Life has this uncanny way of throwing huge challenges at us that sometimes seem impossible to overcome. Adversity is just a natural part of being human and comes in all shapes and forms. It could be personal struggles, setbacks in our careers, or even issues in society. It’s like adversity has the power to completely cloud our lives and make us feel lost, defeated, and alone. But here’s the thing: some of the most incredible leaders actually rise up from the ashes of adversity.
From the depths of adversity to the pinnacle of inspiration, Dion Jensen’s life journey is nothing short of remarkable. With experience in the military, police, and close protection, he has learned how to lead and excel in challenging situations. But it’s not just courage that he has gained from his experiences; he has also developed a deep sense of compassion.
Dion’s passion for making the world a better place led him to write two books on Mental Health that have been endorsed by professionals in the field. These books provide valuable insights into healing and resilience. His philosophy of ‘Make Peace With The Mirror’ has touched the lives of many people across different industries and global initiatives.
As a Human Strategist, he stands out as a leader who doesn’t just talk about theories; he brings real-world wisdom to the table. Understanding the language of frontline workers, operations managers, and company owners, his strategic solutions are grounded in practical experience, bridging the gap between theory and practice.
As a Founder and CEO of The Lion Academy, Dion’s impact goes beyond his writing. As a Social Media Influencer, he reaches millions of people with his messages of hope and motivation. He offers a three-pronged approach to enhance engagement, productivity, and overall impact.
What sets him apart is his ability to make people feel valued. Whether he’s in a corporate boardroom or a local community, his mission remains the same: to inspire, uplift, and empower. His dedication to making a positive impact on humanity is evident in his work with troubled youth and survivors of domestic violence. His commitment is unrelenting, and his influence is felt far and wide.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Pioneers in PTSD and Thought Leadership
Dion and the team are seasoned leaders with backgrounds in the Military, Law Enforcement, and Emergency Services. The Lion Academy has authored the world’s first clinically endorsed book on PTSD, specifically highlighting the positive aspects. Initially, their expertise primarily revolved around Mental Health, Trauma, and Leadership. Their approach involved challenging conventional norms while offering innovative solutions that were previously nonexistent. This ability to provide unique solutions is what established their credibility as Thought Leaders.
He further states, “We were then headhunted into corporate to solve their issues of engagement, productivity, and revenue using the same strategy.”
A Mission Born of Necessity
When asked about his inspiration and the impact he hopes to make as a thought leader, Dion shared that it was driven by necessity. The dire situation of his own people, with instances of self-destruction and the aftermath of trauma and suicide, compelled him to take action. In his own words, he emphasized, saying, “I had to create these solutions because lives were literally on the line.”
Adapting to a Transformative World
In a discussion about his literary works and insights into recent trends within his field, he shed light on his latest publication, “The Psychosocial Evolution of Leadership.” This book, according to him, signifies a momentous paradigm shift in comprehending the intricate interplay of social, emotional, and technological dynamics that are currently reshaping our world.
Dion passionately articulated how effective leadership today hinges upon an individual’s grasp of the prevailing levels of trauma and transformation that characterize our global landscape. He underscored the far-reaching consequences of a multitude of factors, including the repercussions of lockdowns, the disruptive potential of artificial intelligence, the urgency of ensuring food security, the challenges posed by climate change, the complexities of gender dynamics, the nuances of digital and identity conflicts, and even actual conflicts like the situation between Russia and Ukraine.
Leading the Tribe
Being successful in this competitive world requires staying one step ahead of the competition. In order to maintain his position, Dion, a thought leader in his field, emphasizes the significance of constantly talking about the most recent innovations and concepts.
He leads that space and adopts a proactive stance by concentrating on the requirements of his tribe. Dion carefully monitors and listens to the conversations taking place on LinkedIn and in the business world to make sure he is informed. To find any discrepancies between perception and reality, he also compares this data with the Facebook narrative. This enables him to comprehend the language and story that are influencing his followers, who total over 7,000 people worldwide.
Formula for Success
Dion emphasized the importance of maintaining authenticity and originality in their insights while also being adaptable to changes. According to him, The Lion Academy has the ability to create its own content, products, and services, positioning itself as a leader in their market. It prides itself on offering authentic and original content, setting it apart from others. Additionally, their VRIO assessment is highly robust.
Challenges are the circumstances that prepare you for greatness, and while having a discussion regarding this, Dion said, “The air that you breathe is a leadership concept I teach my people. No matter how good we are at what we do, the air that you breathe (the environment that you are in) will always have the greatest influence on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.”
Dion emphasized that their #Crisisleadership modality on LinkedIn (www.crisisleadership.co.nz) became the number one trending leadership resource on LinkedIn in the world during the pandemic. Despite the challenge of educating individuals who were in a state of heightened fear, they successfully overcame this obstacle. He explained that they approached the situation by presenting a calm and relaxed demeanor and providing information in manageable stages. The Lion Academy also adapted its delivery and communication style to the language used on social media platforms, as this was the primary mode of communication for most people. By doing so, they ensured that their content was easily digestible. Although the medium of communication changed, the effectiveness of its content remained the same.
Approach to Integrity and Discourse
As a Samoan, The Lion Academy is accustomed to engaging in talanoa, a traditional practice of gathering individuals to discuss and address issues, similar to the Maori hui or wananga. Dion has established certain qualifying criteria, referred to as MCR (Motive, Competency, and Results), which he imparts to his students. The assessment process begins with evaluating motive, followed by competency and results. All three elements must be present before any discussion can take place. By engaging with leaders who possess this level of integrity, solutions can be reached swiftly and effortlessly, as they do not entertain unnecessary distractions.
Insights for Aspiring Influential Voice
While advising aspiring individuals, Dion says, “Understand the power of the number ONE. The number one is a concept I teach my people. You are only ever speaking to ONE person. The ONE person who needs to hear your message. And the ONE person you should always be talking to is YOU. You are speaking to you, in the past.”
He emphasized the importance of understanding one’s own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors when communicating with oneself in different time periods. By reflecting on personal experiences and identifying individuals who are currently at a similar stage of the journey, one can offer guidance and support to help them reach the same level of growth and development. He further says, “And this all begins and ends when you can do one thing: Make Peace With The Mirror. “If there is no enemy within, then the enemy without can do us no harm. And it all starts when you can Make Peace With The Mirror. (My speech, this decade’s first Goalcast Speech with over 2 million views, was this teaching.)”
But “Talk Is Cheap.” There is a process that translates thoughts into communication, action, and results. Dion embarked on a professional journey, starting as a trainer and later evolving into a renowned global speaker. Eventually, he established The Lion Academy, the world’s pioneering solutions academy, which embraces the unique approach of imparting knowledge known as the Pacific Way.
At this institution, individuals can fearlessly have their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors challenged and honed. They can then commit to an actionable process that propels them forward and empowers them to overcome their present challenges. This exceptional philosophy is the secret behind The Lion Academy’s success. As Effective Thought Leaders, they not only provide valuable insights but also offer practical solutions to help individuals achieve their desired outcomes. The services provided cater to a diverse range of organizations, including commercial, corporate, government, and community entities worldwide.
Dion expressed this by saying, “He aha te mea nui? Māku e kii atu, he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata. What is the most important thing in the world? Well, let me tell you, it is people; it is people; it is people.”
Ultimately, The Lion Academy strongly believes that it is all about the people, as emphasized in the cultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand.