2020 will be a significant landmark for rebalancing and building leadership capacity for societal change and a sustainable future – globally and across the board (politics, business/organisations, and communities).
In this context, rebalancing refers to the building and re-building (making and mending) required to establish a new dialogue and relationships with others, so a renewed type of leadership can emerge. This includes building or re-building alignment and alliances, and balance the interests of key stakeholders for the construction, re-construction or re-negotiation of meaning and purpose, and the maintenance of social networks, to unable new scanning and unified strategic direction.
How to grapple with the complex leadership issues of our times?
The challenges we face in our increasingly complex world require more effective leadership thinking and practices than ever before. This means overcoming our existing personal, institutional, structural and relational barriers, thus being able to facilitate a paradigm shift to advance the leadership we really need.
This new rebalanced leadership goes beyond decisiveness, authoritative action, or trying to change others. Hence, the best place to begin is not by attempting to rebalance society (others); but rather to examine and rebalance yourself. In this way, by default, you’ll be able to positively impact your inner circles of control and influence.
Below, I offer some key questions related to leadership development, you could consider asking yourself, should you wish to lead more effectively.
Within your circle of influence, are you willing and able to:
Act for others, without bossing them – not driving by mandate, but leading by example?
Respect, tolerate, and respond effectively to those who hold different social, political, and economic perspectives than yours?
Seek advice from others?
Allow others to give you feedback (take your inventory) and learn from them?
Be accountable and accept criticism for your decision?
Surrender your personal ego, power, interests, controversies, and sometimes, ambitions and deeply held opinions, in order to serve and lead your constituents, stakeholders or team members?
Develop yourself by enhancing the attributes and capabilities required to improve your moral imagination and ethical practices, emotionally engaged behaviours, and adaptive capacity to support the complex challenges faced by those you’re supposed to lead?
Consider to engage in spiritual development? That is, to believe in something beyond the material universe, and develop the awareness and raise the consciousness that transcends ordinary existence by connecting with the realities beyond the confines of time and space.
The latest matters because spirituality is an effective (and arguably the only) way to transcend the greatest barriers to human development (all egocentric, socio-centric, and anthropocentric forms), and to achieve transformation. Spirituality, then, becomes the source towards healing and harmonising, and the expression of compassion, wisdom, human connectedness, and – ultimately – successful adaptation and sustainability.
And, like in all hero stories (would say Joseph Campbell), the key to achieving transformation is the discovery that an important inner quality is missing, which is what has up to that time hindered or delayed personal growth and moral development.
Well, who said that leadership is easy?
Are you ready for the challenge?
I wish you a leaderful 2020!
You can access an expanded copy of this article via ResearchGate at:
Sebastian Salicru – leadership development expert, executive coach, facilitator, and author of Leadership Results: How to Create Adaptive Leaders and High-performing Organisations for an Uncertain World (Wiley, 2017).
Latest: Salicru, S. (2019). A new model of leadership-as-practice development for consulting psychologists. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. Advance online publication.