Holly Woods

Why Purpose-Driven Leadership Is Essential In An Uncertain Future With Holly Woods

PSF Holly Woods | Purpose-Driven Leadership

As the future of business continues to evolve due to various digital innovations, leaders must know how to cope with such rapid changes to keep their teams efficient and intact. In this episode, the People Strategy Forum welcomes the CEO and Founder of Emergence Institute, Holly Woods, who talks about the power of purpose-driven leadership. She explains how to navigate your team toward an uncertain future by teaching them to appreciate their strengths, embrace their authentic selves, and find out the best way to collaborate for every possible scenario. Holly also discusses how to be a champion for change and speak the truth while artificial intelligence and other technological evolutions dictate the rules of the game.

Why Purpose-Driven Leadership Is Essential In An Uncertain Future With Holly Woods

Welcome, everyone, to the show. We’re a show that guides leaders on how to elevate the workforce. We believe that people are the heart of successful organizations. Team members’ well-being, the rewards, and the crew element is all essential to a happy and healthy highly productive workforce overall. This show discusses the practical and effective leadership strategies for top executives, senior professionals and talent managers. Welcome and happy to have you.

One of our hosts, Sumit Singla just join. It’s wonderful to have you. I was saying that Howard is on vacation. He’s having a great time over in Italy, all have our hats off for Howard. Sumit Singla is a global HR professional. He’s worked for a lot of large organizations such as Accenture and GE and so forth. We’re very happy to have him. He’s a guiding light to help us see what the differences are across the globe and understand cultural nuances.

Also, we have another one of our hosts, Char Miller. Char is at Mexico. We’re lucky to have her. She is a luminary in different aspects of HR professional and also entrepreneurship She’s running several of her companies. She has a history of success there, so we’re we are happy to have her here. She brings that small business entrepreneurship nature to the forum. Also, she’s got deep expertise in Human Resources and she’s worked with large healthcare systems in the past overall. Thank you, Char, for joining us.

Also, I’d like to introduce our main contributor. We’re honored to have Holly Woods. She is an inspiring person in the realm of purpose-driven leadership and transformational change. Holly’s not just a CEO and Founder of the Emergence Institute. She’s an exceptional coach who taps into the core of what individuals and businesses yearn to become.

With her consulting experience, Holly has mastered the art of guiding others through pivotal transformations nurturing their journey towards a true purpose. It makes it perfect for the discussion that we’re going to have. She’s also an acclaimed author and she shares her insights through the book, The Golden Thread. As we unpack the intricate tapestry of navigating the future of intention, Holly’s expertise promises to be a guiding light to foster a culture of meaningful growth. Let’s go ahead and dive into the heart of purpose-driven leadership with Holly Woods.

Sam, thank you so much. That was such a kind introduction. I appreciate it.

We’re so happy to have you here. As tradition, as we start off these conversations, one of the first things that we want to dive into is you. How did you get to where you are? What inspired you to be a coach for leaders and to drive them through impactful change?

Probably for many, this is the hardest question you’ll ask me mostly because inspire is the word that you spoke that speaks to me. I was less inspired and forced to walk the past that I’ve walked my whole life. I grew up in a fairly difficult childhood and became very clear that I had to find my way amidst very difficult circumstances. At an early age, probably adolescence, I started trying to figure out why is this so hard and why am I here in these circumstances.

I’ve always been psychic. I didn’t know that’s what it was. When I was a child, I heard voices. I’m like, “Who are you? Why are you talking to me?” I learned to listen to these voices even not knowing what they were. Nobody around me could tell me what I was experiencing but I realized one of the things I was told as a child was, “You’re here to do important things’ I’m like, “Tell me what that is. If it’s so important, why don’t I know it?”

I was on this very determined committed past to figure out what is Important thing? Why are these circumstances and why am I here that would matter so much that I need to stay? In the 30-ish years that I was depressed and somewhat was suicidal and wanted to leave, I kept hearing that voice, “You can’t go.” I was like, “Okay but you got to help me.” I committed to learning to listen to the many forms of data that were coming in.

I am a PhD Scientist. At one point in my journey, I decided I needed to understand human dilemma. My doctorate is in Human and Organizational Development. In that process, I became aware of what exists in our material cognitive intellectually oriented world then there’s a whole lot of stuff that can feed me information about who I am and why I’m here that’s not in that realm.

