25 Chapters
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10 Leadership as a Spiritual Practice: Vocation and Journey

Pearson, Carol S. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Matthew Fox

The practice of cultivating awareness of the observing self that Szpakowski describes is necessary to fully realize the lessons from the next essay. In this piece, Matthew Fox explores the importance of seeing leadership as a sacred vocation and honoring archetypal paths on the leadership journey, each of which furthers comfort with essential elements of the process of transformation. These paths foster normal human journeys of personal development that help us have a positive, hopeful attitude, so important to promoting needed change; the ability to let go as the shifting sands of changing times require us to relinquish even things to which we are profoundly attached; the flexibility and creativity to promote continual innovation; and the capacity to inspire visions of a more just world that can lead to both group and whole-system transformation. Recognizing and naming these paths can normalize the growth needed in transformational times, thus decreasing people’s resistance to change as they also develop essential leadership capacities. Other sections in this volume flesh out these paths. Indeed, the whole of Part One encourages what Fox calls Via Positiva, and the whole of Part Three, Via Transformativa. The essays in Part Two that follow illustrate in more detail Via Negativa and Via Creativa.

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7 The New Basics: Inner Work for Adaptive Challenges

Pearson, Carol S. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Katherine Tyler Scott

Katherine Tyler Scott’s essay describes why it is that leaders need to do their inner work to be able to meet the challenges they face today. Many of the participants in the Fetzer dialogues credited an internal call in the face of a compelling need in the world as their motivation to lead. Many also described a feeling of certainty that a particular setting or issue was theirs to take on. This awareness drove them to develop inner qualities that incrementally allowed them to meet the next challenge (and the next and the next) that arose on their leadership journeys. The forms of such spurs to growth are many, but Scott focuses primarily on the necessity of facing one’s fears and repressed qualities to be able to surface conflict and manage change.

A well-developed self in a leader—what I call self-differentiation—is not only critical to effective leadership; it is precisely the leadership characteristic that is most likely to promote the kind of community that preserves the self of its members.
—Edwin Friedman

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3 Leadership and Organizational Networks: A Relational Perspective

Pearson, Carol S. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Philip Willburn and Michael Campbell

The more we grasp the kind of complex interaction Burns, Lovaglia/Lucas/Baxter, and Flowers write about, the more important it is to understand not just leaders, but the groups and social networks they lead. Philip Willburn and Michael Campbell employ insights from social networking theory to do just that. This knowledge can help you get your vision out effectively to a large number of people that you communicate with directly. In the following essay, they provide a model that you can use to analyze the social networks you influence. As leaders, we often believe that if we develop a plan and share it, the people who report to us will implement it because it is their job to do so. But people act like people, and not necessarily according to an organizational chart. Their energy to implement any plan is dependent on (1) whether the communication gets to them in a way that is motivating and sparks their imaginations, and (2) who they listen to and what those people say about the plan.

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13 Depth Entrepreneurship: Creating an Organization Out of Dream Space

Pearson, Carol S. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Stephen Aizenstat

The first essay in this section, by Stephen Aizenstat, describes the process he followed in founding and developing Pacifica Graduate Institute, employing both inner intuitive guidance and sound management practices. At Pacifica we now host Pacifica in Depth dialogues with the faculty and staff where we discuss a range of topics, including dreams we believe to be about the school as well as the impact of archetypes we see as being active in the institution. Discussing dreams and archetypes provides a means to enter into a conversation about what the soul of Pacifica wants from us (as well as some exploration of its shadow). Aizenstat’s essay models how you can utilize the fruits of your inner work in creating transformational organizations.

Organizational leadership and dream work seem like contradictory practices. But are they? In practice, I have found that success in entrepreneurial leadership requires the capacity to access intelligence from both the rational and dreaming mind. Imagination, intuition, and the resources of the unconscious bring as much to entrepreneurial achievement as does the skill set of a well-earned MBA. Developing a business model animated by the “capital” of both dream and coin inspires devotion to mission and profit.

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12 Shapeshifter Leadership: Responding Creatively to the Challenges of a Complex World

Pearson, Carol S. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Carol Burbank

By not mincing words about what often is required of leaders seeking to make a major difference in the world, Ubalijoro and Colman provide a balance to the positive thrust of the essays in Part One. If you have experienced Via Negativa and learned from it, you have confronted what is best and worst in yourself and in the world, and you are neither in denial nor overly fearful that you are incapable of facing whatever comes. Moreover, you know who you are in your wholeness, as you have ventured into your unconscious as well as your conscious mind. This means you do not have to hold onto roles and static ideas limiting who you are, or what you can do or be, thus gaining the flexibility to respond to what is required of you by new challenges. When you accomplish this, you are ready for Via Creativa. The final essay in this section, by Carol Burbank, provides examples of game-changing innovation and describes how, through integrating the qualities of the shapeshifter archetype, you can demonstrate a capacity for creativity and innovation.

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