At Create Seven, our purpose is to develop and enable leaders to co-create a more sustainable society.  So who do we work with?  The answer is literally everyone. We believe that everyone is a leader and, together, we can create a better future.  This belief has caused some controversy, which we explored in a previous article ‘Is Everyone a Leader?’.  In a recent blog article published on the Climate Lemon website called ‘Feeling powerless? Here’s seven types of citizen power’, Tegan Tallullah very eloquently advocates the different ways we all can use our leadership to create a change in our society. However, she doesn’t use the words ‘leader’ or ‘leadership’.  Why is this?

 

The answer may lie in our experience of taking our message out into the public.  When we say to people we believe everyone is a leader, the response we sometimes get back is “no I’m not a leader”.   Further discussion around how we all lead every day can then prompt the response “no, I don’t want to be a leader”.  It has become clear, from their perspective, ‘leadership’ is a dirty word and they don’t want anything to do with it.  Yet from our perspective, we see them leading every day.

 

Let’s take a step back and look at people’s everyday experience of leadership.  Recently, each time a large company has gone into liquidation, we hear that many of its leaders have walked away with large bonuses whilst leaving their suppliers, employees and pensioners struggling for their financial survival. Many of our political leaders in the UK have been found to have been fiddling their expenses.  In virtually every sector of our society many people in positions of authority and influence have been found to have abused their leadership for their own sexual gratification. Meanwhile, as we struggle to counter the threats emerging from our unsustainable way of living, the Domesday Clock ticks ever closer to midnight. With this prevailing narrative coming through our televisions, radios and newspapers on a daily basis, it is little wonder leadership has become a dirty word.  The fact is many people now experience leadership as being elitist, divisive and negative.

 

On the positive side, there are lots of people using their leadership to co-create a more sustainable society.  These people often prefer call themselves activists or change makers rather than leaders.  In doing so, they separate themselves from leaders in business and politics which, in itself, is a divisive act.  If we are to create a more sustainable future, we must do it together.  We need to reclaim the word ‘leadership’ for everyone.

 

We recently started this process by holding a Bohm Dialogue Workshop, facilitated by Creating Meaning, with the aim to create new narratives of leadership.  Bohm Dialogue, created by the physicist David Bohm, is a free flowing conversation where people think together to create something new.  It is the basis of our approach to ‘Creative Dialogue’. Here is some of what unfolded and captured during the check-out at the end of the Dialogue.

 

Old Narratives of Leadership

New Narratives of Leadership

 

 

Has high self-esteem

Has high self-efficacy

Knows the answer

Holds the space for not knowing and questioning

Good talkers

Good listeners - giving everyone a voice

Forms own group of supporters

Connects diverse groups

Works on progressing own career

Works in line with own purpose

Adopts the values of the organisation

Works in accordance with own values

Projects confidence

Shares own vulnerability with self-compassion

 

You can hear the check-out directly for yourself by listening to the ‘Reclaiming Leadership for Everyone’ Podcast

If we are to reclaim leadership for everyone, space needs to be created for a new narrative to take hold.  This will inevitably involve disrupting the old narrative.  This is already happening as new generations of leaders start to make a difference in our society.  But we need to reclaim leadership for everyone, not just the new generations.  Every voice is of value.  Experience and age does not denote what you’ve got to contribute to society.  A new narrative for leadership will be created by having dialogue between people from diverse groups across our society.  The space for the new narrative to take hold will be created through ‘disruptive listening’.

 

If you would like to bring people together and have a Dialogue creating new narratives of leadership, contact us and we’ll be pleased to share our experience and help you get it organised and facilitated. Alternatively, you can join in with the dialogue in our Facebook Group.

bringing imagination, science and humanity to create the future together.