“Travel to not find yourself but to remember who you’ve been all along.”

After Satu’s exchange semester in Barcelona and naturally wifey’s visit to her new home, followed by our study trip to ESADE business school couple months ago, it is safe to say that we left a part of our hearts to this city. So this is where we wanted to go once our semester in Helsinki was over for a total mind emptying of the work of past months. Terhi spontaneously joined us which completed our crew. 😉 Every now and then I realised myself thinking that though I spend my time with these girls back home too, being on vacation and in a inspiring environment definitely brought fresh vibes, not saying that we’d usually be boring of course ;). We are now, not just a bunch but more like a thousand jokes and memories richer. Which we need next year while being apart for long times again!

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Travel & Cake ❤

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Gelato picking in El Born, next to the beautiful (Satu’s future wedding) church

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Brunch Elecktronik – best day party on Summer Sundays

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Bar hopping in El Born

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Surf House – beach vibes with tasty and healthy menu

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Barcelona really is the perfect city for vacation. Our formula was simple: tapas in our favourites and new discoveries, with wine of course, laying hours on a most zen rooftop overlooking the roofs of the city, absorbing each sun ray and enjoying moments of just being, some partying, discovering the perfect gelato, wondering endlessly in El Born. I’d say that there’s something in the Barcelona air that makes you feel spontaneous, free and worry less. The feeling of not having a constant to-do list running in your head felt luxurious and is something I will aim every now and then. You need occasional mind emptying to make room for fresh ideas, absorbing what you’ve learned lately, and visualising more clearly what you want to keep in your life and what goals to set for the future.

Our favourites in nutshell:

La Pepita for dinner

Travel & Cake for brunch

Disset Graus for dinner

El Born for exploring any time of the day

Milk for brunch

Surf House for lunch by the beach

Brunch Elecktronik for day partying on Summer Sundays

Also, be sure to discover a rooftop where to escape the city buzz for a zen moment over the Barcelona roofs. Our’s we’ll aim to keep as a hidden pearl. 😉

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Here’s another city for me that feels like home. You miss it while you’re away, but then again appreciate so much every time you have a chance to go. Until next time Barcelona, and thank you girls for a one-of-a-kind holiday 😉 ❤

“You don’t inspire your teammates by showing how amazing you are. You inspire them by showing how amazing they are.” – Robyn Benincase

Conscious leaders seek to make a positive impact on the world through their organization. They embed a sense of shared purpose and thus enable people to derive meaning from their work. They help people grow and evolve as individuals and as leaders in their own right. They make tough moral choices with clarity and consistency. Leadership in the third millennium must be based on the power of purpose, love, caring and compassion. Conscious leadership is fully human leadership; integrating masculine and feminine, the heart and the mind. It integrates Western systems and efficiency with Eastern wisdom and effectiveness. When businesses are led by individuals who are driven by service to people and the firm’s higher purpose – who lead through developing and inspiring others – it leads to peace and happiness in the individual, respect and solidarity in the community, and mission of accomplishment in the organization (Fred Kofman).

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Definition of success in conscious capitalism: Making a positive difference

Conscious leaders understand that instead of narrow definition of success as ‘the attainment of wealth, posit or honours’, success is about making a lasting, positive impact on the world. They have a passion for making the world a better in some significant way. They shoulder responsibility not to maintain the status quo, but to make a positive difference. They want to alleviate human suffering and help others flourish. Effective leaders do not have to force people to do things: they inspire and motivate others to commit to change voluntarily.

Embed a shared purpose

Conscious leaders continually engage their colleagues around questions of identity and purpose. They build organizations whose higher purpose becomes engrained into the DNA. This is most effectively done through story telling. People are able to effect real change only when their emotions are engaged. Stories are the most powerful way of engaging with people at an emotional level; they can cause people to think, feel and behave differently. John Gardner has found that effective leaders tell three types of stories: “Who I am”, “Who we are”, and “Where we are going

Help people evolve and grow

The human journey should be continuous growth and personal development. In addition to personal life, work provides a great opportunity for growth. Conscious leaders treat all people with respect, regardless of their rank or role. They appreciate the unique talents and gifts of each individual and play to a person’s strengths, thus putting the individual in a position to succeed and contribute to the organization. “Business grows because people grow the business and people grow in the business

Make tough moral choices

Leaders are often confronted with dilemmas in which they have to choose between courses of action that may each be right from certain perspectives. Joseph Badaracco, Harvard professor of business ethics, says that the real test of leadership comes when the choice is between right and right. In such cases, conscious leaders act in accordance with the company’s purpose and its core values to make choices that result in the most long-term value for all of the stakeholders.

