Yes, finally the world, societies and institutions are coming to terms with the idea that super-leadership is personal, and that knowing yourself is the best strategy now. The huge challenge is to work with four sets of interrelated skills: (1) Self-awareness - meaning to know, moment to moment, what you are thinking, feeling, observing and wanting as these aspects relate to the complex task of creating personal and institutional experience.
The purpose is for being clear about how much of your experience is based on facts and how much is based on subjective truth and sense-making; (2) Self-description - meaning to communicate clearly for helping others empathize with you in order to enhance collaborative ventures.
Within organizations people have to feel free to share all facets of their experience (whether soft, difficult or confrontational) without making others feel defensive. The aim is to elicit willingness to listen and understand.
But clear, super-leadership points to the capacity to observe, question and probe until you understand, as much as humanly possible, the other person’s experience; (3) Self-curiosity - meaning that you dare to get other people to be descriptive, creative and innovative as it contribute to the institution’s purpose, goals and objectives. In other for this to occur, people has to feel comfortable telling you their truth and ideas.
In this way we arrive to the other set of skills: (4) Self - appreciation - meaning the unavoidable diligency of finding and recognizing the best in people and their work. By behaving in this manner, super-leaders will share what they want more in terms of performance, and also create the conditions for amplifying the strengths and capabilities of their teams.
Some action steps for super-leaders are worth mentioning. Make the organization a place where you can tell the truth of your experience. Allow people to tell you the truth. Be clear where you are. Be clear where other people stand. Learn from your experience together.
Finally, we come to my favorite point. No matter the complexities, difficulties, uncertainties, ambiguities and turbulence of our times, super-leaders remain idealist and hopeful. We all should be hopeful with the idea of creating organizations that are wealth generating, serve their customers well, and are good for the planet, societies, communities, and specially for the people that work in them. Half jokinly and half seriously, this is a kind of darwinianan process of natural selection where the environment or the market increasingly selects out those constructive organizations for survival.
We should not lose faith that, with the help of God, organizations of the future will be less oppressive to human spirit. The purpose is to create working contexts where collective efforts bring out the best of each other. Every solution will eventually create new problems and we call this dynamic progress. Wonderful. Amen.
Copyright 2002 QBS, Inc.