I introduced a dynamic in which the leader/facilitator of the discussion swapped every 15 minutes. This was to invoke an experience of leadership in which we could all reflect upon at the end.
When asked how the humans felt about their imminent leadership role there were mixed emotions; anticipation, anxiety, excitement, stubborn rebelliousness and reluctance.
Stepping into leadership is not easy. But first, what is leadership?
We went around the circle and the following ideas of leadership popped forth into the circle; vision and inspiration that drives a team towards a destination, eldership, compassion, empathy and leading the self - from the tiniest centre within outwards.
The discussion kicked off with the corporate vision of Tesla inspiring their workers to play, experiment and break the rules. Run by the enigmatic and unorthodox Elon Musk, who brings a rebellious underdog mentality that inspires followers, customers and employees from around the world.
The innovation not only comes from the leader’s vision but from the inspired visions coming from the employees. One human mentioned the space given to each person that makes up Tesla enables innovation through play and experimentation. He then went on to tell the story of an airline that had run out of tea and biscuits on the airstrip that paid a competing airline to give them a share of their tea and biscuits. The customers got their tea and biscuits due to the initiative of an empowered crew that did not leave the responsibility and accountability to slide into the hands of their superiors. They were invested in the success of the company they worked for.
Tesla has a clear leader that projects a vision toward the world that inspires people from a place of need and has a physical human leader who embodies that vision.
Other corporations have leaders in the form of teams, in which the leader is a constructed idea or way of being that sells the product they wish to distribute. Perhaps having no human to lead the idea allows the company to project an ideal that is outside of whether you purchase their product or not.
The same practice could be said of religious texts. The stories are more like myths or fantasies, yet they sell a way of being that is beneficial to all those who fully subscribe to the visions. When the vision is undermined or rendered into fantastical idiocy the inspiration, initiative and subscription falls apart and the way of being becomes corrupted and ineffective.
So now we have corporations who are constantly changing their fantastical visions as an opiate that invites humanity to purchase their products as a ritual of initiation into having the ideal they are selling. Not unlike religious rituals to invoke and inspire belief.
The vision acts as propaganda to inspire a way of life and consequently distribute power to the church and money to the corporations.
Perhaps this is what is missing from our governments?
Leadership that inspires us to subscribe to an awe-inspiring and beautiful vision. Perhaps we are bogged down in the literal feasibility of the vision which produces a mediocre vision and a mediocre leader uninspired themselves. Uninspired, the leadership is corrupted. In their inability to create a vision for our communities and nation states, leadership falls back on the economy as the only way forward.
Out of touch, corporations are schooling our politicians in working out what we need, yet they do it to capitalise and make profit. The power given to corporations breaches the borders of nations all over the world and could arguably be announced as the most powerful leaders of the world.
Some understand the responsibility gained from this power and have dedicated their business towards a mission for the good of all.
‘We are in the business of saving our home planet.’ - Patagonia’s mission statement (1).
How does empathy fit into vision?
In discussion we found that when a vision is inspired from a place of empathy it reaches people in an embodied way that then facilitates a way of being that renders all challenges, problems and disputes as mere rain drops one the path to success.
Does defining your particular flavour of success render you an unstoppable force in the face of adversity?
The proof is in the pudding; Patagonia, Viktor Frankl, Elon Musk, Apple, the mission to the moon, Joe Dispenza, etc.
A vision can give us enough fuel for the journey and a leader is one who creates and lives this vision.
Throughout the entire discussion we explored the question: How does the feminine lead? Is there a required balance between the feminine and the masculine needed to be a successful leader at all?
1. Patagonia. Mission Statement. 2020. https://www.patagonia.com/company-info.html