To make this story shorter, I learned to gather many forms of data to have an awareness of who I am in the process of also healing those deep childhood wounds that also turned out to be karmic wounds if you believe in all that, and liberate who are meant to be and become very aligned with what lives in me. I have access to what it is that is inspired from within and I’ve learned to live in a life aligned with that. I do help people become aligned with what wants to be birthed in them, which is an anchoring effect in this very chaotic tempestuous world we live in.

It’s interesting hearing about your story. When we think about many successful people and throughout history, a lot of times it starts out of a point of a pain and struggle. Sometimes they feel like their gifts that they were, whether if they have expertise in talking to people or art. Sometimes they feel like it’s a weight upon their shoulders and others feel like it’s a gift that they don’t not utilize.

That’s a great place to start because a lot of our leaders out there are in a situation like going, “I don’t know how I got here but now I’m responsible for this organization, it’s purpose and these people.” How do you help them understand where they came from and the gifts that they were given to be able to leave it effectively overall using your experience?

You mentioned my book, I came apart upon this very organically. I didn’t know this was one of the things that I was here to do, figure out how it is we uncover what the thread or throughline of our life is in order to make use of it from my own life. I raised four children to my own two step children which became a petri dish experimented and uncovered what is it that drives us to live fully functional and fulfilling lives?

In this process, as I’m working with clients, I saw a golden thread in a client one day and began to piece together all of these elements of like, “I’m here to help us uncover what we came to do and be in this lifetime.” What is it our souls have been driving us to be and do? How does that look? I’m over here doing this with my hand. It’s a thread that lives in us. In my work with clients, I help them uncover that thread that is the expression of their soul attempting to fully be enlightened in this lifetime.

It’s been trying to do that your whole life, but we don’t know it. It’s easier to see in retrospect and hindsight because there are particular characteristics. I call it facets of purpose that over and overexpress themselves once we’re aware and we can look back like, “I’ve been trying to do that my whole life and I didn’t know it.”

I wasn’t aware of it. I wasn’t necessarily taking advantage of that capacity or that gift. I help clients deconstruct their lives and figure out what it is they’ve been trying to express and become more aware and fully capacitated in that facet. That becomes a significant guiding light almost. It becomes your North Star or your compass. Whatever you want to call it. It becomes like, “Now I understand. This is how I show up in the world.” Everything blossoms from there.

Our topic is change and preparing leaders for that. To what you’re talking about when you’re first meeting a new client or a leader, do you look into or assess their strengths and their potential weaknesses and how their passes is interwoven into that? Is that a factor?

It’s more than strengths and weaknesses. That’s a simple description when I’m looking for the facets of your sole purpose. You can imagine it’s far beyond strength. It’s like it’s who I am meant to be in this lifetime. I’m going to show up with those inherent capacities that I’ve been honing sometimes accidentally through my life experiences. When we focus on them and like, “These are the things that you came to do and be. Let’s work on those so that they can become more pronounced and more profound even further.”

One of my facets of purpose is I speak powerful truths. I’ve been doing that since I was a child. I remember like 2 and 3, I was standing up to adults in my life and saying, “This isn’t going to happen.” Also, in my adolescent young adult years, I didn’t do that so tactfully and gracefully. I created more destruction than it was worth, so I learned. I became a mediator and a facilitator and non-got communication. I studied how is you speak powerfully that can create an impact that’s more desirous.

I’ve honed to that capacity. Each of us has those facets. My purpose is to speak powerful truth to shine love and to shadow to liberate the soul’s potential reunite, love, and power. That’s not something you’re going to find a job description. The purpose is not something that lives within a job or a business or a product. It’s something that lives within you and there are many expressions of it.

Purpose is not something that lives within a job, business, or product. It is something that lives within you, and there are many expressions of it. Share on X

Back to the question though, the challenges that we experience, I do a lot of work with people on shadow elements. Shadow means that we’re not conscious to. We do a lot of work around limiting beliefs and distractions and parts of wounding from childhood that limit how you show up in the world so that you can become a better leader and more capable of living more fully in your purpose.

You mentioned a few things I’d like to dig into. The first one to start with is speaking truth to power. You mentioned that quite of ability there. I also find that that is also very important in change manager or managing change. The first thing that we need to do is we need to be clear, whether it’s our leadership or with people that entrust in us as employees to lay the groundwork of what’s happening and what could happen.

