More wisdom from the workshop I attended last weekend, Transforming Leadership, hosted by the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpenteria, California.
The Friday evening speaker, Betty Sue Flowers, was familiar to me as one of the co-authors (with Peter Senge, among others) of Presence, which informed our work here at The Canoe Group. She was the speaker whose thinking “called me” to attend this conference. She is currently the Executive Director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library at University of Texas, and works on global scenario planning for an astonishing array of clients.
Core Concepts from Betty Sue Flowers
Four core ideas are at the center of the Newly Emerging Global Myth:
- Leadership is about visioning the future. The present is shaped by the future we are imagining. The leader’s job is to articulate a story about the future.
- The future is a story and only that; it depends on the stories we are telling from the facts we know. The narrative is ours to tell.
- We can tell better stories. We misfile the past into the future.
- There is an emerging global myth and it won’t come by itself.
Myths that “Rule Our World”
The populations of the world invest in believing narratives that then affect the future. Myths that the human race has embraced and propagated over the centuries include the following. We posit that there is an emerging ecological myth that offers a different “one world” pathway into the future, a new myth that is being co-created by leaders who are committed to this next transformation of our species.
|The Ideal||Excellence||Goodness||Truth||Growth||Health, integration, wholeness|
|The Behavior||Competition||Obedience||Reason||Maximize advantage||Communication|
|The Actors||Heroes||Saints,prophets||Philosophers, scientists||ConsumerBusiness||Those who create|
|Modes ofcommunication||Stories, the media||Scripture,Prayer, predictions||LogicalArguments,Math & data||Images, brands & numbers||Expression, beauty (including style)|
|(examples)||Sports,corporations||Church,Environmental movements||Medicine, academia||Western world since WWII||Those across fields who choose to lead|
Attributes of The Transformational Leader
Extraordinary performance arrives when…
- The transformational leader recognizes and honors the interconnectedness of things.
- The transformational leader full commits to something larger.
- The transformational leader believes that helping hands will show up, that the team will form around the positive vision.
- The transformational leader knows synchronicity will occur, and sees walls as doors as the vision moves forward.
The Process of Generative Discovery
(Called “the U” in the book Presence)
Observing, igniting shared purpose, observing what is true, immersing oneself in the quest
Presencing & Illuminating
Retreating, reflecting, prototyping, dreaming
Realizing, Testifying & Verifying
Crystallizing, acting, bringing into form or action
Note: As I distribute these thoughts, I am doing so in the spirit of the leadership demonstrated by the speakers at the conference. I attempt to be specific and truthful to their words, I know I am accurate in conveying their intentions. If you are taken by the notes on any speaker, know that you can google their name to access their books, their writings, their audio tapes and learn more.