Why Do We Need New Leadership? with Marc Beretta

Why Do We Need New Leadership?

By Guest Contributor Marc Beretta
Author of Leadership Landmarks, Marc Beretta, reveals why we need a new kind of leadership and what it should be like.

Because something is not right…

Not right in the way most of organizations work. Just look around you. Ask your friends. What do they think? How do they feel?

We’ve got what I call ‘overleadership’ – that shows power and excessive authority, draining all kind of resources, including the human ones. Needless to say, that sounds fake and have negative impact on people’s motivation; no one is fooled. This kind of leadership promotes the egos of their leaders.

On the other side, we’ve got ‘deficient-leadership’ – that lacks clear direction and promotes consensus to run away from responsibilities. A kind of leadership that lacks assertiveness. People are nice, of goodwill. This kind of leadership promotes consensus at all price.

In the middle of these two extremes, a new leadership emerges. This new leadership may be called the middle-way leadership© as it is kinder, more respectful and relevant to today’s environment. It embraces the Mindful Leader Coach Approach. It is a message of hope and peace for all – individuals, teams and organizations.

Beretta’s Mindful Leader-Coach Approach

The middle-way leadership© embodies human skills, empathy, compassion for others but also for self, alignment with life purposes and key values, but also business performance and team efficiency. A leadership that gets the new generation on board.

As you can see, leadership, coaching and mindfulness have two things in common. The first is the who, which relates to how we deal with people and pursue the best version of ourselves. The second is the why: we want our lives to be meaningful and inspiring, we do our best to lead by example, and we can (sometimes) see the light shining in the darkness of the night. The who helps us feel grounded and the why inspires us. Both are at the heart of all three – leadership, coaching and mindfulness.

Leadership can bring energy, vision, clarity, freshness and new perspectives to coaching and mindfulness. Leadership challenges the status quo, makes things happen, models the environment, creates the conditions for success and, thereby, gets people moving. Leadership shows where we’re going.

Mindfulness can bring peace, intention, attention, and the right attitude to leadership and coaching. In short, mindfulness brings the how. Our leadership and coaching are improved when we work on our conditioning and biases, when we live in the moment and are (almost) completely present with other people, and when we have a steady mind. Mindfulness can be our life-long friend.

Coaching can bring the what to leadership and mindfulness. What do we do in coaching? We listen actively, we create awareness by asking people powerful questions, we highlight blind spots people can’t see, we help people think differently, and we make people autonomous so they aren’t dependent on their coaches. Coaching should not last too long if we want it to be effective and promote autonomy

Now, what if coaching, leadership or mindfulness were missing?

  • Self-compassion (intersection A) is lacking when we coach or lead without mindfulness. Self-compassion has a positive impact on oneself and others
  • Empowerment (intersection B) is lacking when we lead in a mindful way without embodying the coaching attitude. The Pygmalion effect suggests that a coach’s expectations of the coachee will dictate the coachee’s level of success. As such, coaches should always see champions in their coachees with a lot of potential
  • Direction (intersection C) is lacking when we have a mindful coaching attitude without leadership. People must understand where they are going – or at least have a broad vision of ‘what’s next’ – even if we know that this may change over time.

As we all carry within us a part of humanity, combining the three topics can be inspiring for all of us and can, I’m sure, help us make the world a better place and enjoy the moment. It is also an opportunity to unlock our leadership and coaching potential.

As another quote widely attributed to Rumi says, “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”

Are you ready to embody the mindful leader-coach approach?


Marc Beretta is Academic Director for Executive Programs and an Affiliate Professor at HEC Paris. He also teaches at Trium Global Executive MBA. He has been coaching and developing executives for over 20 years and is CEO and Founder of Inis Alga, a leadership development consultancy, and Anailis, a coaching school. He lives in Paris.

Suggested Reading

Based on 20 years of coaching top executives, this book takes you behind the scenes of effective leadership and personal development. Far from being just a confessional list of vulnerabilities, the book will give you access to the secrets of great leaders in overcoming obstacles, staying healthy, promoting agility and autonomy, being eco-friendly, being demanding and fair, and developing kindness and empathy. In such uncertain times, this inspiring and enlightening book is a guide to helping leaders and managers develop resources, awareness, self-confidence and skills –the key landmarks –for a new style of leadership, one that is kinder, more respectful and relevant to today’s environment.

More information