I love my country
I have been watching the news surrounding our political and economic landscape and characters with a heavy heart and mixed feelings. I really love my country and all the amazingly diverse, talented, creative and passionate people that I come into contact with daily. I see a country’s potential being systematically destroyed through the corruption, greed and self-interest of a few powerful people. I see the fear, apathy and lack of accountability of many other significant voices that don’t have the courage or conviction to stand up and be heard. I also see and honour those brave few that have refused to stand by and watch and have started to take action and encourage others to heed their call for action and accountability.
In dialogue with South Africans
I have just returned from a week of deep soul searching as part of a Quantum Leadership workshop with Danah Zohar, international quantum scientist, professor and author. As part of this session we held a dialogue session which evolved into a very honest conversation about South Africa and how each of us felt about the past, the present and the future, and explored our own roles and impact. The group was fantastically diverse representing our rainbow nation. Most of us carry an enormous amount of emotion when we talk about this country. For some it is anger, others guilt, hurt and shame. We all however have a much larger passion, hope, pride and willingness to contribute to a brighter future. Each one is actively making a meaningful difference in their own way and at many levels – writing policy, international diplomacy, media stories, leadership coaching, sponsoring, mentoring or caring for the under-privileged and overall transforming lives and organisations.
What if we could all focus on and build a different style of leadership that could take this country toward its greatest potential? This is not only relevant in the political space, but in all of our organisations that feed and grow our economy. The 300-year-old Newtonian style of command, control and top-down management is proving insufficient for our turbulent and volatile world and is failing to produce sustainable results. We need to align our organisations and leadership style to a different Quantum paradigm that demonstrates a more open, flexible, emergent, agile world of infinite possibilities and where every single one of us (our thoughts, words, deeds) have impact on those around us and the very system within which we live and work (family, organisation community, country, world). In this paradigm we need awareness, creativity, participation, commitment and accountability at every level.
Here are four key qualities of a quantum or servant leader that resonated with me:
- Is aware of the interconnectedness of all life
- “My thoughts, words and actions affect everyone around me. I am self-aware and take consider consequences of my decisions carefully.”
- Holds a deep sense of engagement and responsibility
- “I am an active participant and citizen in creating the future. I engage actively in dialogue with those around me to allow new possibilities to emerge.”
- Believes that all human endeavour is part of the rich fabric of life
- “I believe that every person and role is important. I co-operate with and support others to achieve their greatest potential and dreams.”
- Knows that there is a higher purpose of leadership to serve others
- “I am motivated by a sense of higher purpose and service rather than self-interest, fear or greed.”
In addition, here are some suggestions for Quantum Leadership from Danah Zohar herself:
- Quantum leaders thrive on uncertainty. They see lack of certainty and clear boundaries and an opportunity for creative exploration
- Quantum leaders envision many possible outcomes of a situation or problem and are thus prepared for rapid change and unpredictability
- Quantum organisations are non-hierarchical. They make use of inter-connected networks, teams within teams. There are many interacting centres of power.
- Quantum networks are multi-functional and self-organising
- Quantum leaders empower employees as co-creative partners in the organisation
- Quantum leaders encourage questions and experiments. No ideas are “stupid”; no mistakes that don’t present learning opportunities
- Quantum leaders can see many points of view. They know there are many paths from A to B
- Quantum networks are responsive and flexible, hands-off.
- Quantum leaders know that heavy, top down control stifles creativity and flexibility
- Quantum organisations stress co-operation and quality rather than competition
- Quantum leaders respect the need for efficiency, but their emphasis is on meaning, service, relationships and values
What if we could all choose to be more focused on service, purpose, contribution and values?
What if we could ensure we balance our giving and our taking?
What if we all live in integrity and harmony with those around us.
What if we all started taking action and joining the call for quantum leadership and citizenship in the spirit of Ubuntu.
There are many projects already in place and emerging. Contact me if you want to play a bigger role in your organisation or firstname.lastname@example.org
SQ, The Quantum Self and Quantum Leadership Training Manual, Oxford Quantum Systems Dynamics, Danah Zohar