From authentic to wise: evolving our expectations of leaders

We live in such an incredible and exciting time in human history. It is also a chaotic and creative time, this, in large part, due to our growing awareness of the inter-connectedness of life and its systems, both at the individual and global level.

Increasingly so, our world is in need of leaders who get this and who see the bigger picture; who realize both the opportunity and the danger inherent in our collective and expanding consciousness, not to advance their own selfish interests, but to alleviate human suffering and to assist in creating prosperity for all who seek it.

When I look back at my own leadership training and education, I see the toxic, patriarchal energy and the legacy of this mentality in our world.  I also see how, unless challenged, systems are self-perpetuating. Those who benefit from a “system” be it social or economic, have little incentive to make their system obsolete. Accordingly, change can only be birthed and patiently cultivated and ushered by those who see the need for it.

Today, I see the beautiful and gentle rising of the long-silenced voices, including my own, as we awaken to join or to lead conversations about justice, equality, prosperity, and peace. These are the souls who are working individually and collectively to help heal our world, and to co-create new systems of human well-being, productivity, and prosperity.

We are, each one of us, partially responsible for the co-creation of our communities, our country, and world.  Because we are now more aware, we can see with greater clarity, the options before us. What kind of world are you willing to co-create?

Many of us who have been trained in authentic leadership have come to realize its limitations. To be authentic, meant to know myself well enough so that I may bring my best-self forward in each encounter.  It was limited to me and my personality, my values, and strengths.

While the notion of authentic leadership served us well, my sense is that it also needs to evolve. Knowing ourselves is only the first step. We must also understand the bigger picture, which continues to unfold before us at an exponential pace.

We desperately need leaders who can not only “connect the dots, and the bigger dots, and old dots in new ways”, but ones who can stay in the tension, with courage and confidence, and make decisions and take action based not on the stale resources of their own mind, nor from dogma, but from the consciousness of non-local intelligence or unified field…and then invite others to do the same.

Becoming a wise leader is not something just for individuals in formal leadership roles, but those already working in management and leadership capacities have a greater responsibility.  More and more, due to the public’s awareness of cycles of power and abuse, of poor leadership, of uncovering perpetrators of sexual harassment, racism, and sexism among other “isms”, business-as-usual can no longer stand. More than ever in human history, we need wise leaders in public service, education, business, and in healthcare.

What makes a leader wise? Here are some suggested areas for study and growth for us all.