The problem is in some aspects when as leaders, people rely on us to speak the truth, but they also rely on us to have their best interest at heart. What I found is when we are truthful sometimes with people that may find an extra weight. For instance, the economy is going through a very difficult time and a lot of businesses are suffering but sometimes leaders need to set expectations saying, “The company is under stress now. We’re not sure what the future holds. There may be some downsides to that that we need to prepare for.” In that, is truth-telling, but it also strikes the fear into the hearts of your people. Where is the proper balance there for leaders to navigate potentially negative change like that?

Plenty of we as whole and fulfilled humans can do is sense the other. When I am more complete, more whole, more fulfilled in who I am. I’m living in an alignment with what’s true for me and I’m not resentful and all the ways that I could be showing up in the world that are not necessarily functional. I am more able to experience what’s present for others. I can sense their fears. I can sense their concerns or their worries. I can sense their hopes and desires.

PSF Holly Woods | Purpose-Driven Leadership

Purpose-Driven Leadership: When you are more complete and fulfilled, the more you can experience what’s present for others. You can sense their fears, concerns, worries, hopes, and desires.


I can show up in a conversation speaking truth and also tending to the fragility, care, concern, worry and fear of the other. Attempt to put them at ease that I care about you and I want what’s best for you and for all of us. I’m going to do my very best to guide us through this tough time, the storm. In that, I want you to trust me that I’m going to show up. I’m going to be honest and I’m going to be vulnerable so we create this reciprocal dynamic where you don’t feel alone because I’m showering you with horrible news.

Empathy became a buzzword during the pandemic and who has it? Who doesn’t? There are many levels of empathy. Deep empathy is when I truly can feel you and what’s going on in you, your thoughts and your feelings. I know how to be with you in that and you can be with me in that and we can be doing this together. Speaking powerful truth for me is not about shoving the worst news on you. I know these things are happening. I’m not sparing you the details, but I’m in it with you.

I want to create a dialogue and a way for us to be together to work together and be collaborative to find solutions that might help us shift out of this scenario. It’s care compassion and deep empathy. Deep active listening tends to the other in their internal world, which means I have to access my internal world. I have to be willing and vulnerable enough to say, “Me, too, I’m afraid and I’m in this. I have the same concerns you do, but you’re not alone.”

What do you have to say about that, Sumit?

That’s a very interesting model or way to think about it. In a fairly simplistic way, I came across stuff that seemed to be more on a spectrum which was either a leader like it is and the other end of the spectrum is being nice, which I thought are both wrong because it could be brutal and be stripping away somebody’s dignity while you’re giving them feedback. There’s no point of recovery for the person.

Being nice is where you’re trying to be focused more on yourself rather than the other person and giving them feedback or leading them in a way that they like. You’re not necessarily doing them any good. The third way that I came across was being kind where you’re making a difference to them. Giving them more of an outcome-oriented piece of feedback while also helping them retain a sense of who they are and what they do well. We’d love to hear how that fits in or if I’m looking at it the wrong way.

I certainly have a perspective but I’m not the only one I’m sure. You’re right that kindness is me reaching out beyond myself, and touching you, and tending to your experience in a way that reflects I see you. I see what’s true for you and how you are with this news, speaking truth and knowing that I’m going to integrate your truth into my awareness of it. I’m shaped and shifted by your experience. We’re doing this together. It’s a dance.

Kindness is reaching out beyond yourself and tending to the needs of other people. Share on X

People feel seen, held, and touched by leaders who can hold them in that way. They have more engagement and more commitment. If I have an executive who sees me and knows what I’m experiencing, I’m more willing to show up and say, “Let’s do this whatever it takes. Let’s pull ourselves out of this.” I’m willing to go the extra mile. I have even seen company-wide rifts where when the message is delivered in a way that is compassionate, caring and tending to them. They’re like, “Awesome. I want this company to succeed. I’ll go away.” It can change everything when a person feels held and what their experience is.

I like what you did there, Sumit, in talking about the difference between nice and kind. Nice being the potentially and selfish in a way and more inward facing where you’re kind is you’re thinking about others. That’s a very powerful perspective. Thank you for bringing that up. Before we get off on that topic, Char, do you have something you wanted out there?

I did. We brought the word riffs and I was accountable for major reductions and force and organizational mergers. I often sat with the financial or operation leaders and talked about the balance of being worth right about upcoming riffs or reduction of forces. Also, realize that we may risk losing staff during that phasing of a reduction of a department. It was a real struggle to explain that this is extremely people-focused if we can be as transparent operation what is happening as possible to support those employees with finding other positions within the organization and being forthright.

