The great leaders can emerge from any part of any organization, whether they have a position of authority or not. As Dan Ebener and Borna Jalsenjak write in their new book, Leadership for the Greater Good, “Using the word ‘leader’ to include everyone who makes it to the top is a disservice to the whole idea of leadership”, which they define as “a voluntary, interactive process that intends adaptive change”.
Ebener and Jalsenjak state that leadership is an activity not a position. It is voluntary because coercive measures are never leadership. It is interactive because it requires dialogue with the people who are closest to the problem to lead adaptive change. It is adaptive because organizations must tackle the relentless challenges which Ronald Heifetz describes as having “no easy answers”. Adaptive leadership calls for flatter structures, bolder strategies and a more open culture, all of which will encourage even more leadership to emerge organically.
Leadership for the greater good involves adaptive change that places people and purpose ahead of profit. It inspires leaders to serve people as they serve a purpose. It employs an adaptive leadership process that (1) involves people in the change process, (2) listens to their cares and concerns, (3) engages them in creating the change and (4) opens up the culture to encourage anyone to lead.
May you remember always the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see”. In your creation and realization of that change, search your heart for the courage, patience and resilience it takes to step up and lead. If you have positional authority, do everything in your power to create the conditions so others can become that best version of themselves and lead the change they wish to see. You are the best!
Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!