Buildings Unbounded

Hacking the System to Forge Unbounded Success in the 21st Century

You can never awaken using the same system that put you to sleep in the first place.
— G. I. Gurdjieff

One of the most important insights available to us on the inner leader journey is captured powerfully in this profound quote from G. I. Gurdjieff. “You can never awaken using the same system that put you to sleep in the first place.”

As I alluded to in my article, ‘The 21st Team Member Is a Leader of One: Themselves‘ published in the Cutter Amplify journal, “The real problem isn’t our tumultuous world, rapid change, and a global pandemic.”

“The real problem is that we’re accustomed to living and working based on Industrial Age thinking and practices. When everything is changing so quickly, things like command-and-control leadership, managing change, best practices, working harder, or even working smarter are no longer enough. Worse, they keep us stuck in the past.”

“We have been unknowingly programmed by our parents, schools, society, and the media on how to think, live, and work in a world that no longer exists. Today’s ever-changing world requires us to enter into a quest to transform ourselves and learn new ways of living and working together that elevate everyone.”

More than 40 years ago, Dee Hock, Visa’s founder and former CEO, warned us of the enormity of the problem. “Deep in most of us, below our awareness, implanted by three centuries of the industrial age, is the mechanistic, separatist, cause-and-effect, command-and-control, machine model of reality.” 

The journey to seeing reality more as it truly exists and to self-leadership is not just a path. It’s a necessity for those who want to thrive in a complex world. The 21st-century team member must evolve beyond old roles. They must become a leader of one: themselves.

By embracing the role of an inner leader, we recognize that we have the power and duty to lead ourselves. We must become more adept at leading from within, leveraging our awareness, collective intelligence, and creative potential to navigate the complexities of our world. 

This self-leadership is the cornerstone of effectiveness in the 21st century, enabling us to transform challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation.

Moreover, the journey of self-leadership is linked to our collective ability to create a more equitable, sustainable, and thriving world. By leading ourselves, we set the foundation for leading others in an inclusive, empathetic, and visionary manner.

The 21st-century leader is, therefore, not just a leader of one, but a leader for many. They understand that their transformation is a catalyst for collective change, inspiring others to embark on their journey of self-discovery and growth.

The call to awaken our inner leader is more than an invitation; it is imperative for survival and success in this era of perpetual change. By heeding Gurdjieff’s wisdom, we can dismantle the old systems that have constrained us, forging new paths that lead to personal fulfillment and collective well-being.

The 21st-century team member, a leader of one, embodies the courage, creativity, and compassion needed to navigate the challenges of our time, transforming them into opportunities for all.

Your thoughts are more than welcome. 

To your forward-thinking life & great success!

— Bill


Bill Fox, Founder, LeaderONE

Pioneering Leadership from Within | Unlocking Human and Organizational Potential

Never Awaken Same System