Holistic Leadership

The call of our time now is for a holistic leadership vision that will guide us into the future, a vision based on equity, justice, prosperity, compassion, and the recognition of our interdependence. The role businesses and professions can play is critical and essential. There are increasing numbers of organizations that are proactively positioning themselves through their visions and strategies as key players in the world willing to demonstrate that the business bottom line and humanity’s bottom line are not mutually exclusive. Anecdotally, research findings show that responsible business leaders are responsible community leaders.

The majority of leadership development and change models and methods emphasize the cognitive dimensions and linear approaches to development. A cognitive shift is important, but an intuitive leap or a heartfelt shift is transformational. So one single heartfelt experience, when you intuit an idea, discover a latent talent, a potential strength, a gesture of caring, those can be transformative. In fact, the very first question we ask, and the way in which we ask it, begins the change process.

To quote Margaret Wheatley: “A leader is anyone who wants to make a difference at this time.” In our networked, web-based, interconnected world, new sciences and ancient wisdom traditions are increasingly merging, self-organization is on the rise, and power is becoming differently distributed. If we think about the process of leadership as one of leading from and for the whole, what does that look like? There are models and practices that have holistic visions and actively incorporate participation, inclusion, diversity, innovations, shared responsibilities, passions, ownership, empowerment, transparency and heartfelt transformations.

Something to Ponder:

Thinking about yourself and your work and your leadership, what differences are you making in your world? What things are you finding most meaningful, valuable, satisfying, challenging, or exciting?