We went through a reduction force that took over a year in process and it was a constant battle for me to convey that we can’t show up and say, “Here’s your two-month package. Go find a job now.” We did experience some lost during those processes, but I always emphasized with compassion, dignity, and respect always, which is what I always convey and I still say it now. Employees will appreciate and support the change.

When I started my own companies, that’s what I did and it was a risk. It was a risk because we did lose staff being very forthright with the changes up ahead and through the storms. Later in my career, I started hearing the word voca, then it became real to me volatile and uncertain. All of the chaos that we experienced but it seems like it’s even more so than when I was back in a traditional HR position.

In alignment with that, Holly, with what Char is saying navigating change and setting expectations. We were talking about speaking truth to power. The other part of that is how to set expectations with leadership, and how to be an advocate for yourself with your superiors in level. What are you what are your thoughts there? How can we be a champion for change and manage up and speaking truth to power having the courage to do so?

It’s one of the toughest tasks I experienced in supporting executives and company founders who have many employees to care for. Knowing yourself well enough. This is what I call anchoring in your purpose so that I know what drives me. I know what is always wanting to come even more alive and be more fulfilled in me. I can show up and say, “This is how I’m going to operate best. These are the things that I need in order to show up and be the leader, be the manager, and my own direct that will help me fulfill my obligations as a as a leader in a company.”

I would say most executives aren’t used to having their subordinates and direct show up and say, “Here’s what I need. How can we accomplish this?” It would be so useful. I do work with a lot of C-suites and also the next-level SCPs and VPS. I’m continually helping them gain clarity about what matters to them and why the relationship with their superior isn’t necessarily working. What’s not being fed well enough in you and how can you also tend to your exec who will receive you and your teams in order to fulfill their purpose and facets?

Getting to know ourselves and each other and what matters helps us each align in how I do show up in the world. Therefore, we can collaborate and coordinate our efforts to take advantage of those strengths. It’s like a strengths finder extraordinaire. If we know ourselves that well, then we can literally advocate for, “This is what’s going to make me be the best leader or the best executive in this company or this will help me lead my company even more powerfully because I’m aligned with what truly matters to me. I’m not limited.” I do a lot of belief work. I’m not limited by those old beliefs that kept me stuck in an old way of seeing myself. That was a long-winded answer. It was very challenging question because it’s complex stuff.

PSF Holly Woods | Purpose-Driven Leadership

Purpose-Driven Leadership: Getting to know each other and what really matters helps us align in showing up in the world. Therefore, we can collaborate and coordinate our efforts to take advantage of our strengths.

It’s very complex, but one of the things that you mentioned that we’re talking about navigating that change and managing up is one thing. The one thing I love as part of a topic and is appropriate to bring up here as you mentioned in beliefs and diversity. If we think about us on this interview, we have Sumit that’s on the other side of the globe, Char that’s in a wonderful warm place and both Holly and I are in a wonderful cold place now in Durango, Colorado.

When you’re looking at the beliefs, we all have different beliefs as well. There’s different religions perhaps, and different backgrounds. The other thing is our employees all have different beliefs. Our customers all have different beliefs and they come from different backgrounds. How does a perspective of diversity and different understanding and respecting other people’s beliefs help us navigate change and become better leaders?

First off, I want to acknowledge the beliefs that I was referencing, and the set of beliefs are two different things but I’ll put that on a sidebar for now. If I as a leader cannot acknowledge who you are and what the basic set of beliefs that construct your way of being in the world. I have no way of engaging you as a human to participate in this dialogic interactive dynamic that you and I are trying to participate in to accomplish our specified tasks.

This is a base form of getting to know your people so that you can sense what matters to them. It’s a level of matters to them that’s more socially constructed based in culture, religion and ideologies of different parts of the world. We do have to tend to that at a very basic level or I have no hope of being a good leader for my people and my team.

If a leader cannot acknowledge who you are and the basic set of beliefs that construct your way of being in the world, you cannot engage with them to accomplish specified tasks. Share on X

I talked about several sets of beliefs there. The one I was speaking to is more of an intrinsic belief set that is constructed through our early childhood that identifies how I see myself in the world, even in lieu over and despite of all the other cultural social belief systems that are constructed externally. I have a set of beliefs about my capabilities, my worth, and my value and whether I’m liked, admired, and acknowledged.

