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/ Feb 19, 2018

How the Unencumbered Leader Envisions the Future

Posted by Jay Hedley

Questioning the Story

An effective leader has the ability to see the difference between what an organisation says it needs and what it actually needs. This comes from understanding what is currently emerging and where it comes from.  Every organisation has a story and history that can hold it back.  To move forward, the leadership team must start to question why the story is emerging as unpalatable.

Examining these emerging properties often leads to the decision to change course and try something different. What holds people back is that they do not know what they do not know which makes them blind to what they need until they get there. In that moment, it is necessary to ask difficult questions to awaken them to the possibilities. This allows them to be able to see in the moment what is required in that moment.

 

The Fear of Possibility

Leadership is an emergent property of the meeting of the status quo and the possibility.  From this, arises the knowledge of what is truly required, often accompanied by a sense of foreboding. The fear points to possibility because it would not arise if the path were known to be possible. The anxiety this causes is rooted in the convergence of the past, present, and future.  We have no basis to determine the outcome of a new situation, and that makes us afraid.

The paradox is how can you be afraid of something that you do not know.  There is nothing to map the potential of you in the future if you have never been there before. This inquiry awakens the potential and the possibility that leads to a flow of creativity and innovation. The flow accesses the feminine aspects versus the masculine aspects of needing answers. The feminine aspect of creating the future as it emerges embraces the ability to engineer and innovate.

 

Viewing Culture Objectively

Self-actualising in leadership is about letting go of current understandings to connect with the emerging possibility of what is available in this moment. This means discarding anything that leads to the past.  When you do this, you will find that the future can right write if you allow it.

When people manage, they sometimes hold onto culture that is linked to the past. A leader must be able to objectively assess the current culture. They cannot be part of the culture that they are going to lead because they must be able to point to the culture and understand where it comes from, how it emerged, and how it is maintaining itself.  Leaders need to be unentangled from culture to be able to identify and recognise it.  Part of their role is to help others untangle themselves from the culture of the past in order to move toward the potential and possibility of themselves as individuals and as a collective in service of a new vision.

 

Imagine a New Future

Children have an incredible capacity to imagine a future that no on else has imagined. This is a powerful ability that allows them to access possibilities of themselves, unencumbered by fear or attachment to the past.  Without anything to hold them back, children simply think about the possibility of the thought structure and being there in that moment experiencing it.

Leading is about creating a visionary perspective that mismatches everything in the present and creates a gap between the probable and the possible. The gap is the emergent property of the present moment. This ability to envision the future without fear of the unknown or attachment to the past is the mark of an effective leader.

 

FURTHER READING
How to Develop Emotional Intelligence with NLP