In other posts, I have tried (with respect) to call-out my colleagues for providing lightweight advice that really doesn’t work for the long haul.
I have asked them to join me in creating what I see as authentic Leadership () that grows leaders slowly and effectively refines the recipes of up-and-comer leaders like a “crock pot” cooker cooks a delicious recipe over time.
And I ask them to not work to try to create a community of “microwave” leaders (small l) and their entourage of microwave coaches, trainers, charismatic and celebrity experts, etc.
We have all seen the marketing literature offering leadership training, seminars, workshops,, and development.
Same Stuff, Different Day
Some of you have been around for years and we all have participated in one or more of these offerings.
And here we are again … new models, new techniques … new programs … new gurus … same exaggerated promises … same buyer beware marketing … high participation costs … slicker packaging … mediated) credentials … same shallow results.based (
Still we somehow just cannot get enough of “playing” at.
It is just too much fun at an ego level.
Leadership As a Profession
So my writings are attempts to awaken the leadership community so they will embrace the assertion that Leadership is, in fact, a.
One that requires mastery of a complex set of theories, knowledge and diverse skills through education, a deep professional development practice and extensive practical experience.
Mastering the profession is a lifelong continuous learning and consciousness growth process.
If we can agree on this basic premise then we might also agree that a day or week of development or access to a broad array of “how to” techniques is simply more of the same with predictable results even if the packaging is more appealing, the language cooler and the pitch more narcissistic.
Nuke Me, Baby
While the practitioners of the “microwave” model seem to lack the commitment or awareness to strive for the Big L model, they very much want to appear to be fully competent and achieving as leaders, leadership development experts, experienced and wise coaches, etc.
But the depth of their “expertise” is, at its core, seriously flawed.
The result is a facade and most likely a manifestation of the trickster ego and self-deception.
I know there are many serious Leadership professionals hard at work developing new models (see Integral Leadership as an example) for evolving our profession, remaking leadership development programs, and coaching leaders in taking up the practice in a deeper approach. So although the Big L are a minority, they are a growing force.
“What one can be, one must be!” ~ Abraham Maslow
On Leadership, Growth, and Prosperity
One of our profession’s paradoxes is that everyone sees the leadership profession through their personal filters that are shaped and embedded with the values and beliefs from our total life experience.
So whomever’s model we favor has some knowledge, truth, wisdom, and meaningful lessons along with some biases, inaccuracies, reductionism, and perhaps a few shadow elements that distort the truth of the model’s design.
We know authentic Leadership is critical to the present and future of our country’s economic and business growth and prosperity.
I believe it is also at the heart in shaping our spiritual (ethics and moral) beliefs and values.
To Evolve or Devolve
As a result, Leadership will either contribute to our increasing decline or evolve to help us map the pathway to a new and better future. And, we must begin to differentiate leadership practices that are “style, surface, symptom” based from those that are “higher consciousness” based.
As life in today’s complex and chaotic world continues to confront us with new and greater challenges, we can evolve, grow, and find the calling of Big L Leadership or continue to pretend we are not pretending.
How do we achieve higher stage leadership development and show up as our highest self in service to a noble purpose?
Your Leadership Calling
To me, we can best find our leadership calling and our noble purpose through a lifelong search for our authentic self, courageously engaging in deep shadow work to address our self-defeating beliefs and behaviors, and growing in consciousness closer to our spiritual nature – the core of our highest self.
The approach we take in finding out “who we are, really” can bind us to our limited ego self or it can lead us to our limitless authentic self.
We can pretend leadership is nothing more the effective translation of the various value shaping and leadership processes offered today or we can discover that authentic leadership requires us to take the journey into “self.”
This is a bold undertaking that transforms us at a head, heart, and soul level.
Even if what we so devoutly believe we know as reality is radically changed or it is scrapped all together.
Flavor of the Day
From a Leader’s (Big L) point of view, simply leading by translating the latest flavor of the day leadership ideas is not enough to develop us deeply as authentic Leaders who can make a significant difference in today’s world.
In fact, until we awaken and commit to take up the practice of our profession all the seminars, coaching and certifications in the world will only serve to feed and inflate our ego so we can continue to “play house” operating in a leadership role in which we don’t know what we don’t know.
All our stories end the same way – with our ultimate demise. What legacy will we leave? Poseur or authentic leader, what does your inner voice tell you? A narcissist focused on my ego needs or a servant pursuing a noble purpose in service to others.
So what to do?
“Do everything as if it were the only thing in the world that mattered, while all the time knowing that it doesn’t matter at all.” ~ Advice Don Juan gave Carlos Castaneda
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Image Sources: katherinemariephotography.com
- What is Leadership Development? (milliondollarbuzz.wordpress.com)
- Leaders: Would You Rather be Liked or Respected? (linked2leadership.com)
- On Leadership, Passion, and Gluttony: The Courage to Change (linked2leadership.com)