All of those things are as essential for unpacking and resolving so that I can show up fully as a human leader or participant in something. That’s a big can of worms. Diversity encompasses that too because you have people who show up feeling capable, confident, and courageous, but they may have some other set of beliefs that limits their ability to participate fully.

Thank you for that. Now, the other thing that I wanted to touch on as well is relating to how the world has changed over time. I know that we’ve been talking about the pandemic and this point in our lives for quite some time, it’s a bit tiresome, but the mere fact is that it marks a milestone in what’s happened to all of us whether we realize it or not.

Let’s take that perspective pre-pandemic. In the United States especially, you would see things from the past 50 or maybe a hundred years before that where we had a perception of careers and what work was meant to be. We would get our education, go to a university perhaps or get a higher learning then we would apply that in an industry or a company. We would work our 9:00 to 5:00 and we would work our way up the ladder.

The great awakening of the pandemic happened and now we’re seeing a lot of different trends that are going on. We’re seeing that people are thinking they want more beauty in their life. They want more purpose in their life. There’s a conflict between the old model where a lot of companies want to get back to because they’re saying, “This worked and now we’re in a bunch of chaos.” People are somewhat happy and someone are in distress. They’re not knowing how to fit into the realm. How can we help our leaders navigate this change when their employees are uncertain about what they want in their future but they do know they want more? Leaders are being pressed to go back to the old normal years ago that worked at that time.

I’m not sure who you want to respond to that question, Sam.

You, Holly.

I’m sure there’s so much wisdom in this group. I would suggest that it never worked. That we were in denial about a lot of things including human health and well-being not to say the least. I often think about the pandemic as this global fishbowl we were in where we all got to witness each other locked inside looking internally. We were all having this awakening because there was so much opportunity for introspection.

We witness everybody in the world doing this very thing. What is this crazy life we’re living as humans on this bound to his Planet? Why have we been doing this? That’s part of why we all woke up and said, “Not going back to that.” It didn’t work and our existing linear mechanistic infrastructure built in a paradigm of the material world, which is now being disproven and lots of scholars or suggesting it we never lived in a material paradigm. It was just a part of a scientific orientation.

As we gained this interview awareness and began to have empathy for others and greater awakening to what matters internally. We’re not about to go back into systems that feed the old belief system. It’s not going to happen. The more we pretend like we can push the new round peg into a square hole like we’re pretending that it could ever work that way again and it can’t.

PSF Holly Woods | Purpose-Driven Leadership

Purpose-Driven Leadership: After the pandemic, we cannot go back into the systems that feed old beliefs anymore.


I’m sure Char can tell us a lot about evolving HR systems and what must happen for leaders to engage their people in ways that address the new belief systems. The new paradigm we’re moving into where this internal awareness is going more important that time goes on. It won’t become less. we’ll never go back. Can we stop pretending that’s a possibility? My inflicting my encouragement. First off, let’s stop pretending and being in denial that we could go back at all because we can’t.

I’m dealing with all this transition around but that is an example of all the technology changes on a big esteem rolling technology adjustment particularly for us old timers per se and you’re right. Our different generations coming into the work system have different expectations of how we had we roll with the times and sitting in a huge conference room with 200 or 300 leaders and standing on a podium and boring leaders for two to three days at a leadership forum is not what our new leaders expect.

They expect a lot more engagement listening as you said when you started off this conversation, listening to the barriers and the challenges and the workforce. Having a talking head, standing there either on a video conference or on a podium is not going to inspire or motivate anybody. We’ve had to roll with it. Sam and I started these forums many years ago, Sam and look at all that’s happened when we first started these forums.

We started these Zoom platforms and we used to call the HR Strategy. Now it’s People Strategy and we moved into all different types of directions learning about AI, which, Summit, you can speak to the artificial intelligence transformation in the workforce. That is only been a matter of a year when we have that.

We did that meeting what last May when we’ve talked about AI but look how it’s completely taken over our work systems in our product, our processes, and communication. Sumit, I’m going to put you on the spot. What are your thoughts about all these AI changes and how it affect our relationship with our employees and leaders?

In fact, I was discussing this with a client. We were discussing whether AI is good, bad, or ugly. The example I was using with them was that of smartphones. Ever since smartphones came up, essentially they turned all of us into photographers. You and I can do on Instagram what a professional photographer could have been able to do years ago.

