Prepare to Lead a Change

Enter the fundamental state of leadership by engaging in eight practices : reflective action, authentic engagement, appreciative inquiry, grounded vision, adaptive confidence, detached interdependence, responsible freedom, and tough love

Leadership development is a two-step process. First, people must change themselves by choosing to enter the fundamental state of leadership, and second, they help others change by helping them enter the fundamental state of leadership. People do not have to hold a position at the top of an organization to lead change. Likewise, not all people at the top of an organization are—ever—in a fundamental state of leadership. Many executives are called leaders because of the position they hold, which is not the same as leading. The concept of the fundamental state of leadership redefines what leadership means. Leadership is not synonymous with authority, and it is not a set of learnable skills. It is a state—a way of being. With this redefinition of leadership comes a corresponding redefinition of how leadership should be developed.

There is no way to teach leadership except by being what one wants to be in order to inspire others. In the fundamental state of leadership, people become natural “attractors.” With those they attract, they develop a social movement that subsequently develops into a critical mass of people who see things in a new way and who are willing to join together to produce innovative initiatives. This critical mass becomes a productive community that continuously strives to adapt to reality as it emerges, so that together they build a bridge as they walk on it.

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