Cyrille Kozyreff on Energy Management and Positive Psychology to Power Up One’s Leadership

This article is a lightly-edited summary of the key takeaways from our speakers’ appearance on our podcast, The Shape of Work. If you haven’t listened to our show yet, be sure to check it out here. These speakers have an incredible stable of startup experiences to draw from, the kind of stories that are unbelievably helpful for HR/people managers to hear.

It’s not every day you get a lesson on both neuroscience and positive psychology all in a single conversation.

On the episode of The Shape of Work podcast, we’ve had Cyrille Kozyreff share his valuable inputs regarding leadership development which most organizations are unaware of. In addition to a variety of insightful tidbits on energy vs time management, he also shares some effective ways to handle a remote team.

Having worked as an Engineer for 10 years, Cyrille started his career at Mckinsey, Paris in 2007 and went to India in 2011 for a project and never went back since. He has worked with McKinsey for four years, post which he built an online fashion startup for a year. Currently, he has been setting up and growing Potentialife’s India office.


Name of the guest: Cyrille Kozyreff

What he does: Vice President and Country Head, India at Potentialife

Find him on LinkedIn.

Get Smart:  “We all want to have habits that make us care better about ourselves, take better care of others. We all want to change our habits so that we can manifest our full potential as well. We all want to create habits so that we can master our emotions better. We all know we have some shadow part of our emotions that we all are ready to act upon. Let’s celebrate that. Let’s get everyone started on their respective growth agenda. Everyone has different change goals. But the source code of those changes goes on all the same sources of energy”


In this episode, you will receive valuable insights into:

  1. Setting foot into the world of mindful leadership.
  2. Habit formation as the key to leadership development.
  3. Aligning individual and organizational goals.
  4. Remaining positive through the crisis.
  5. Process-based energy management.


Setting foot into the world of mindful leadership:

Cyrille Kozyreff is a leader in the space of mindful leadership. During his 8 years at McKinsey, which included serving as the global managing partner’s chief of staff, he used to look for every opportunity to practice mindfulness meditation, be it for ten minutes before a progress review, for five minutes after a four hour night, or for ten days between two client projects. But it was only five years into his stint in India, which started in 2011, that Cyrille found the inflexion point which allowed him to integrate mindfulness and leadership more closely. When Harvard University’s Dr Tal Ben-Shahar asked him to start Potentialife’s India office, he started practising the art of small victories – wherein every day is an opportunity to connect with one’s deeper self and to do one small action differently in a way that reflects the deeper self’s aspirations. Cyrille and his Mumbai-based team leveraged this ‘inner compounding’ way of life as an entry point for cohorts of 10 to 100 leaders to start enjoying the inner change.

The thing we need to know about leadership development:

Habit formation matters the most in leadership development. Leaders can not grow without forming habits just because of their great thoughts. To be able to stay consistent with your habits, not only do you need a process and a group, but more importantly, you need an agenda that comes completely from within. Hence, forming self-concordant goals. Nurturing the connection with self is an extremely important, yet intuitive process. 

Aligning individual and organizational goals

Just like the 100 streams that start from different places in the mountain and progressively converge into a very powerful river, change movement grows organically. When you have that, it’s very easy to divert part of the water and irrigate whichever fields you want. The river will be very happy to give that much water.

Likewise, when a group of colleagues accomplish that change momentum, they create new connections at the heart level. They start viewing the growth of empathy and risk-taking as part of their personal journey.

Remaining positive through the crisis:

Neural pathways between different areas of your brain can become stronger if you work on them. Some of those muscles are fragile and get dented by a crisis while some become stronger through a crisis. 

The pandemic is the time when people’s purposefulness strengthened. Leaders have entered a new dimension of authenticity and purpose. Many people have come out and contributed to the community. 

That muscle of purpose needs to be alive. People were not as much involved in the purpose of giving and volunteering before the pandemic, but now we all can see it being alive and big.

A process-based energy management 

‘Focus on how is your process than what is your process.’

These two questions are important:

  1. What is your process for trying something new every day and reflecting every day on whether it works?
  2. What is your daily change process?

The change process requires ideating your goals for the day, reflecting back on them, and emotionally claiming the victory of learning from them. Thus it becomes an emotionally positive process and not something that drains you.

Priya Bhatt

I cover Employee stories at Springworks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog cover
Previous Story

Clear Organizational Goals and Employee Culture with Mansi Rana

How to Build a Feedback Culture
Next Story

7 Proven Tips for Building a Feedback Culture