, the Yin & Yang factors defining success are not aligned and they need to be. The ability to create that alignment versus just expecting it, defines true leaders and value contributors today.

What else gets in the way?

  1. If you are one of those younger gens who have admirable values (wanted to vote but could not figure out where to buy a stamp) you have to show an ability to figure things out beyond your own norms.
  2. If you are a Boomer and in a leadership position, confused, risk averse or worse… afraid doing what’s right make waves before you retire, you are living the stereotype of crusty old white men revealing self-centered obsolescence where trust in objective leadership is now crucial and needs to be visibly accountable.

What are we all afraid of and what if we can leap past those fears with a better approach?

  1. For decades, we have been in a deepening trust crisis. Mistrust in leaders across government, business and religion, emanates when actions are taken for self-interests at high cost to others. Shift to attention to others across your ecosystem with near total transparency to who is genuine to promises made internally and externally. Control, greed, closed internally limited cultures still manifest despite the obvious value employees and markets assign to companies that see and commit to greater trust & inclusion.
  2. Our very humanity is on the line as no business can succeed when, as Gallup reports 70% of global employees are emotionally disconnected from work. Business leaders need to own up that success today is earned when you pay attention to others across your internal and external ecosystem without the typical corporate agendas limiting what that means up front. Earn trust and revenue growth follows.

Where can you see the roots of this conscious mindset in evidence?

It’s fascinating to me to have to ask this question of others, as when I chose my career in design, it was clear that all competent designers had to do the following to achieve success, even keep their jobs:

  1. We had to always offer a fresh view of what was relevant, so that in turn kept us fueled to be continuous learners in life and work with the mission to determine and capture what really matters to a specific audience or -- better yet -- what matters to larger diverse audiences in an advantage.
  2. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Self, business & market reflection are crucial to achieving success others can support and share in. Designers who see existing needs and realities and take action to create better ones earn higher regard than those that create spin and superficial attention. Truth and design have to be integrally related, which kind of explains why marketing and sales, for most is in decline.
  3. Diversity is the gold vein of relevance. When you create a more open community where diversity in ideas & viewpoints contributes to a more rounded view of what matters…what comes after that is usually far better than when we conceive ideas, strategies and actions in a room removed from that value.
  4. We all have our attachment to things that can shape a love or a bias, indifference or ignorance. This impacts everyone individually, as teams, and markets, we learn the value of objectivity. Yet so few companies understand and apply this. I lived this value every week for decades to create work others felt inclusive to and inspired to support, that exceeded all expectations every time. Objectivity rules.

Where are you in this equation and how do you know?

I recall when the large company I worked for offered a 360 assessment, my boss and I both signed up without any hesitancy as we valued enabling others, trust, credibility and relevance across our team, business, market and influencer ecosystem. Don’t compromise that open conduit to hear people and enable open dialog if you have any desire to achieve success. Otherwise, it’s just busy work and a low value. Principles aside, we were in the minority as most passed on signing up. They either feared the feedback or not trusted it as a support system. Even today, too many leaders fear assessments, despite the objectivity, insight and that it reveals many actionable advantages. Fear-based cultures manifest when trust is low and people are just holding on. Impassion them with a purpose, culture, emotional relevance that also recognizes and rewards special efforts.

The day and age of all-knowing CEO’s is long gone, yet the age of shared leadership still struggles to see the full light of day. “Today” needs to be a shared reality that inspires champions within.

  • Leaders who earned their position by bolder actions, may struggle to determine those actions today, or enable others when a vision, values, culture or end game is complacent or unclear. That can be changed with a new breed of solution that factors in their fears without limiting outcomes.
  • This superficial pattern to say the right things and fabricate a cool culture has to be genuine. Oft-admired Google now suffers earned negative PR about how they treat women. Microsoft’s CEO earned my regard by what he says, yet the company lags the promises made despite a huge opportunity. We’ll see.
  • A wealth of outside vendors also fear challenging clients, so many just do as asked and stick to what they know as long as it is in demand. A new breed of advisor and solution suppliers is well overdue.
  • Samsung recently shared insights reported that while the promise of technology is to enable people, in many cases it has lowered our realized humanity. Friendships, emotions, reasoning, connections tend towards superficial when most time is invested in electronic devices. CEO’s see huge drops in soft skills & political efforts divide us easily when we lack the ability to reason and relate to truths.

The political, educational, business and communities we prefer to value are all impacted positive or negatively by core humanity skills and actions in absence or evidence.

In Summary:

Conscious Leadership: It’s not a title or position. Time for all of us to step up our game and embrace business humanity without vindictive reactions or fears. Fixing this requires a new acceptance of our flaws and why, so we can move to a higher level of shared purpose, unity, accountability and shared benefit.

Conviction: The reasons we apply value and experience creation well beyond any status quo is because we see the value directly and indirectly as it plays out across the ecosystem like a growing wave.

Courage: When you have great insights, logic, collective intelligence and emotional motivation behind you, courage emerges on a platform of consciousness, conviction, values, and enablement to act. Sure you can seek permission for large ventures but as one that accepted and thrived   

See beyond conventional paths and status quo to embrace or shape solutions that really speak to current needs with a more conscious approach to resolve and benefit from the experience.

Bill Van Eron

About the Author: Bill Van Eron

For Bill Van Eron, life & work are all about conscious observation and earning our needed humanity high bar. Whether Bill was an art director or lead designer in NYC, the most demanding marketing environment, or shaping a more relevant brand for soon to be major companies in Denver, or across his 25-year career in HP, as its champion for progressive enlightenment, diversity, inclusion and the highest relevance, which followed every project, Bill stays inspired to help others shape a better world, lives & work as connected to greater attention to our humanity, creativity and value-creation. All as vital to any organization's greater success. Bill now is championing the first and most conscious innovations that resolve challenges to our planets environment, as well as business and government realizing each’s greater purpose and brand value. Tired of conventional approaches and willful ignorance, Bill was recruited as one who can champion each solutions authentic relevance. Bill hopes Colorado and Fort Collins can open up and get in flow, as a community Bill & his wife only wish the best for as also enabled with a view all others benefit by, whether they see it initially or not.