For example, a tough moral choice Whole Foods faces is simultaneous commitment to sell a full selection of animal foods, and the commitment to improve health and longevity of their customers, as well as their desire to improve animal welfare. Reasearch has shown that the consumption of animal foods beyond 10% of total calories correlates closely with increases in obesity, heat disease, stroke and cancer. Whole Foods wants to simultaneously satisfy, delight and nourish their customers while also help them to be as healthy as possible. Thus, the company has made a conscious effort to solve this by first, educating their customers about the importance of eating primarily minimally processed and unrefined plant foods. Second, they continually work to upgrade the quality and welfare of the animal foods they do sell. They believe that their dual strategy of educating customers about the value of eating primarily minimally processed and unrefined plant foods, combined with improving the healthiness of the animal foods that they do sell, is a win-win approach.

Danger of charismatic leadership

Charismatic leaders tend to create organizations that are heavily dependent on them; as soon as they leave, things begin to fall apart. Conscious leaders, by contrast, seek to sense and serve the organization’s collective spirit. They lead by example, focusing on building great organizations that endure over time. All leaders, but especially highly charismatic ones, are susceptible to the trap of narcissism. The best way to fight this is to have trusted advisers such as coaches, colleagues, and friends who have an independent perspective and can give leaders straight truth they need to hear.

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.” -Albert Einstein

Beyond Analytical thinking

One of the most challenging but important ideas about management and leadership involves understanding the relationships between stakeholders. Stakeholders are often seen as separate groups, each pursuing their own interests. This type of thinking ignores the relationships stakeholders have with the business and with each other. However, business is ultimately about relationships, interconnectedness, shared purpose, and shared values that the various stakeholders of the business co-create and coevolve together.

Analytical intelligence (IQ) (dividing things up into parts and analyzing them) tends to see stakeholders as separate entities motivated primarily by self-interest therefore, being likely to have frequent conflicts that require trade-offs when those self-interests differ from each other. Leaders have difficulty seeing the big, complex picture. An additional kind of intelligence is needed; without the ability to think with holistic systems intelligence, most of what conscious capitalism is about will not make sense to people. Stakeholders should be seen as successful integration of harmony and unity.

Systems Intelligence (SYQ)

Conscious leaders tend to have high level of SYQ. They see the bigger picture and understand how different components of the system interconnect and behave over time. They anticipate the immediate as well as long-term consequences of actions. They understand the roots of problems and how the problems relate to organizational design. They create fundamental solutions instead of applying symptomatic quick fixes. Conscious leaders are also feelers; they feel the interconnectedness and oneness of the system within their being, thus, preventing many problems from occurring in the first place. This capacity is well illustrated by a story from Bian Que, a Chinese physician from 2300 years ago.

It is about three brothers, all doctors. The oldest was known for performing dramatic procedures on patients whose diseases had reached an advanced stage, and he was widely celebrated for his heroic efforts to save his patients. The middle brother was highly skilled at catching and curing diseases when they exhibited early symptoms: he was considered good for treating minor ailments and was admired only locally. The third brother had the ability to detect the earliest trace of a disease and cure it before the patient felt any symptoms at all. He was little appreciated and virtually unknown but he saved many more lives tham his more famous brothers.

The best leaders are those who prevent most problems from arising in the first place; their genius may go unrecognized and even unrewarded, but they are the most effective leaders, with keenly develop systems minds and sensibilities.

Cultivating Systems Intelligence 

Servant Leadership 

Conscious leaders are aware of the importance of service in helping their organizations realize their highest potential. They also know that helping others leads to more personal happiness. This is the secret of helpers high: we feel good when we make other people happy. It creates value for the giver and the recipient as well as for the larger community. Conscious leaders embrace transpersonal values – justice, truth, love, relief of suffering, inspiration and helping enlightenment of others – that lift them to higher levels of consciousness.

