Human Leadership

Zen Way

Human leadership can be the most powerful and influential force on the planet!

Yet we continue to elect, select and promote the wrong sort of leader! President Trump is the leader of the US and yet as of today 22.8 Million Covid 19 cases and 375 thousand people have died.

“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.” – Ayn Rand, philosopher

Hierarchical Leadership

If you consider that our world view evolves, leadership too must evolve. The kind of leadership that was appropriate in Saxon times, ‘warrior chief’, is very different from the kind of leadership that was appropriate in Victorian Britain, ‘patrician and controlling’.

The kind of leadership that was appropriate in the free booting 1980’s and 1990’s, ‘creative and individualistic’ is very different from the kind of leadership that is appropriate to lead with the multi-layered commercial, social, spiritual and environmental challenges we face in the world today.

What kind of leadership is appropriate today as we shift from post modern to whatever is next, from industrial to knowledge based business, from control to empowered?

What kind of leader is going to inspire today’s more self-actualized and caring staff for whom ethics and meaning are as important as the size of their pay packet?

Our traditional view of leadership is that leaders are appointed to a hierarchical position at the top of a pyramid, which is generally part of a series of interlocking pyramids that ascend to a rather blurry space at the top called “shareholders” or the “electorate”.

We seem to be addicted to the concept of hierarchy even in families. In our society there appears to be an almost universal acceptance that hierarchy is the only valid social structure. However, hierarchy creates some fundamental challenges, in that while it works well in very focused circumstances (war), crisis and disaster for example, it works less well in many other situations.

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Until a corrupt leader is elected, with the focus to bend, manipulate and control the power of government for their own purpose – dictatorship!

I believe authentic leadership is the superpower required to solve the climate crisis, racism, poverty, disease, species loss and so many other things.

The most inspiring and influential leaders are rarely appointed or elected, they emerge when their passion and their abilities coincide with an issue that creates enough energy (usually in the form of anger) to step up and make a difference. Gandhi, Lech Walesa, Nelson Mandela (only later elected), Martin Luther King Jr., Bob Geldof and Greta Thunberg for example.

We need authentic leaders, who will show up and inspire us to make a difference in 2021.

Always show up Geoffrey

Geoffrey has over 25 years coaching experience. He has led teams for 2010 Winter Olympic Bid, CN Rail, Shaw, Rocky Mountaineer, Sandwell Engineering, FKP Architects, Telus and Stantec. Geoffrey taught at the Sauder School of Business, Executive Education, at the University of British Columbia.

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