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Presence: Listening to Your Inner Leader

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Jun 20

Have you ever come up with an insanely great idea to change the world, but you were unsure how to get started?

It might be a commercial project or a form of social entrepreneurialism. You have a network of friends, but need direction, not only in assembling a mastermind, but also in driving the process.

When we think of contemporary world-changers, we are most apt to think of people like Elon Musk, who, not only helped pioneer PayPal as a digital payment system, but also opened up housing, the automotive industry and space exploration. It is no ordinary entrepreneur to transform multiple industries with companies such as Solar City, Tesla Motors and Space X.​

Of course, you must work hard and throw your whole self into the project with every fiber of your being. But what about the social dynamic?

How do you galvanize teams so that you can tap into a higher intelligence and synchronize your efforts like a finely-tuned precision instrument?​

Presencing the Future

Dr. Otto Scharmer, Founder of MIT’s Presencing Institute, has developed a whole new framework that he is offering the world through his online courses.

Dr. Scharmer developed Theory U (the system to change unproductive patterns of behavior) over decades, teaching hundreds of students in this elite technology institution.

You can watch Dr. Scharmer explain his Theory U and Presencing in the 5 minute video below…​

When he perfected his theory, he decided to open it up to the entire world, and is now broadcasting these courses through the Internet.

From every continent, over 50,000 students have signed up, forming their own experimental groups. We are not just talking about Europe, North America and Japan, but Africa, Latin America, India and China.​

Awareness and Social Transformation

Dr. Scharmer is convinced that social transformation requires deep listening, breaking out of our habitual mindset, which he calls downloading.

The Voice of Judgment is a formidable block to developing and perfecting new ideas, followed by the Voice of Cynicism and the Voice of Fear. We have to begin by opening up our mind, then our heart and finally our will to whole new possibilities.

This opening up of our faculties requires surrender within a group context, best achieved by deep listening. We go from hearing the literal words as symbols to the living experience behind those words.

We start with our ego at the center of the circle, and then move to the edge of the circle “out there” to another’s position. We suddenly break out of the circle and leap over to where the other is, such that we ARE that other. Ultimately, we together define a much larger circle.

We are looking at a much deeper layer of awareness here, which goes way beyond a personal level of existence. As I see it, we grow and build from a higher consciousness… as “we” – not as “I.” This type of awareness comes with a lot of power behind it, which can create greater impact as well.

Like Buddha, who is said to have awoken everyone he met to their highest possibility in this life, in this incarnation, Dr. Scharmer encourages people to go deep within to imagine their highest Self, and that of everyone in the group.​


He also invites them to ask what is their work in life, NOT their job, but their purpose for being here in this dimension.

Dr. Scharmer calls this presencing, which refers to our ability to sense and bring into the present one’s highest future potential, both as an individual and as a group. We find this most often in romantic love and religious experience. To achieve this within a business or government context is revolutionary.

It is no accident that Dr. Scharmer was influenced by Zen Buddhism and gestalt psychology, as well as a variety of postmodern schools of thought.

He was originally inspired by Germany’s antinuke and green movement in the 1980’s. He sees a form of meditation or contemplation absolutely requisite to the process, of connecting to the Source.

You must arrive at nothing before you can clearly see a whole new future emerge.

From there, we can move from letting go (or surrender) to letting come, moving from crystalizing the new vision to prototyping it hands-on to performing it.

He uses such words as suspending, redirecting, enacting and embodying.

What becomes apparent is that Dr. Scharmer has freed the profoundly spiritual from the supposed monopoly of the world’s religious institutions. He has taken God out into the streets with the intent to start a world revolution, born, not of hate, but of love.​

Awakening Presence Within

How, then, can you personally get started?

I would recommend that you read his book, Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies.  You can also go onto his website where you can play all his videos, and personally reach-out to his community. Most likely, you will be able to sign up for one of his EdX offerings, or play back an earlier one.

In summary:​

  • Come up with a really big idea, one so exciting it keeps you up at night.
  • Recruit half-a-dozen friends that you respect, admire and with whom you would really like to play.
  • Recruit a mentor or two, possibly even a future board.
  • Pick up a copy of Napoleon Hill’s classic, Think and Grow Rich.
  • Get out and participate in things/events that can shape our future – for example, vote, as the stakes in the world are now much too high to do anything less.

About the Author

One conscious owl to another... sharing what we learned over the years, and from many wise owls before us.