25 Chapters
Medium 9781609941208

15 New Approaches for Leadership: A Psychospiritual Model for Leadership Development

Pearson, Carol S. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Karin Jironet and Murray Stein

In the essay that follows, Karin Jironet and Murray Stein integrate ideas related to dialogue processes with insights about how members of dyads and groups can bond with one another more deeply. The authors bring together Aizenstat’s focus on going deep into the psyche with Briskin’s attention to broadening interaction through dialogue. Leaders can build people’s confidence by deep listening to the flashes of insight that individuals and groups receive in dialogue informed by their own inner listening. This mirroring reinforces new awareness. They also can help groups reach a level of attunement that opens their spirits to realizations and possibilities not known before. Jironet and Stein’s essay provides a “how to” for such deep listening and close attunement.

Globalization and the dramatic rise of information technology (such as social media) have led to significant shifts in society and have radically changed the contexts in which many organizations operate. Recent research indicates that collaboration, cocreation, and partnerships inside and outside of organizations are the best means for achieving success in the present environment and in the near and distant future (for various perspectives on these changes, please see Brafman & Beckstrom, 2008; Gobillot, 2009; Jironet, 2002, 2009, 2010; Li & Bernoff, 2008; Shirky, 2009). Successful leaders must create a heightened sense of their organization’s potential for participating in an international landscape, create space for individuals in their organizations to contribute to this vision, and communicate the importance of this value throughout their organizations. See, for example, C. K. Prahalad, who concluded one of his last works, a column in the April 2010 Harvard Business Review, with this thought: “Executives are constrained not by resources but by their imagination” (p. 33). R. Kaplan, together with D. Norton (1992), introduced the Balanced Scorecard, a strategic management tool used worldwide. In Stop Overdoing Your Strengths, Kaplan and Kaiser (2009) warn that strengths taken too far become weaknesses and show that to strike a balance between key leadership dualities, actions and motivations must be clearly identified.

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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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5 Dancing on a Slippery Floor: Transforming Systems, Transforming Leadership

Pearson, Carol S. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Kathleen Allen

Diana Whitney and Amanda Trosten-Bloom introduced us to the psychological shift in progress from focusing on problems to discovering and reinforcing the capacities people and organizations possess, so that we can have the confidence to implement desired future visions. In this essay, new ways of thinking, pioneered in the physical and biological sciences, illustrate how we as contemporary leaders can reframe our responses to twenty-first-century challenges. Building on the work of Margaret Wheat-ley (1992) and others, Kathleen Allen summarizes major themes in the advances from Newtonian to quantum physics and from an industrial to a biological paradigm. She then applies these lessons to leadership in ways that work with, rather than fight against, natural processes, showing how you can build your capacity for experiencing greater ease and less resistance to the challenges of leading in today’s world.

How do we know when our thinking needs to be transformed? One way is when the beliefs and assumptions we have no longer provide a way to explain what is going on in our life and organizations. Another way is when our actions that flow from our beliefs require more energy and resources to achieve the same or fewer results (Lynch & Kordis, 1988).

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9 Mindful Leadership: Discovering Wisdom beyond Certainty

Pearson, Carol S. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Susan Szpakowski

Scott explored why leaders need to be the change and Reams showed us that we have the inner equipment to do so. The four essays that follow provide various takes on how consciously living into your journey can develop advanced leadership capacities. The next essay, by Susan Szpakowski, augments Reams’s work by exploring how we can recognize and harness the impulses of ego that become triggered in situations of uncertainty. Szpakowski shares practical principles and strategies for relaxing ego’s struggle, releasing intelligence and creativity, and creating the conditions for transformation in ourselves and in others. She illustrates how these strategies can enable you to see options more accurately, make better decisions, and lead with more grace.

Everywhere we hear the drumbeat of change. Organizations and communities must become more innovative, resilient, adaptive. As leaders we are increasingly called to reinvent our strategies, companies, even entire social systems, while inspiring others to do the same.

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11 Transmuting Suffering: A Leadership and Advising Perspective

Pearson, Carol S. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Arthur Colman and Éliane Ubalijoro

Fox’s idea of Via Negativa is reflected in learning from experiences that require us to let go of things we believe define who we are or that we think are necessary for our happiness. This path helps us develop the capacity to grieve and still function, which is needed if you are to confront nonstop change—or even the horrendous loss, victimization, or scapegoating leaders sometimes face. Having skilled and empathetic confidants and advisors can help us to heal and find the positive learning from whatever we experience, as well as from our own less than noble impulses. This daunting task of facing your own shadow, and the shadow in the world, is the subject of the next essay, by Arthur Colman and Éliane Ubalijoro.

Transformative leadership, especially in the context of collective trauma and suffering, is fraught with difficulty, inevitably blending positive intent with negative power issues. Leaders in these situations need the largest possible perspective to inform their goals and actions. A partnership with a trusted advisor whose ego is less involved and whose vision is therefore more capacious is of inestimable value.

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