Open Leadership: from Chaotic to Open

February 12, 2021 Open Leadership No Comments

Opening chaos may reveal a meaningful core. Leadership grows when this is done to the benefit of many.

The world is getting more and more complex.

This may appear chaotic, or at least in danger to descend into chaos. A reaction may be an endeavor to avoid chaos by imposing order.

Black or white.

Or some shade of grey: to avoid chaotic blackness, insert orderly whiteness and shake it. This way, at least, we have a compromise, a semblance of order. If things become black again, we’ll insert some white again to balance it. But is this head-on the best way to handle chaos?

Is it not a leader’s responsibility to look further?

Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous. (VUCA)

This concept has been used by many to denote the chaos against which we need to defend ourselves. This defense should lead us back to order. So it is said that our leaders should build this defense ― sometimes as a wall, sometimes even more aggressively. If chaos comes from outside, somewhere, then we may need a preventive strike to thwart it and preserve or restore order. After a nine-eleven event, an axis of evil needs to be discerned and, well, ‘managed.’

Terrorism is black to the core and needs to be culled out.

We push the blackness away and stay comfortably white.

But blackness seems to have the bad habit of returning.

Therefore, we need to put more money into defense, into the army, keeping us safe by strength ― and money, of course. It is the strength of money. Great, no?

Maybe today (2021) is a great day to take a broader view of chaos. I could also say: a deeper view into chaos. Sure, chaos is chaos. But in pertinent cases, the outside may be quite different from the inside. It may be a question of opening up the chaos before shooting.

In my view, this is a leader’s responsibility.

Much ‘chaos’ is complexity.

Please take note: that doesn’t make it less dangerous! However, avoiding the danger may need a different take. A hero is required in order to look the danger straight into the eyes. Eventually, the real threat may reside in the equivocation of complexity as being chaotic.

Today is the day not to put white as the weapon against black, but to open blackness and look inside. There may be complexity. There may be simplicity. There may be both: one being the other. [see: “Complexity of Complexity“]

Today is the day to look at black and see that what one is looking at may be worthwhile. In many cases, only the cloak is black. Yes, even a terrorist is a human being. That does not make his terrorism less vile. Looking at it this way makes it more understandable, thus, preventable.

Not looking further than black may blacken everything.

Opening chaos may reveal the most meaningful patterns.

Discerning this is definitely a leader’s responsibility, as is communicating about it and making sure it lives in society, big or small.

It may prevent the next war.

It may be the start of many interesting sociocultural developments.

It may prevent the use of ever more petty rules to contain chaos that isn’t even there in reality, but only in the perception of those who cannot appreciate complexity, therefore, humanity. Since this doesn’t work, the result may be ever more rules.

An Open Leader’s job is never finished.

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