With the current political climate in the United States, I’ve been thinking about transformative change (change that occurs at the level of identity or being) and how it is a process with several stages or phases. Among the many others who have created a map for a transformative journey, Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is one that is well-known.
Somehow, organizations have gotten the incorrect notion that generating a coaching culture necessitates scheduling large numbers of in-depth, one-on-one coaching conversations of some length. This results in an understandable response: “We don’t have time for that!”
Organizational leaders tend to believe that people will trust them more if they are always certain and clear with ready solutions for difficult problems. In reality, the opposite is true. When the courage to risk failure and the transparency of owning mistakes is balanced with a clear commitment to learning, trust grows quickly.
Topics: Latest Updates
When you think of leadership, what images spring to mind?
There’s a potent divisiveness in our world today. I feel it most keenly here at home in the battle for power in our not-so-United States. And as populism takes hold, divisiveness and division is spreading across the globe.
My friend Art Shirk was a fierce champion for living life fully in each and every moment. His blog, appropriately titled “Comfort Is Overrated,” was a powerful message about and testament to what it means to truly live with one’s heart wide open. Art was a master at “creating from everything,” and when he was diagnosed in 2014 with IPF, a progressive and terminal lung disease, he embraced the process fully with profound vulnerability and honesty.
Topics: Latest Updates
What is it about the New Year that fills us with hope and possibility? In reality, the start of a new calendar year is an arbitrary line in the sand that allows us to mark the passage of time in an organized way.
I love Thanksgiving! What’s not to love? A whole day, devoted to being with loved ones, eating great food and giving thanks for the rampant abundance in our lives. ..for our own personal “horn of plenty.”
It’s been one week since Donald Trump was elected the next president of our not so United States, ending one of the most vitriolic and nasty presidential campaigns in recent history.
Leadership. The word conjures up images of stalwart faced people (mostly MEN in my imagination, I notice) bravely leading a company, a country, a movement. Clear direction and purpose, inspirational speeches by people who have the position and power to really make something happen.
In writing this post, I wanted to get an understanding of how we collectively define leadership, so I consulted my online dictionary and found this:
1. the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group: He managed to maintain his leadership of the party despite heavy opposition. Synonyms: administration, management, directorship, control, governorship, stewardship, hegemony.
2. ability to lead: As early as sixth grade she displayed remarkable leadership potential. Synonyms:authoritativeness, influence, command, effectiveness; sway, clout.
3. an act or instance of leading; guidance; direction: They prospered under his strong leadership.
4. the leaders of a group: The union leadership agreed to arbitrate.
Okay, maybe not so helpful. However, the synonyms are fairly telling: management, control, authoritativeness, command, clout. Really. CLOUT?????
No wonder we are in a bit of a pickle with leadership in our world today. It’s clear that our top down, command and control structures aren’t working. While hierarchy is a dandy structure for getting things done, it’s a breathtakingly ineffective at empowering people and calling forth their very best.
[tweet_box inject="#coactive #leadership @CTI_Coaches" float="left" width="50%" design="default"]What if leadership was a verb rather than a noun?[/tweet_box]
So, what if “leadership” was a verb rather than a noun? What if leadership was not defined by position or title but instead was measured by people’s willingness to respond and create solutions that were truly in the best interest of everyone? What if robust, engaged followership were actually considered a FORM of leadership?
What if we stepped, once and for all into the collective understanding that every single person who drew a breath had a role to play and was an integral part of resolving the challenges that face us? Yes, we all have DIFFERENT skills and abilities and it may be time to get over the notice that those who have MORE (however MORE gets measured) are the only ones who can lead.
In order to generate this shift, we must begin thinking about leadership as relational rather than structural and a collaboration rather than a domination. In other words, we must begin thinking about leadership as Co-Active.
So what is Co-Active Leadership and what is the opportunity that it offers? As a reminder, here’s our definition of Co-Active:
Co-Active represents the paradoxical balance between two primary energies of life:
Co: Relationship, holding, space, BEING?
Hyphen: Non-duality, PARADOX?
Active: Action, certainty, clarity, DOING
Applied to leadership, Co-Active invites an approach that is interactive and dynamic rather than static or dogmatic and focuses on responding in the moment CREATIVELY based on what is most needed, most useful for all right now in this moment.
Co-Active Leadership also understands that this capacity to respond, to create rather than react is nascent in all people. While the EXPRESSION of this capacity may differ depending on role the CAPACITY is within us all.
Lastly, Co-Active Leadership orients from a place of service rather than a place of ego. Instead of emphasizing looking good and getting it right, Co-Active Leadership embraces authenticity and failure.
As I bring this post to a close, I realize that there many other distinctions of Co-Active Leadership yet to be expressed. I’d love to hear from you. For those of you who have some experience with Co-Active Leadership, what distinctions feel most important to you? For those of you who are new to Co-Active Leadership, I’d love to hear what you think about what I’ve written and what feels important to you about this topic. Thank you for reading and for being in this conversation with me. It matters. . .as do you!