What has it resulted in is that if you and I take a hundred pictures, we’ll end up with say 15 or 20 professional-grade pictures, which means that somebody who has been a professional photographer would I either have to get less business or move up the evolutionary curve and make sure that 80% or 90% of the pictures are professional grade.

That’s how they would they would continue to get better at their craft and get more opportunities. For the right people, we live in the age of AI and in the age of smartphones. Has painting gone out of style yet? We’ve got McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. Has fine dining on our style yet? You pay more for a nice custom-crafted meal than you would pay for fast food. That’s my thought about AI. It’s a great tool and technology everywhere. I’m sure it’s difficult to resist its advances, but it’s a tool. It has to be in the right hands for it to make an impact.

Regarding what we were discussing about careers, that’s where it flows in that maybe 1 or 2 generations before us. The whole idea was you go to university or you study, you pick up a job, retire from the job and that’s about it. Maybe a decade or so ago, people started developing some side hustles saying, “A job is not enough. I could be employed as a consultant and have my own say jewelry designing business or fast fashion startup a thing on the side.”

Now we’re in the post-pandemic third generation where the average ten years of people are dropping and that’s where demand for things like career architecture comes in, where people want to move across if possible within the same organization, have that candid conversation with the leader and see what are the opportunities for me here. I like it here, but I don’t want to do the same job over and over again. That’s probably combined with AI that’s leading to a fair bit of destruction.

I also noticed that a lot of memes and some kickbacks where imitating that the lower wage jobs are taking over by humans, but the creative positions, artistry, and writing is now being taken over by AI. I’m noticing more coming backlashing about this transition because taking away our creative positions including for example, the strikes that were happening in the acting profession and the writing profession. There’s a major ship going on. What are your thoughts, Sam?

When we think about AI, I often think of the Wizard of Oz, the wizard behind the curtain. Sumit was talking about is AI good or bad? I would argue to say that it’s a reflection of ourselves. We need to give ourselves credit. There’s something to be said about the journey of creation. This is what actors do when they’re when the stage or what a musician does in a live performance.

There is the risk of failure. There’s the risk of messing up during the process and humans love that experience. We love to go see a live game or watch it on TV to see what’s going to happen. We don’t want to be given the score at the end. We want to go through the experience. I do think AI has its place, but I do believe that we need to give ourselves credit as the creator of designing that process and we need to have faith in humanity and that we all love the journey.

I would echo that, Sam. I’ve gone the whole gamut with AI from detesting and resisting to, “This is just another phase. Can we go easy on ourselves?” We’re figuring this out like everything else. The fact that as we become more aware of what matters with them, what wants to be birth is the most pure creative process that exists for us as humans.

PSF Holly Woods | Purpose-Driven Leadership

Purpose-Driven Leadership: As we become more aware of what matters with other people, we become more engaged that we reject the robotic form of living.


As we all become more engaged with that, we will reject the robotic form of that wanting to come alive within us and find a way to interact with it so that it’s supports us not displaces us. I do believe that we’re going to reclaim the creativity. Most people aren’t aware of their innate creativity. It’s useful to have this workaround until we like, “That wants to come alive so let me do that and I’ll find another way.”

I want to bring up something that Andre Bloom, one of our readers brought in. For everybody that doesn’t know Andre, he’s one the leader of TMA International which is a large talent management organization that’s a has a global nature. Here’s the gentleman who knows what he’s talking about and he made the comment of saying, “It’s all about applying our moral intelligence, capturing, and securing right ethics.”

The one thing that I love about what AI brought to humanity is it’s causing us to reflect on what is ethical. We can just think about the past 20 years or 30 years or 40 years of 50 years or maybe a hundred years. We’ve leaned on philosophers of the past of saying what ethics is. Ethics as changed like the stock market going up and down depending on what culture you’re talking about. Now, thrust upon us is AI where it’s a global phenomenon.

It’s impacting all countries in different ways and we all have different cultures. We have to come together as humans. AI companies are creating departments that are focusing on what are the appropriate ethical controls that we need to put in place as a globe as a human society to ensure that we humans have a future on this planet. That is putting a lot of pressure there and this has been a good thing for us to think about what is truly ethical and how do we protect ourselves for longevity. What do you think about that, Holly?

It’s hard to argue with that position, Sam. I would suggest that we should also extend ethics to encourage, allow, inspire, and engage each of us to be our most potentiated and most fulfilled selves. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate ethics that I value, appreciate, and committed to you becoming the best you can be.

