The Nomadic Mindset
Your Future is Now
The Nomadic Mindset
Your Future is Now
The Nomadic Mindset
It is a seed of a calling and time for change…change is necessary for new creation…realising this is okay, and a little uncertainty is okay…change is natural, the only constant…think of it as an opportunity.
–Dr. Sheila Patel, Medical Director, Mind-Body Medical Group at the Chopra Center,
January 2018, Tighmert, Morocco
Movement = The Mind
Change = Nomad
Freedom from Boundaries = The Nomadic Mindset
One chilly January evening at the Maison d’hôtes Nomades in Tighmert, Morocco, my photographer and I sit on the floor at a low table with a young couple from the Netherlands as we share a simple dinner of camel couscous. The room is made warm and welcoming with beautifully coloured woven carpets and pillows and yellow walls adorned with nomadic art. We talk a while, sharing stories about what we experienced in the Sahara with the nomads. The young lady says to me, “After experiencing some life with the nomads, I feel we have lost the plot on so many levels of humanity, and they seem to have it figured out.” My eyes light up and a smile covers my face. She was referring to the ancient nomadic wisdom, their qualities and mindset. Though I was fully immersed in researching The Nomadic Mindset then, this was an affirmation I was on the right track.
Leadership Problem: We Have Lost the Plot
Usually, a book starts with a desire to solve a problem, create a hero’s journey, or offer new awareness on a subject or direction. This book is no different.
With the plethora of leadership books out there, the world doesn’t need another leadership book that shares the five or seven or ten steps to successful leadership. As Dr. Patel says, “change is necessary for new creation.”
Leadership needs a serious Rethink. I believe, as do many of my colleagues in the coaching, consulting, and speaking world, that leaders are searching for something else: a fresh leadership path or framework, a different lens to see, hear, and understand things with. Why? Because something is just not working today as we enter the fast-paced, ever-changing world of Industry 4.0. What may have worked a hundred years ago, or even ten years ago, does not reflect the changing environment in organisations, politics, markets, or cultures today. A quest now exists for new answers to old problems. As Einstein so astutely said,
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Hence, we need new mindsets today that are interconnected and aligned to values, purpose, and vision, with a focus on sustainable systems for this rapidly changing and somewhat “congested-thinking” world.
You might have noticed the world, in general, has become overwhelmingly narrow in mindset, thinking patterns, and actions. There is a growing nationalist mindset around the world, and organisations are having difficulties handling the impending disruptions, changes, and technology. Some say we are migrating towards a precipice, especially when you consider climate change, individual behavioural changes, fake news, social and organisational culture shifts, and the rapid decline in biodiversity. Who knows? Perhaps we are.
In many ways, as the young lady from the Netherlands said, “we have lost the plot”! Have we?
A Leadership Answer
How can “we get back on plot”? One answer is to migrate to expansion. This takes a Leadership Rethink.
In this book, I propose a new path forwards. This is not your typical leadership book, rather, more of a back-to-the-future exploration. By revealing the ancient wisdom of nomads who have sustained themselves for centuries through ongoing disruption, these disruptions can be considered as seeds of a calling to some leadership answers for Industry 4.0. This, in itself, stimulates a growing awareness within and presents you with an opportunity to rethink your leadership style, behaviours, and qualities.
The Nomadic Mindset is a fresh, expansive-looking leadership framework path for disruptive and rapidly changing times. It is about achieving a balance between inward, narrow-focused thinking and outward, expansive thinking. Experience the fluidity of nature that dances back and forth between narrow and expansive states of being. This awareness and fluidity can get you back on track as you adapt and migrate towards leading a more holistic and sustainable organisational culture in the contemporary world. This starts with you, the leader.
Those seeds of a calling led me to exploring the nomadic mindset. Over the course of one year, I set off to discover, not just new territories, but different mindsets—primarily the nomadic mindset. Along the way, I discovered some extra golden nuggets, the builder and settler mindsets. They are also very important as all three mindsets exist inside us all.
My experiences with Mongolian nomads, the Maasai in Kenya, and the nomads and Berbers in Southern Morocco, plus conversations with executives from startups to multinational organisations, have shaped the theme and mapping of this book. They have helped define the nomadic qualities you will find live within you, your organisation, and the whole human race. These valuable insights will have enormous significance for your organisational culture, sustainability, and leadership.
You Will Discover…
You may think, from the title of this book, I am referring to wandering the world discovering new territories, working nomadically in different global locations, or learning how to work in or discover other countries. Not quite (Well, maybe a bit…).
My focus for this book is centered on what Batgerel Bat, Head of Secretariat for Mongolian National Branding Council, in Mongolia told me. She said, “People think nomad means physical movement from place to place to find new and better pastures to graze. No, nomad means the movement of the mind.”
The nomad of the mind is a metaphor for moving from one idea to another, one conversation to another, one negotiation to another, one innovation to another. The nomad is the movement or migration from place to place in the mind to discover new and better, greener pastures that enrich us, which leads to new growth and prosperity.
You will discover the qualities associated with the nomadic mindset through stories and metaphors. The colourful nomadic rituals and practices, rich cultures, and vast experiences can enrich and awaken your mindset so you see, hear, and understand not only your leadership style and process, but your organisation, your employees, your organisational culture, and the external world.
Migrate to Expansion
On your journey of discovery, you only need to have the capacity and desire to open your eyes, mind, and heart. This will encourage you to migrate to expansion, which is the opposite of narrowness. Awareness expands you. This, I would assume, is how you became a leader.
Expansion is the underlying breadth of the nomadic mindset; migration is the movement towards the nomadic mindset. You can better understand expansion and migration with the poetic mantra of Binderiya, a student at the National University of Mongolia:
Think Vastly; Act Narrowly
Think = Mindset
Vastly = Expansion
Act = Migration
Narrowly = Focus
One way of looking at this is the way Karoli Hindriks of Jobbatical in Estonia, who provides jobs and visas for digital nomads, does, I think what the world needs, as we are sitting with our different mindsets, is to really know how to talk to each other, and I think this is the biggest problem in the world right now. So, if we can somehow bridge that gap to see each other’s different viewpoints, that would be really powerful.
- Are you ready to expand yourself and migrate to different viewpoints on leadership and mindset?
- Are you ready to unleash the nomad in you?