The Time Of Leadership Is Gone! Welcome To The Envisioning Era!

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The best way to explain it is by citing Antoine de Saint Exupéry:

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather help them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

It has been said “To become a better leader you simply need to lead more!” Well, like Antoine, I’m arguing just the opposite, i.e., to become a better leader, one needs to lead less and share more!

Actually, a great leader wouldn’t even need to lead at all, but simply share a clear Vision with moral authority!

The word “leader” has been used so much, to the point of making it a trite anachronism. Definitions abound, but most touch only on the attributes and serve very little, if any, practical purpose, other than having followers, which any fool can have.

I have good news, the time to lead is gone. Now is the time to Envision with Moral Authority!

And for this, you only need to do one thing, and one thing only, namely, change the DNA of your organization’s structure that is based on simple goals and objectives, for one based on your vision and moral authority.

However, before you even attempt to do this, you must have a crystal-clear picture of your Vision and have the moral authority to support it!

Jeff Bezos, for example, knows perfectly well that the vision of his company is to be obsessed with customer service. But Amazon’s customer service goes far beyond offering the best quality product/service and satisfying the needs of its customers. At Amazon, they not only anticipate the needs of their customers, but also generate new desires and needs that their customers have not even had the time or desire to imagine yet!

Once you have transformed the DNA of your organization’s structure which, by the way, will be the greatest challenge you’ve ever faced, you would have thoroughly conveyed your Vision throughout your organization, and successfully transformed your followers into leaders!

You see, to be the best leader you can be (e.g., omega leader with moral authority), you cannot afford to have followers who need constant directions and feedback, and yet, would keep making a mess. To be an omega leader you need to transform your followers into leaders who share and completely understand your Vision and value your moral authority.

This is especially true in today’s global environment characterized by increasing relevant uncertainties, systems discontinuities, and almost non-existent or pseudo-moral values.

Omega leaders — The very best are those capable of transmitting their Vision/Ideal to the rest (e.g., Jesus Christ). Visionaries transmit their vision to the workforce who, based on the moral authority of that Vision/Ideal, self-organize and move forward with a clear and complete understanding of the fundamental purpose of every effort and action that needs to be undertaken to progress toward the desired vision and/or ideal to the point of sacrificing their own life for the common good.

Save yourself massive amounts of resources trying to “lead more.” Instead, focus on developing a crystal-clear Vision of your organization.

This can be best done in a single day through the Search Conference*.

Then, once everyone is on the exact same page, let them create an organizational structure conducive to ideal-seeking behavior based on their shared Vision.

This can be best accomplished through the Participative Design Workshop. Thus, effectively transforming your “followers” from mere goal-seeking individuals into ideal-seeking leaders ready, willing, and able to make your Vision come true!

Humility and moral authority must be at the center, as it has been with the most amazing leaders that ever were!

Humility and moral authority are the building blocks upon which the best organizational structures can be built in order to truly harness the power of the collective wisdom.

The Search Conference (SC) and Participative Design Workshop (PDW) are based upon these two fundamental building blocks.

The SC and PDW are not a “new and improved” methodology aimed at “milking” companies whose CEOs don’t know better. The SC and PDW were developed since 1963, over six decades, by Fred and Merrelyn Emery who devoted their life to creating a win/win working environment where everyone feels truly appreciated, with a sense of a higher purpose, and beyond the basic needs of mutual respect and support.

According to Zook and Allen, some companies believe that they have managed to maintain the founder’s Vision by keeping their organization very “flat.” This “flatness,” though, is not sustainable and, sooner or later, the founder’s Vision will be lost.

“Flat” organizations do try to approach what the Emerys call the Second Design Principle (DP2), which is truly sustainable and the opposite of the restrictive bureaucratic organizational structure (First Design Principle or DP1). However, these flat organizations do not have any understanding of the organizational design principles involved, to begin with. Thus, the “flatness” of these organizations remains artificially phenotypic, i.e., their DNA remains bureaucratic, regardless of their apparent “flatness.”

Once an organization has managed to (re)design itself as a DP2 organization, then the leader can stop worrying about leading and simply watch it flourish and enjoy.

And, what is even much more important, is the fact that, although the visionary will die some day, the vision will live forever, that’s The Power Of Vision!

To The Health of a True Visionary and the Power of Your Vision!

JC Wandemberg Ph.D.

Sustainable Systems International

About the author: Dr. Wandemberg is an international consultant, stocks trader, professor, and analyst of economic, environmental, social, managerial, marketing, and political issues. For the past 30 years Dr. Wandemberg has collaborated with corporations, communities, and organizations to integrate sustainability through self-transformation processes and Open Systems Design Principles, thus, catalyzing a Culture of Trust, Transparency, and Integrity.

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