In a blog on June 10th, I wrote the following:
“When I teach executives how to move into the fundamental state of leadership, I often suggest that they must come to embrace the future and embody the vision that they seek to realize. Many find this idea hard to understand. In the book, Leading from the Emerging Future, Scharmer and Kaufer write that to bring possibility to reality, leaders must make a shift from a conventional “ego perspective” to a nonconventional “eco perspective.”
‘This inner shift, from fighting the old to sensing and presencing an emerging future possibility, is at the core of all deep leadership work today. It’s a shift that requires us to expand our thinking from the head to the heart. It is a shift from an ego system awareness that cares about the well-being of oneself to an eco-system awareness that cares about the well-being of all, including oneself. When operating with eco- system awareness, we are driven by the concerns and intentions of our emerging or essential self— that is, by a concern that is informed by the well- being of the whole.”
The authors go on to propose that judgments must be suspended and attention refocused. One must let go of the past and embrace the future that is trying to emerge through us. This is what they mean by “presencing” the future. We must become a present manifestation of the future that is trying to unfold. They argue that this is, perhaps, the most important of all leadership capacities.’”
I would like to add something more. There are many unconventional notions of leadership here:
- One can shift from an ego to eco perspective
- Sensing the future matters
- Presencing the future matters
- The heart and head must work together
- One must care for the well-being of all
- Caring for the well-being of all includes the well-being of self
- There is an emerging or essential self that has concerns and intentions
- The emerging or essential self is tied to the well-being of the whole
- We must embrace the future that is trying to emerge through us
To shift from the ego to the eco perspective is to enter what I call the fundamental state of leadership. I believe that we all tend to live in a comfort centered, externally driven, self-focused and internally closed state. We, however, can choose to live in a purpose centered, internally driven, other focused and externally open state. In the fundamental state of leadership we see the purpose that is trying to unfold, we live with integrity around the pursuit of the purpose, we orient to the needs of all, and we recognize that we the whole of which we are a part is complex and dynamic. Leadership is about the constant expansion of consciousness and the co-creation of the best possible future. In pursuing the best possible future, we create the best possible self. We become a living symbol of what we are trying to bring about.
Why is leadership about the expansion of consciousness?
What is the difference between the ego perspective and the eco perspective?
How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?