Leadership Recreated – Key Principles

Are you prepared for this moment in time?

Our increasingly chaotic world is hitting a WALL. This wall is imposed by climate, nature, and human strife.  At the same time, we face a revolution in technology and communications. We must transform every industry, organization, and community to meet this moment and generate high performance for our organizations, society, and nature.  YOUR LEADERSHIP is needed!

Leadership Recreated:

This moment calls on you to lead for Cooperative Advantage and amplify the positive impact of your organization and its stakeholder system

Cooperative Advantage amplifies leadership impact when addressing the complex and interrelated challenges we face today. It builds on themes from our book, Flourishing Enterprise. It harnesses collective potential by shifting from top-down power to reciprocal influence. It combines deep knowledge and sound principles with practical action. And it delivers important advantages.

Leadership for Cooperative Advantage is a cyclic process that includes:

  • Leading:  formal and informal sets of actions that envision and advance a desired future.

  • Following: executing and reciprocally influencing.

  • Unifying: understanding and integrating multiple perspectives into a higher unity that activates collective capability to create and act. Leaders replace control with reciprocal influence to leverage strengths, transform conflict, and unify action. Leaders and followers adapt and shift roles to fit each situation. 

Cooperative Advantage calls for leaders to collaboratively engage Leadership Processes across and among Spheres of Influence and Foci. It also calls on leaders to develop Key Competencies.

Spheres of Influence: The four leadership spheres include: Self, Group, Organization, and System
  • Self: As Peter Drucker suggests, leading self is the foundation for leading others. 

    “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, raising performance to a higher standard, building personality beyond its normal limitations. Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then help orchestrate the energy of those around you.”              

                                                                           – Peter Drucker

    Effective leaders cultivate an inner calm and replace reactivity with skillful response.  They bring clarity and minimize cognitive biases (subconscious thinking errors) and emotional biases (emotional reactivity that blur judgment). 

    Effective leaders also cultivate mindsets that enable collective excellence, including:

    • Cooperation: I consistently model potent cooperation and realize its advantages

    • Care: I act with care, kindness, and respect for all people and all life

    • Opportunity: I create the highest possibility from each situation.

    • Mastery: I continually learn, grow, and master Key Competencies
  • Groups: These include units, functions, project teams, and partnerships. Group leaders coordinate people and processes within and across groups.
  • Organizations: These are highly effective when everyone’s efforts are properly aligned, integrated, and unified. Organizational leaders coordinate people, groups, and processes within and beyond the organization.
  • Systems: Addressing today’s opportunities and threats often requires the engagement of a whole system of interrelated stakeholders. System leaders coordinate webs of people, groups, organizations, and processes. 

Focus: Ninety per cent of S&P 500 business value is derived from intangible assets (up from 17% in 1975). The focus of tangible leadership is primarily physical assets (e.g. plant, machinery, computer equipment, inventory, cash).

Intangible leadership focuses on cultivating our, and each other‘s, full human potential. This is achieved by managing our inner state and accessing a space of calm and group flow. This requires a certain degree of internal nervous system coherence, along with the ability to attune to the collective. However, managing our feelings and stress amid chaos can be difficult. It is a leadership skill to be able to de-escalate and re-attune to others in such situations.

Competencies: Cooperative Advantage is advanced through proficiency with four Leadership Competencies  which are applied across and among several Spheres of Influence and Leadership Foci.

As we develop these competencies, we improve how we lead, follow, and unify. The compounding effects of practicing together fuels higher and higher levels of leadership excellence and world class performance.As in sports and the performing arts, a growth mindset, deliberate practice, and challenging conditions can foster superior development.  In the workplace, leaders develop increased competence as they are challenged to connect, coordinate, and co-create under increasingly complex and chaotic circumstance.

Getting Started:

You can introduce Cooperative Advantage through the following three steps:  

  1. Clarify your leadership situation and priorities and align around a specific agenda for amplifying your leadership impact.
  2. Conduct a focused pilot that involves a small, committed group. This includes clear objectives, scope, learning priorities, and impact outcomes.
  3. Design and launch a broader effort to amplify your leadership impact by advancing clarity and focus, impact through cooperation, and compound learning.