New Eyes

Seeing is Leading: The Hidden Dimension of Leadership Excellence

“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
– Marcel Proust

The Inward Journey of Self-Discovery

We live in a world obsessed with leadership as an outward journey in constant pursuit of new strategies, skills, and accomplishments. We set ambitious goals, devour self-help books, and attend countless seminars.

Many of us also pay an inordinate amount of attention to leadership posts on social media, all in the hopes of transforming ourselves into better leaders.

  • But what if we’ve been chasing the wrong thing?
  • What if the real voyage of leadership is not about seeking new landscapes, but about seeing with new eyes?

As Proust suggests, true discovery lies not in external striving, but in internal transformation. It’s not about doing more, but about seeing differently. And that’s where real leadership begins.

Proust’s quote, “The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes,” encapsulates the idea that genuine growth and understanding come from a change in perspective rather than a change in external circumstances.

His words invite us to challenge our perceptions, embrace curiosity, and embark on a profound journey of self-discovery to find new meaning and depth in our everyday experiences.

When Joseph Jaworski, author of Synchronicity, first introduced this idea to me in 2014, I struggled to grasp its significance. Seeing? That puzzled me. I thought I saw well, knew reality. Like others encountering this idea for the first time, I wondered, “What more is there?” I had things to learn.

As I’ve deepened my understanding of this profound wisdom over the years, I’ve come to recognize its transformative power. Through this article, I hope to inspire you to embark on your own exploration of this concept and discover how it can revolutionize your approach to leadership and personal growth.

Seeing Reality as It Truly Is

As Joseph Jaworski writes in Synchronicity, “If we could only see reality more as it is, it would become obvious what we need to do.” This simple yet profound statement challenges our conventional notions of what it means to grow and succeed as leaders.

When I first encountered this idea over a decade ago, it made little sense to me. It may not resonate with you either.

But now I see the truth in it. It’s a truth that cuts deep.

When we’re caught up in the cycle of constant self-evaluation and improvement, we often miss the deeper wisdom that emerges from simply being present with what is. We become so focused on fixing our perceived flaws and limitations that we lose sight of the our natural leadership qualities that are already within us.

This is the paradox of leadership: the more we strive to become better leaders, the more we may actually obscure our true leadership potential.

Real leadership is not something we can achieve through effort and willpower alone. It’s a natural expression of who we are in essence when we let go of the need to constantly change and improve ourselves.

As we cultivate the capacity to access our deeper inner knowing, we open the gateway to a wellspring of wisdom, humanity, and creative insight that naturally flows into all aspects of our lives and leadership.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we should abandon all efforts at self-improvement or learning. But it does suggest a shift in perspective from seeing leadership as something we need to constantly work on, to seeing it as something we need to allow to naturally emerge.

By learning to see with the eyes of deep awareness, we discover that the leadership we’ve been looking for has been within us all along. Or as I like to say, “The leadership you are looking for is as rare as the dodo bird. The leader you are looking for is you!”

By letting go of the need to constantly fix and improve ourselves, we create space for our inner wisdom and authentic leadership to emerge.

In a world that often rewards speed, stimulation, and surface-level achievement, this is a radical invitation. We need to slow down, look deeper, and trust in the transformative power of presence and awareness.

For it’s in this space beyond striving that we connect with what truly matters, and begin to live and lead not from noise in our mind, but from depth.

Closing Questions

Through this article, I hope I have inspired you to embark on your own exploration of this concept and discover how it can revolutionize your approach to leadership and personal growth.

Ask yourself:

  • How can I cultivate new eyes and a fresh perspective in my leadership journey?
  • What inner transformations do I need to undergo to become a more effective and authentic leader?

By embracing the wisdom of Proust and Jaworski, we can unlock the true potential of leadership and embark on a voyage of self-discovery that will transform not only ourselves but also those we lead.

Embark on a Transformative Leadership Odyssey

Ready to transcend the usual in leadership and the workplace? Join our transformative odyssey where conversations deepen and leadership evolves.

Our workshops invite you to see with new eyes. Through powerful principles and guided exploration, you’ll look beyond conventional boundaries, access deeper awareness, and uncover your authentic leader.

To your forward-thinking life & great success!

— Bill

Bill Fox, Founder, LeaderONE

Pioneering Leadership from Within | Unlocking Human and Organizational Potential