Leadership Distinction #4: Change

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Could you ever share custody of your vision?

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Is there anything more common, more prevalent, than Change? Change is the corollary of time itself. Aristotle was the first to say so, and 2400 or so earth trips around the sun since have not produced any good reason to disagree with him. But applying our personal choice to how the flow of Change will affect us? – that’s not so common. Exercising this choice represents the fullest measure of living we can muster in our own roughly 70 to 90 solar evolutions that any one of us might hope for in a life span. And this is the special province of leaders.

To imagine a future place of our own design and to inspire others to see it and embrace it with their committed energies is perhaps the greatest challenge of being human. And what makes the challenge all the more arduous is the escalating pace of Change that science today is documenting as observable fact.

That’s right: Change, has now become a field of science. And complexity theory seeks to explain how it is that events now seem to occur without apparent discernable cause. In this era of “I didn’t see that coming” the leader of an organization cannot lead with the same assumptions about forecasts and forecast-able Change as those who came before her.

Here’s the difference. The original vision that spurs a leader into action is now less likely to be sustainable on its own, notwithstanding the great personal effort propelling it. For the vision of an intended future to survive the enumerable and untraceable forces of Change that will materialize to deny it, it must somehow become a shared vision, and a moldable vision. Followers must become co-authors.

Rare though it has been to find leaders with imagination we must now develop leaders who not only have vision but who also understand they must open up that vision to the combined imaginations of a team who also have their eyes on the horizon and their hands, joined in yours, on the tiller. Can you make this Change?

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Episode 4