excerpt from the book “Diamond Leadership“.
…The new post conventional leaders need to become systemic thinkers and doers. In a positive sense, they need to understand and to accept the limitations of their personal intelligence, in comparison with the collective intelligence.
The systemic leader needs to become an ally of the collective intelligence. S/he or they (the executive team) need to serve the system by developing co-creative platforms and interventions through which the collective intelligence, wisdom and innovation will emerge, and be distilled through the co-creative process by the system itself.
System leaders will have to learn to overcome their fears. They will also need to practice how to release their unrealistic power and control over the situations and people they manage; to replace the top-to-bottom autocratic management style with trust, support, cooperation, co-creation and wisdom. By doing this, systemic leaders simply share their responsibility with all the employees and/or the citizens in the system.
System leaders need to ask important key questions, rather than tell and/or give orders. By doing this, they put employees/citizens on an equal level with themselves, and show the people that their opinions, energy and contributions to the system are important.
Asking important key questions allow people to think, and to be part of the collective solution. In this way, systemic leaders return the power to those who create the system. By doing this, systemic leadership empowers the “common man”, which in turn empowers the whole system.
Functioning in this way, the system doesn’t have a single leader who will lead or save the organization or the nation, but rather a shared systemic responsibility and a systemic leadership.
“I SEE THE WHOLE SCHOOL AS A SINGLE TEACHER.”
A.H. Almaas – Co-Founder of the Ridhwan School and the Diamond Approach
This systemic platform allows the ordinary employee/citizens to continually evolve, and the organization to function as a learning system. The student, the employee, and the citizen in this way become aware of their own value and contribution to the system – society. This co-creative dynamic empowers the people with the feelings of belonging, unity, responsible contribution, satisfaction, and meaning, and the whole system vibrates and functions at a higher frequency, becoming more creative, innovative, productive, and sustainable.
In this way, systemic leadership achieves a balanced and aligned allocation of team and/or organizational responsibilities and activities. The huge burden shifts from the shoulders of the “lone leader” or the executive leadership team (executive team, government), and is shared by everyone else in the system. This whole-system engagement is necessary in order to attain sustainability, and to tackle the big problems and challenges that today exist in reality. The ordinary citizen, from being a passive observer, becomes a systemic co-creator and a leader, who takes responsibility at his/her level, in his/her field of interest or expertise. S/he becomes an equal influencer in the system. The ordinary employee/citizen becomes a systemic leader.
Leadership is never in an individual,
Leadership is always relational.
RELATED & RECOMMENDED READING
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, Peter Senge, Currency 1990
The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies for Building a Learning Organization, Peter M. Senge
Leading from the emerging future, Otto Scharmer & Katrin Kaufer, Barrett and Koehler 2013
The wisdom of crowds, James Surowiecki Anchor Books 2005
Categories: DIAMOND LEADERSHIP BOOK