Peter Senge, in his book, The Fifth Discipline, argued that there is interconnectedness, a relationship, between all forces of matter that act and react upon each other. Not only do they act and react on each other, but act across time and space. These relationships, built upon an exchange of information past and present, transform interrelated processes that act upon us and create our state of being. A social-psycho Darwinian evolution, if you will. This state of being is our reality.
In reading and assessing Senge, many thoughts and ideas relating to my personal leadership style began sprouting like beanstalks. What was discovered was a fledgling personal assessment defining leadership. In defining leadership throughout this philosophy/assessment paper, therefore, I specify an effective and evolving leader as an individual, constantly aware of the forces in action and uses this understanding to forge and reshape the ability to generate proactive responses, as opposed to reactive responses based upon personal awareness.
Ideologically and pedantically, a leader must be committed to serving for the social and environmental welfare, whether for organization or for community. The framework for this commitment is attributed to ecological thinking (you, me and us), and transformed through relationship building. The relationships directly affected by an individual’s ability to adapt to the dynamics influencing a system already in operation, enables each “reality” to transform and manifest a “new reality” of possibility.
The “new reality” or shift in mental models or paradigms creates a domain for continual learning and participation in an ever-unfolding future.
From commitment to a proactive approach and continuous learning, leaders authenticate their presence and attract others to the unfolding of all that is full of possibility. Those involved collectively contribute to an evolving philosophy and smaller world.
My evolving philosophy, curious as a newborn, is based on four principles: awareness, adaptability, interpersonal ecology, and connecting. My rationale is as a leader maintains and focuses on these principles, the leader proactively contributes by identifying and leading the charge for change. To be proactive, a leader must understand the following, as they relate to self:
Awareness: a conscious ability to observe and process useful information pertaining to relationships developed between others or relationship of self.
Of course, it is impossible for anyone to be constantly conscious of what experiences are unveiled at any given moment all of the time. Each fleeting moment various aspects of awareness come in and out of focus. With a conscious effort, however, awareness used a tool gives a leader a framework for discovering and understanding crucial information of self and others. A leader’s capability to be aware of and ability to manage and understand self allows a leader to elicit desirable behavior from others. The key to opening up this awareness, therefore, begins with the part of the system within any individual’s sphere of influence—self. Change in self stimulates change in other parts of the system.
Adaptability: the extent to which relationships and systems are able to change to meet various circumstances. Leadership is reflected in the means in which goals and directions are determined. In a structured system, leadership is top-down, authoritarian. This system’s stability comes from the same people making most of the important decisions. In a less structured more flexible system, however, democratic relationships create an environment where everyone has input. The ultimate responsibility for coordination and decision making is shared or rotated.
Flexible systems plan, but those plans are easily and readily changed determined by the current circumstances. Successful leaders balance both systems to make changes according to the situation.
Interpersonal ecology: the benefactors of our wants summed up in three categories – me, you, and us.
Wants for self. Leaders must be aware of what they truly desire. The leader should be aware of their personal wants and desires.
That way, the leader is better prepared to help others pursue their dreams as well.
Wants for others. A leader thinks about what is truly wanted by others. This desire to help others succeed and achieve drives the leader to greatness.
Wants for us. A leader focuses on him/herself and each member of the larger community, focusing on wants for the entity.
As leaders master interpersonal ecology, the gain in self-confidence and the ability to .