+61 (0)419 866 427 mike@mikeschwarzer.com

Emerging Insights, 6 February 2023


In the intricate dance of today’s digital era, the wisdom in Seng-ts’an’s quote isn’t just a platitude; it’s a game-changer for leaders navigating the complex terrain. Picture it as your secret weapon, transcending the ego mind’s consciousness.

In a world drowning in thought, the ability to let go of the constant search for truth and, instead, release the grip on cherished opinions is a superpower. It’s like swapping a heavy backpack for wings in the leadership journey.

It holds the key to unlocking a leader’s ability to see with clarity and tap into the profound resourcefulness of their deeper nature.



The following excerpt from Chapter 13 of ‘VANTAGE POINT: cutting through the bullsh*t of a complex world’ explores this notion further and how it underpins the Art & Skill of Inside-Out Leadership.

The Premise of the Art and Skill of Inside-Out Leadership

“Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish opinions.” Seng-ts’an

The above quote by the third patriarch of Zen, Seng-ts’an from the book Hsin-Hsin Ming, offers us a profound philosophy in accessing an art that is foreign to most people in the Western world …

… an ‘absence of opinion on our thoughts’, personal opinions, assumptions, ideas, beliefs, what we hold to be true or not true.

It is not about being thought-free, but it is being free from judgment and any emotional attachment to a made-up truth about our perception of life ‘out there’ in the world, courtesy of our ego mind.

When we cherish something as real and true, we attach a value to it, and our ego is driven to defend, argue, and even fight for it.

That is outside-in thinking and mistaking the ‘map for the territory’. It can cloud our judgment as we act on misunderstandings and tainted thinking and get us trapped in a cycle of distractive noise and illusion.

However, when we recognise the fleeting nature of our thoughts and take them less seriously, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities and being receptive to new ideas, fresh perspectives, and deeper insights.

The more we can take on the role of an observer of thought and opinion, the less we are a judger of them.

That transforms our grounding, our mindset, our clarity of thought, our energy, and our connection and relationship with others, the world, and our universal wisdom.

The essence of this philosophy underpins the ‘Art and Skill of Inside-Out Leadership’. It allows us to cut through the bullsh*t of a complex world with the VANTAGE POINT of a quiet mind and see the forest for the trees.

Closing Thought and Invitation:

Now, here’s a thought and an invitation: none of us is immune to the blind spots of our perceived truth. The magic lies in being aware of that truth and holding it lightly. In that space, we find the opportunity to see afresh, connect deeper, and navigate the complex dance of leadership with a touch of grace.

From this awareness, as you engage with others, problems, challenges, or situations, just sit with them, observe, and see what is coming through – perhaps a fresh thought, insight, or a deeper understanding.

It’s in these moments of mindful observation that the true essence of Inside-Out Leadership unfolds, allowing you to see through the mist, cut through the complexity, and see the forest for the trees.

Safe travels on your leadership journey!

With gratitude



P.S. Ready to liberate your leadership potential and soar beyond the confines of cherished opinions? Dive into the transformative wisdom of VANTAGE POINT, where the key is not in seeking truth but in letting go of opinions. Grab your copy now and embark on a journey of profound leadership evolution.

“Mike Schwarzer’s book, ‘VANTAGE POINT: cutting through the bullsh*t of a complex world,’ serves as both the torch and compass that illuminate the way and guide us as we step into uncharted territory, embark on new explorations, and pioneer innovative paths.
Gabriella Sprott, Director & Co-Founder @ ShowMe Exchange, Australia


VANTAGE POINT’s essence lies in preparing leaders for the unfolding challenges and future developments, not just in the realm of AI, but also in all the contributing factors that shape our complex world. It’s about elevating human consciousness, transcending the limitations of our ego-minds, and giving us hope to make our world a better place.


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About Mike Schwarzer

Mike is a Transformation Professional and Learning Leader who is passionate about helping leaders and organisations to solve the problems that they have not been able to solve elsewhere.

He works with the underlying mental, behavioural and deeper innate dynamics that drive people’s and organisations’ thinking and actions. He creates and holds the space where they learn how to tap into their inner and outer capabilities in transformational ways and lift their perceptual abilities to see their world, its problems and emerging solutions with fresh eyes.

At the organisational level, Mike’s approach challenges the status quo and hierarchical thinking. He takes you into the world of living ‘open & adaptive’ systems and their self-organising nature. From there you will be able to create a workplace culture that naturally draws from the collective wisdom of all its people and that is highly adaptable to the changing winds of a complex world.

For more information about Mike visit www.mikeschwarzer.com.