Global challenges – from rapid urbanisation to climate change – are growing at exponential rates, demanding fast-paced, breakthrough solutions to unprecedently complex problems.

In face of such challenges, how do we lead in a world where decisions are driven by human emotions, needs and desires? Now more than ever, conscious leaders are needed to drive, shape and steer the inevitable transformations that lie ahead.

UKGBC’s Future Leaders programme aims to equip us with the right tools and mindset to effectively transform ourselves into such ‘conscious’ leaders needed for the future.

What are ‘conscious’ leaders?

The quest for leadership… is first an inner quest to discover who you are and what you care about, and it’s through this process of self-examination that you find the awareness needed to lead.” – Kouzes & Posner (2011)

Conscious leaders are those who “uncover” themselves to discover their purpose; who cultivate authenticity and courage; and who interconnect with others to foster a transformation for a shared future.

The Future Leaders programme ignites this thought process from day one: Nick Jankel’s Switch On concept is key in shifting our mindset and unlocking the inner quest to discover our purpose.

What is my purpose? My journey

So what is my purpose? Before attending the first Future Leaders workshop, when we were tasked with completing a questionnaire: “Leadership: Purpose & Ambition”, I had never asked myself this question.

While answering what might seem to be the simplest of questions, I allowed myself some distance from any exterior influences – those of appearance, commercial viability or profitability – and turned, instead, to myself to reflect on my core values. I wanted to understand why I was doing something rather than what I was doing or how I was doing it.

What I came to understand from this process was very simple: that every day I do something because I care about creating a sustainable future for us and for the generations to come. I care about having made the necessary changes, and about my decisions having a positive impact now and in the future. I care about making these changes before it becomes too late.

When reflecting on my previous positive experiences – those projects with the most innovative and transformational outcomes – I found that they came about when I was truly emotionally engaged and had co-created with others. The essence of ‘success’ for me, therefore, when addressing any challenge, must be to connect to my inner self and enable my true emotions and purpose to surface. By “uncovering” myself, I can discover the awareness I need to lead.

Leaders’ journey

The series of presentations given by the industry leaders during the Future Leaders residential further confirmed that in order to address vital problems, one must connect with one’s self. As we listened to their stories, we found that they all had the same mindset in common: their success as leaders came only when they truly understood what mattered to them the most, what their purpose was, and what they wanted to promote in order to empower and inspire others. Their purpose was lived through their journeys of self-discovery and co-creation.

Over the next few months, I am embarking on this journey and hope to emerge as a conscious leader, discovering my selfless purpose, and connecting with others to foster a positive change through ‘collective’ consciousness.

Mina Future Leaders

Mina Hasman is an Associate at Skidmore Owings and Merrill – Since joining the SOM London office in 2012, Mina Hasman has worked alongside the architectural team on a wide variety of projects in London, Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia, including international offices in Geneva and Karlatornet in Gothenburg. As High Performance Design and AIA 2030 Commitment Leader for SOM London, Mina defines the sustainability vision for all projects – from urban to building-scale. She also offers support and design coordination for all LEED, BREEAM and WELL projects. Mina leads the ISO 14001 Environmental Management of SOM London and conducts a number of workshops/training sessions including LEED, BREEAM and ’Environmental Analyses on Passive Design Approaches’. She also acts as the Sustainability Lead for ongoing SOM research projects. Mina is actively involved in various UKGBC task groups and acts as a design critic and tutor at various academic institutions.

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