Enhancing our leadership capacity to contribute to a more humane global system
As leaders, we have a responsibility to develop a humane system in which we create wealth, but not at the cost of people.
In my previous blog on the 5th Industrial Revolution, I referred to the problematic situation when humans and machines compete. We already see it happening, and it will remain a major challenge in our global system.
Our role as leaders is to influence the system in a different direction. In the words of Sun Tzu, the person credited as the author of The Art of War, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” In our context, it means creating a better way.
As Sun Tzu explains, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
As leaders, we need to know ourselves, and we need to know the system in which we are operating if we want to see our organisations and the people we lead come out victorious.
What my PhD research has shown, and as I explain in more detail in my recent book, The Leader’s Inner Source*, is that the most important things we as leaders can do is to:
- Be very intentional. We cannot allow ourselves and our people to drift with the system.
- Pay attention. We must be more mindful and present than ever to influence others and the system in which we operate.
- Build strong relationships. Our relationships with others must be able to withstand powerful blows given by the context in which we operate – and come out stronger on the other side.
The seven leadership dimensions that emerged from my PhD research and that I discuss in the chapters of my book* are some of the puzzle pieces that help successful leaders do exactly that.
I go into much more detail in the book*. But, for now, here is a statement for each of the seven dimensions for you to reflect on. Give each a rating out of 10 and consider how you can apply the dimension in your life.