Leading for Compassionate, Collaborative, & Life-Affirming Creativity
“Any discussion of management that does not put the development of our people* first is a waste of paper or bits & bytes or keystrokes. (*”Development of our people” explicitly includes helping them better prepare for an uncertain tomorrow.)” Tom Peters
I completely agree and would add Leadership to Tom’s assertion. Any discussion of Leadership must include helping people to not only prepare for but navigate an uncertain future.
And, I want to take it a step further. How come we are doing this? What’s the point of it? We might say it is to maximize people’s output. If the future of business is uncertain, how can we develop people to help business flourish in an uncertain future? This is often our first priority.
But times now are different. Now we have much more to consider than simply how well our business can flourish. Now we must consider how we as people, perhaps even as a species, can come together to connect, cooperate, and collaborate in service to the whole of life.
Or as Bob Dylan is so famous for singing,
Come gather ‘round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
So let’s explore leading for compassionate, collaborative, & life-affirming creativity…
How do we help people prepare for and navigate uncertainty? And how can preparing people for uncertainty make us a more cooperative, compassionate, connected species? How do we do this?
We guide people to rediscover our internal capacity that already ‘knows’ how to do so.
Yes. That’s right. We already have it within us!
We live in an inherently uncertain and unpredictable world. On a fundamental level, the future is always uncertain. I sense it might appear so more now because we are experiencing great chaos and a disintegration of the structures that have seemingly been so solid and sure for decades. When things seem solid and unchanging, we tend to believe they are predictable. But in reality, things are always in flux and flow. Now, though, as we face great sudden and drastic turns — what we might call a chaotic sense of upheaval — it is much more difficult to pretend that we know and that we are in control.
Everything we need to navigate the world as it is right now is within us. And the really good news is that our capacity to navigate uncertainty is the very same capacity that is the source of our joy, compassion, creativity, strength, resiliency, intuition, and connection to self (which in turn allows for connection to others).
This resource, our personal, resilient, creative resource, hast these naturally organic qualities.
Consider people who have found their naturally occurring source of joy, compassion, creativity, strength, resiliency, intuition, and interconnectedness. Consider how reconnecting with these might change how they navigate the world.
It is exactly these qualities inherent in us that support us in being more cooperative, collaborative, and caring people.
It is this resource within every single one of us that can guide us to evolve the human condition and help to heal the pain that so much of humanity is feeling right now.
The first step
The very first step to come to know this capacity within is to find trust and faith that it IS within you; and if you’re a leader, not only in you but within everyone.
THIS is what will change how we are with ourselves, each other, and the world at large.
THIS is a healing of the rupture of our own wholeness — as individuals and as a collective.
THIS is our job as leaders — to midwife this essential creative nature and create a culture in which people are free to express it.” This is a nature that is creative, intuitive, instinctive, insightful and compassionate. A nature that is aware of the interconnectedness of all of life.
It might sound like a tall order to do this, but I know we are up to the task. How do I know? As a coach and teacher, I’ve used and taught a set of tools that have been used to do exactly this for almost four decades with people in a variety of settings. The tools come from many wisdom traditions, curated by two wise teachers who first taught them in a course at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
AND… more is needed, now, than just these tools because things have changed in those forty years.
We’ve had a rise in the feminine principle, which has brought with it an understanding we cannot do this and will not do this alone. We are coming to see that it is through relationship and community that we will solve what we are facing. We are transitioning from a kind of problem solving that glorifies the individual to one where relationship and community are central to how we will know success.
The feminine principle is also teaching us to reconnect, not only with each other, but with the Earth herself and with all beings.
This is creativity that is collaborative, life-affirming, and compassionate.
And, so while these tools are part of the solution, what is also part of the solution is much larger than just business and management, or even solely human. What must also be part of the solution is how we relate to ourselves, to each other, and to the Earth.
This is the key to leadership in these times. We must learn to lead in a way that guides us all to better relate to ourselves, to each other, and to the Earth and all beings.
I am offering a new course called F L O U R I S H. It is for this new kind of leadership. For this first round, it is for women only. If you are intrigued, you can find out more here. Either way, I hope you will begin to inquire into how you can be part of the facilitation of this new way of being with yourself, with others, and with our beautiful Earth and all beings.