Aspirational Leadership: a corporate responsibility

High turnover is not a symptom of whole-self leadership, it is a symptom of no-self leadership.

Corporate cultures break down when a sense of self-identity, purpose or fulfillment is compromised.

A retention challenge, aspirational voids entice leaders to leave careers in search of something 'more fulfilling' that satisfies the aspects of their self that aren't whollyexpressed.

Left unaddressed, the cycle proves inefficient for companies and for their talent pools.

Reward and benefit schemes aimed at investment in the aspirational self capitalize on human potential ... inspiring contribution, transforming cultures and retaining talent.


An investment in the whole-self is not just an investment in the aspect of the self that makes sense to a company, but also in the aspects of the self that make sense to the individual ... and their personally defined sense of wholeness.

We fear that investing in leadership fulfillment will result in turnover rather than turnaround.

If we invite our leaders to examine ideas like aspiration, fulfillment and personal legacy, we fear we are inviting workforce instability rather than inspired growth and expansion.

When we do not invest in the "appreciation" of our assets, we depreciate our assets.  

It serves no one to discount our human capital by investing in part rather than the whole of our talent's skills, interests and acumen ... or by encouraging them to do so. Besides, as shareholders of the companies for which we work, it also our responsibility to contributerather than withhold our own inspired contributions ... and deliver inspired results.

It is a leadership responsibility to inspire. Therefore it is a leadership responsibility to be inspired.

Inspiration and fulfillment can be invested in, but cannot be instilled in a leader. They can be coached out of us, but not imposed on us. Offsites lead by mountain climbers inspiring us to reach our goals will rarely translate into sustainable action … because what inspires us is personal to us. 

Talent development requires a personal investment in what personallyinspires your talent.