To Lead in a pandemic time is like Surfing on the Edge of Chaos

In WiLD Leadership by From

A new reality

We are living through a global challenge where collective trauma layers are being reactivated. It’s important that we meet this moment with presence: honoring our fear while awakening the resilience that has been transmitted from our ancestors who survived crises in the past. We can choose to raise our awareness—to create mutual support and collaboration, find a new vision, and fully embody our potential.”

— Thomas Hübl

New findings – old wisdom

We experience a time of ”meta crises” where changes are bigger and happen faster than ever. And on top of climate change, diversity loss, droughts, flooding, and wildfires came the unpredictable pandemic situation that places new pressures on leaders and society. As external forces rise and the rate of change accelerates so do the requirements on the quality of precision and speed in decision-making and adaptation. Leadership is increasingly characterized by the ability to maneuver in this complexity. It´s like learning to surf on the edge of chaos.

The latest findings and research about regeneratively and adaptation to change, have proved to be the old, used and tested knowledge of many of the older cultures that developed in harmony with nature. They possess that deeper and wider knowledge that is passed on from generation to generation; it seems to have codes and the visionary power to see right through our own culture.  We like to just call it Wisdom

New methods for leadership development

In a fast-moving, global and flexible and unpredictable economy, leadership is about mobilizing people’s will to adapt and change. Specifically, to create something worthy and meaningful in times when business, as usual, seems to be dead-end. When this type of energy exists all those in a group have to step up to the level of higher potential. In a post-heroic leadership, we no longer see the leader themselves as the centerpiece and superstar, but rather as a gardener/coaches whose main task is to give the team and others the most optimal conditions to perform on that higher level. The changes are occurring on all levels, both professionally and in our personal lives. The future’s WiLD leadership will require, even more, the ability to quickly acclimate to new situations, pressing issues, complexity, and dilemmas at a higher rate than constant change. To be able to move actively and proactively. To take a step backward and reflect on a situation quickly to go back and work earnestly based on the new perspective (action inquiry).

We need to develop our leadership to higher levels to have a greater proficiency in leadership as a whole. Such awareness implies a higher capacity to deal with complex thinking, a lower degree of defensive self-interest and more abstract identifications with the world, society, and nature. With solidarity that deepens and broadens to include more perceptive creatures in more ways. Moreover, it is about the ability to mobilize yours and other’s energy and engagement, in order to create and live our values in a more profound way than before. To go to an inner place of deep knowing; finding and letting one’s internal compass come to life.

WiLD Leadership easily replaces order and instructions with forms of leadership that focus on visions, values, and general guidelines/policies. Employees on all levels are given a bigger responsibility to think independently and to live up to the ambitions that guide both the internal collaboration and the interaction with the outside world. Conscious Leaders don’t see themselves as the all-knowing decision-makers but rather as engaged guides.

With WiLD Leadership, overall ambitions translate to new patterns of action in the organizations “capillaries”. The management’s ambitions are given the space to be interpreted and understood in order to get meaningful content for decisions and actions. With WiLD Leadership, constructive dialogues are created allowing everyone to draw conclusions for the prerequisites for success.

A WiLD Leadership implicates and transforms many levels and aspects of awareness and leadership. As to proactively seek connections and contribution from stakeholders for feedback in order to increase the amount of input:
– One thinks outside their own industry and compares themselves with other companies in other industries.
– One addresses challenges that have not been resolved earlier and which require cooperation and creativity.

As one gradually develops their leadership the ability to navigate the chaos becomes smoother, so that one is not simply blindly trusting that they are creating a creative environment. Now the ability to allow and manage conflict has increased. Here, the “conscious presence at the moment” has grown, meaning that you not only can reflect on these occasional moments but that you have a permanent, connected presence and capability to reflect at the moment, even in times of conflict or when values are being challenged.

At this level, WiLD Leadership looks like inviting in and keeping a space where fundamentally different values can be allowed to be explored and tested. One has a good intuition and sense for how different actors relate to the problems at hand, and how everyone could cooperate.

A Conscious Leader has the ability to:
– Motivate themselves to develop as a leader
– Understand the importance of employees’ or other stakeholders’ perspectives and interests, and the ability to consider, affect and integrate them into the everyday work
– See the complex connections, but also to critically question knowledge and other assumptions, as well as having the capacity to create change in the organization.
– Have an understanding of what is happening in their surroundings and where the world is heading.

To attract leaders and partners to this level of consciousness requires the meaningfulness of the work to go beyond the goals of the organization. The company’s purpose and vision must not be in conflict with what is considered meaningful, often with social and environmental responsibility, which are necessary aspects of the operations of the organization. WiLD Leadership is a way to work towards a higher purpose that is embodied and shared with others. One is driven by a need to develop and transform a company, or even an entire industry.

WiLD Leadership can develop into an even deeper intuition and ability to be presently constant and stable in situations, as well as to be attentive to thoughts, feeling and complexity and conflict. There is a deep sense of meaningfulness, as well as a risk that one can become critical of this meaningfulness. With a little effort, we can detect small nuances in our moods, and see that we have the ability to influence using the strong presence that we have developed. One takes more personal risks, has a developed and deep understanding of human nature, and constantly knows what needs to be seen and what is standing in the way in the process of further development. One relies on a constant flow of creative solutions that benefits all current stakeholders (even those of which who will not have any connection with future generations), which can continue to test and attach certain solutions to different actors.

WiLD Leaders are, at this stage, most often involved in global issues, even if the organization may seem to not have such explicit goals and is guided by a strong intuition; for if the work you do is in line with what you feel is meaningful that can sometimes count for generations to come. But, one can also let go of everything and play with new ideas.

WiLD Leadership doesn’t only mean mastering the ever-more, complex causality but also learning to live with the idea that we can skillfully manage “complex causality” through comprehensive theories, intricate strategies, sophisticated models of organization and above all, not by devising smart plans and trying to just get them done. Conscious leadership is about learning to surf on the edge of chaos.