Integrity

Integrity goes beyond being honest and telling the truth; it is about authenticity, fairness, trustworthiness, moral courage. It involves doing what we believe is true to our values and the right thing to do whatever the circumstances, even when it may involve substantial personal cost. Integrity is neither common nor exceptionally common in life. Everyone should unify his or her own values and virtues and express them within the context or the larger community, including where they work. Famous historical leaders with high integrity include Socrates, Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. These leaders have inspired us with their high integrity and especially with their expression of moral courage.

Capacity for love and care 

Conscious leaders have a great capacity for love and care. Real power comes from combining intellectual abilities with their ability to care for things beyond themselves. Fear is the opposite of love. An organization suffused with fear is inherently less capable of real creativity and innovation. Fearful people are hyperalert, defensive and purely self-interested. Conscious leaders recognize how important it is to drive fear out of their organizations.

I think intelligence is pretty fucking sexy.” – Anonymous

Sources:

Conscious Capitalism, John Mackey & Raj Sisodia (2013)

“There is no more powerful source of creative energy in the world than a turned-on, empowered human being. ” – John Mackey

The text is mostly derived from this article by Cindy Wigglesworth.

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Spiritual intelligence is critical for personal growth and authentic leadership. The community, family, global and business leaders of the future will be those who are quickest to recognize this fact and begin to measure and cultivate the skills of spiritual intelligence in themselves and their organisations. Who are your spiritual heroes – those people you would think of as exemplary human beings? What characteristics do you admire in them? We tend to admire people who have high integrity and are courageous, loving, calm, visionary, selfless, inspiring and making a difference. Think about this for yourself. Make your own list of those you consider to be especially noble, and why. This is a great starting point for becoming an exemplar yourself. Spiritual intelligence is an essential component of both personal and professional development as we access the voice of our higher self and let it drive our lives.

There is an undeniable connection between the personal and the professional, between the inner life of the self and the outer world of effectiveness and impact. Your personal development changes you. Further, who you are ultimately determines how you lead. We are all leaders and role models regardless of our jobs, to everyone we interact with. Deep, authentic leadership requires that we lead ourselves first. We do the spiritual weightlifting to develop a deep inner self-awareness and compassion for the world around us. We build the multiple intelligences we need: mental intelligence (IQ) and the related technical skills; emotional intelligence (EQ); physical intelligence (PQ), or good body management; and spiritual intelligence (SQ).

Mental intelligence is mathematical and verbal skills. EQ is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions and use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. Physical intelligence is a foundational skill we all practice every day: put very simply, when we don’t take care of our bodies, everything else suffers. PQ can be defined as “body awareness and skillful use” A simple example of poor PQ is allowing yourself to be continually sleep-deprived. Mental, emotional, and spiritual functioning diminishes along with stamina and health.

Spiritual intelligence can be defined as the ability to behave with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the situation. SQ development is about moving from immature ego-driven behaviours to more mature higher self-driven behaviors. How do we do that? We develop the ability to hear the voice of our higher self, to understand and transcend the voice of our ego, and to be guided by deep wisdom and compassion. IQ and EQ support us as we develop the skillful means to deploy our noblest intention. The ego matures and nuanced forms of more effective leadership develop. With more SQ comes less drama and more impact.

Here’s one quick tip you can practice right away: Learn to be quiet. In the stillness you can observe deeply. Notice when your body and mind are feeling nervous. Hear the voice of your ego and its fears. Love your ego – it is valuable. But know that it is also a drama queen. It needs guidance and balance. Hold your noble heroes in mind and ask your higher self for guidance. What is the wise and compassionate action to take today in this situation? What is in the highest and best interest of all players — including me, my co-workers, friends, family, company, society, and the planet? From this quiet place, you can act with SQ.

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The more you trust your intuition, the more empowered you become, the stronger you become, and the happier you become.” – Gisele Bundchen, whom I personally think as one of my spiritual heroes. This lady has got intelligence on multiple levels.

Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.

“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”

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Spiritual Intelligence

Spiritual Intelligence is the intelligence with which we access our deepest meanings, values, purposes and higher motivations. It is the intelligence with which we exercise goodness, truth, beauty and compassion in our lives. It helps us to discover our own personal higher purposes in our work and our lives. Conscious leaders have ability to help align their organizations with their higher purposes.

Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks, serves as a great example of high spiritual intelligence. Starbucks went through difficult time in 2008 when its business declined. It had 600 underperforming stores, having to eliminate 12 000 jobs and take a $340 million asset write-off for the closed stores. Schultz believed that Starbucks had moved away from its higher purpose and had gotten off track by just chasing after growth and financial returns. This happened over several years after he had stepped down as the CEO. He decided to return to Starbucks as the CEO to reconnect the company to its core purpose. “It was time to return to the intimacy of communicating directly with our people.” After Schultz returned and recommitted Starbucks to its core purpose and its sense of authenticity, the company experienced an extreme increase in turnaround; same-store sales accelerated from negative to 6% in fiscal 2009 to positive 8% in 2011, net profits more than tripled and the value of the stock increased from about $7 to more than $50 over three years. Note: After brief glimpse to Starbuck’s stock price in NASDAQ, I see that the company indeed has been steadily increasing it’s share price during the past 5 years despite the challenging economic times.

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Danah Zohar defined 12 principles underlying spiritual intelligence:

  • Self-awareness: Knowing what I believe in and value, and what deeply motivates me
  • Spontaneity: Living in and being responsive to the moment
  • Being vision- and value-led: Acting from principles and deep beliefs, and living accordingly
  • Holism: Seeing larger patterns, relationships, and connections; having a sense of belonging
  • Compassion: Having the quality of “feeling-with” and deep empathy
  • Celebration of diversity: Valuing other people for their differences, not despite them
  • Field independence: Standing against the crowd and having one’s own convictions
  • Humility: Having the sense of being a player in a larger drama, of one’s true place in the world
  • Tendency to ask fundamental “Why?” questions: Needing to understand things and get to the bottom of them
  • Ability to reframe: Standing back from a situation or problem and seeing the bigger picture or wider context
  • Positive use of adversity: Learning and growing from mistakes, setbacks, and suffering
  • Sense of vocation: Feeling called upon to serve, to give something back

Personally, I couldn’t agree more with these spiritual leadership gurus John Mackey and Danah Zohar. A leader is able to live by and align his/her personal values and higher purpose with the organization’s higher purpose and values for effective leadership.  We humans have so much creativity and passion if we just take the time to listen to our inner guide. Once we discover our purpose, life becomes meaningful on a new level. Once we start fulfilling our higher purpose, our days suddenly become filled with passion, joy excitement and constant flow of discovering more about the beautiful world and other creatures in it.

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Sources:

Conscious Capitalism, John Mackey & Raj Sisodia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_intelligence

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cindy-wigglesworth/spiritual-intelligence_b_1752145.html

“My spirit is scenic. I encourage you to take the long way when getting to know me.”

I noticed something. Before I shared my photo diaries through photos posted to instagram, now they’re mainly from my snapchat feed. Things (social media channels) clearly change 😉

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The other weekend we decided to escape the city for a night to enjoy the countryside. We headed to Henni’s country home and enjoyed some good girl talk, catching up and the peace and quiet and a raclette dinner. What miracles can just one totally relaxed 24 hours do to your mind. We felt so re-energized the next day.

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Hanging out with my favourite building in Helsinki. Enjoying some mama -time along with the best North African lunch in town at Sandro.

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Bought some roses for my favourite girls and myself. Because we’re worth it 😉

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Great kind of Satur-day.

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Best kind of Saturday night. Date night with my wifey at Pastor.

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Sunday activities: Wedding handcrafting with the bride-to-be and her maid of honours.

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Jenna and I are not afraid to try new sports. It has kind of become our hobby. Pole dancing was so much fun and what a workout!! Talk about a full body workout.

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My new addiction. Luckily not-so-fatal one 😉

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Though my spontaneous and easily bored-getting soul often craves traveling, life back home can be adventurous and exciting too. Simple things can have huge impact. For me it is trying new sports, yoga, meaningful work, being an occasional social buttefly, going out to nature, me-time, deep conversations, reading and studying about my interests, flirting with everything and everyone beautiful around me, is what keeps me feel alive and inspired. Changing routines. Stopping every once in a while to reflect what I’ve experienced and learned. Keeping the energy flowing.

xxx,

S