You can show up fully in your life both at work, engaged, inspired, and contributing so that your innovation and your creativity emerges through you in order to be your most productive self and also in the rest of your life. That’s probably stretching the meaning of ethics at this point. Why else are we here? We’re not meant to be cogs in a wheel for profit’s sake. We’re here to be inspired and to live fully as our most meaningful self, which means I need you to honor me in that way and that feels ethical.

Well said. I’d like that. I know we’re coming up to the end of our time. I do want to acknowledge. I was talking about Andre joining. I do want to talk about his company, TMA. It is a wonderful tool and if anybody’s interested in going through a demo what this looks like, do let us know. Char and Sumit are both experts in this platform.

It’s a wonderful way to get to know your people better and have effective conversations with them, so do let us know we’d love to take you through that platform. I’d like to summarize overall about what we’ve been talking about. The keys here are navigating change and how can leaders do that effectively. Holly, a question for you in that aspect, what do we want our readers to be walking away with from this conversation? What are your thoughts?

There are a few essential elements that I envision as important for helping us navigate through the next phase of humanity however long we’re able to keep it going here on the planet. One of them is anchoring and purpose. As I know who I am with more clarity, and I’m more grounded and anchored in that awareness. I am able to show up more fully in any set of circumstances, whether it be a calm and productive and upward trending company that I show up and do my work, everything’s fine or this very chaotic C that many of us are finding ourselves in.

When I know what my capacities are, I can show up and be of service in a much greater way. That’s one of the essential elements. The second would be learning to listen newly. There’s a great book, Iain McGilchrist is one of my favorite authors. He’s been studying paradigm shifts over centuries. This awareness that we pay attention to with our sensory apparatus certain things in our environment because we’ve believed we’ve been living in this material concrete world.

When we learn to expand our capacity to listen to the subtle to things that we can’t see or touch, then we can gain twice as much information about what’s truly going on in our environment. Paying attention to what’s inside of me or what’s inside of you and the other subtle indicators. What I’m advocating for is deeper listening even beyond what you call active listening, to the signs and symptoms of what’s in our environment so I can respond right here right now not wait until tomorrow, I go home and put it on the spreadsheet and figure out why my best next step is.

When we learn to expand our capacity to listen to the subtle things we cannot see or touch, we can gain twice as much information about what’s truly going on in our environment. Share on X

I know in this moment this is the next step. You might call it intuition. You might call it gut or sense, but I’m gaining an awareness of what’s in the present so that I can respond more nimbly with agility, focus and feel directed that this is the right orientation. I also believe that we need to become the creators that we spoke about.

When I listen to what’s wanting to emerge from me, that is me co-creating with this broader morphogenic field. You might want to call it Quantum Universe like I’m calling all of that data in and listening to what wants to emerge, which is going to be always a phenomenal contribution. Those are three elements that feel very important in my awareness about how we navigate the future. We’re going to need to become different actors in our own lives.

That’s very powerful. Thank you so much, Holly. For our readers that says, “That sounds incredible. How do I learn more about that?” How do they get a hold of you, Holly?

My business is Emergence Institute and you can find me at Emergence Institute. Google it. You can schedule a 30-minute conversation with me. It’s on my Calendly, Holly Woods-Discovery-Consult. You can buy the book. It’s still very pertinent to the work I do, The Golden Thread: Where to Find Purpose in the Stages of Your Life. I do individual consulting and coaching. I’m also hosting a new initiative in the new year called Buildacity. I’m going to work with visionaries and innovators who want to bring birth this new innovation into the world in these challenging times.

That sounds great. If you’re a bold innovator, you need to reach out to Holly to get on board. I’ve enjoyed the conversation. It’s been wonderful. Thank you so much, Holly.

You’re welcome. Thank you. It was a great conversation.

Take care everyone and we’ll see you in the next episode on the People Strategy Forum.


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About Holly Woods

PSF Holly Woods | Purpose-Driven LeadershipHolly Woods PhD, Founder of Emergence Institute, coach and consultant, guide and facilitator, is a visionary who sees deeply into peoples’ souls. She activates and catalyzes what wants to come alive in people and guides them to manifest their visions through products, business and career transitions. She brings 35 years of consulting and coaching in human and organizational development and three decades of experience building and scaling business. She is the author of the bestseller The Golden Thread: Where to Find Purpose in the Stages of Your Life and the Founder of Boldacity™, an emergent initiative to help humanity navigate these uncertain times.



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