August 28, 2017
Our prevailing, patriarchal worldview of hierarchal “leadership” has reached its limits and is coming apart. This is the chaos that we see and feel. The Organization Man (W. H. Whyte, Jr., 1956) described this paradigm of a transactional mindset focused on compliance and conformity, competition and domination, with people used as objects for gratification of wealth and power.
We are awakening and building a new paradigm of collective Leadership that is unity in diversity. Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving, published the same year as Whyte’s book, offers a radical approach to leadership. It is unconventional, extreme and uncompromising that goes to the origins, essentials and foundation of what it means to be an effective leader: love. Fromm describes love as care, understanding, respect, and responsibility. This public “Love” distinguishes it from our personal, emotional love of attraction, affection and approval.
Leaders are the activators and sustainers of Love. Leaders tap and enact the inherent truth of our unity with one another as human beings and our alignment and integration with the evolutionary impulse of life.
Expanding on Fromm, care means empathy, the recognition that we are one; the depth of our humanity is our unity. Understanding means compassion, the recognition that we are diverse; our individual uniqueness is self-sovereignty. Respect means integrating and enacting both care and understanding, both empathy and compassion, both our unity and our diversity. Responsibility means personal and societal accountability, conscience and consciousness for the whole of life.
With this primary orientation of care, understanding, respect, and responsibility, Love in action unfolds as equality, equity, shared power and resources, justice, and dignity and well-being for all. Leaders consciously ensure that we all realize the fulfillment of our human potential for purpose and meaning, connection and contribution, self-determination and choice, and growth and actualization.
Governance is Leadership in politics. Stewardship is Leadership in business. Both recognize that until basic survival needs for food, shelter and healthcare are met; until our connection with and belonging to something greater that brings meaning to life are met; and until we are supported in expanding our capacity to learn and grow through education, we are not free to actualize our potential so we fail in our responsibility to society and to life itself. The paradox is that by honoring our uniqueness, our individual contribution to the whole, leaders amplify and expand our unity.
Leadership is collaboration: The unity of working together from our diversity of perspectives so that we move forward together. In the governance and stewardship of our societal-economic-political system, Leaders consciously enact expanded, holistic perspectives of conservative-liberalism/liberal-conservatism and socialist-capitalism/capitalist-socialism that reconcile and integrate our polarities to ensure inclusion so that everyone thrives with dignity and well-being. Both governance and stewardship are measured by the quality of life shared by all. With the consciousness of Love, both government and business are forces for good.
With governance and stewardship, the personal and societal conscience and consciousness for responsibility and accountability for the whole of life, laws protecting human rights and regulations protecting from exploitation are no longer needed and disappear. There is shared wealth in all forms and shared power throughout business and politics; taxes are seen as shared resources for the just governance of a cohesive and universally beneficial society. Social, economic, political, and environmental justice are natural choices.
We start by recognizing that people in “authority”, whether politicians or executives, are not “leaders” and that calling them “leaders” gives them false power over us. No matter what the gender, racial, religious, nationality, or political labels are, labels are used to manage compliance and enforce control with a version of prescribed, hierarchical order of the patriarchal worldview. Deferring to authorities holds us within and compounds this status quo which is the root cause of our current chaos. Leaders disrupt this status quo. Chaos empowers wisdom. We are in the breakdown of these false identities of labels to break open and break through to our humanity.
Leaders are comfortable with uncertainty, the unknown, secure in knowing that optimal solutions for our greatest good emerge only without the definitions and limitations of ideologies and agendas. Leaders bring forth the natural, inherent order in life. Leadership begins when we consider the possibility that there might be ways to enhance life for all.
Leadership is our focused commitment to integrate and amplify our identity as human beings: body, mind, heart, and spirit. As Leaders, we enact the truth of unity by freeing our own wholeness within. Leadership is a way of life for those with the courage to live it. Leaders bring Love to life through every role.
Leading is Love in service to life: Love makes a leader a Leader. Leaders live this future today as the wayshowers and creators of our destiny and our legacy. Engaging this personal Leadership is the one change that transforms everything.
Leading as Love is Universal Leadership. How are you a Leader in Service to Life?