Transformant Leadership

September 12, 2018 Open Leadership No Comments

Tolerate chaos. Try to use it to achieve a new, better order than before.

An important function of a leader is to supply openness for change.

Moses leading the Jews from Egypt to the promised land. Almost every election is about ‘change!’. Not only because what there is now would not be good, but because it’s an innate reflex of people-in-group to look for a leader who can make the necessary change happen. This way, ‘Change!’ sometimes becomes an instrument, a trick to win elections or to embellish the own CV with ‘leadership quality’. In the meantime an election can be won. Afterwards the change often seems cosmetic.

‘Transformation’ is a better word than ‘change’.

With transformation it is clear that one starts from an existing situation. It’s a natural phenomenon, not a ‘change merely for change’. Everything in nature constantly changes. ‘Everything flows’. It flows from the existing situation towards the new one. It uses, where possible, the power that was present in the former situation. Of course a sudden twist is possible, but here too the past is respected.. And exactly by doing so the cosmetic can be transcended to reach what is truly ‘new’. Seems paradoxical. Good. Then it’s interesting.

‘Transforming’ happens by not letting thoughts go too fast and serially from A to B to C.

Slowing down thus to give yourself the opportunity to a more patterned thinking.

Namely: A, B and C (and many more) at the same time. This produces new possibilities, new directions that may surprise you too. But first you need to let the merely serial thinking go. Western post-enlightened culture (education etc.) conditions us more and more NOT to do this. Hence: we feel uncomfortable if, in looking for a solution, we don’t have the impression of racing back and forth. A continuous horizontal movement thus. Anything else seems like ‘nothing’ and an invitation for chaos…. Fear of this and then again a pre-enlightened attitude of not daring to think beyond.

Geniuses, poets, leaders and other marginal cases are not to be stopped in this. The reality is not two-dimensional. Real solutions often present themselves if one dares to work with the total reality.

Exit comfort. Intro ‘nothing’ and ‘chaos’.

Sorry for the dramatic tone. More of a storm in a teacup? Nevertheless. Being able to stand this storm is a characteristic of leadership.

Some chaos is primordial. Nature knows. E.g.: without chaos, no evolution. Hence a somewhat chaotic variation on every level. Most likely, this is also the reason why we die. When ageing, body cells react more and more chaotic, until the equilibrium systems can no longer cope with a particular disease. Result: death. In doing so we make place for next generations and evolution. ‘Process improvement’ as seen by nature.

An example from business life: increasing sick-leave by burn-out, depression…

This is a small piece of chaos for the business.

Solution 1: you try to ‘cure’ the sick faster by more medical checks. That way you try to diminish the chaos as quickly and directly as possible.

Solution 2: You see a chance here. You can ask these people specifically and empathically what they find stressful in their job. Based on this, you can then improve things for everyone. Result: you will automatically get less sick-leave in the future, as well as a larger general productivity.

Even if processes take place efficiently, a degree of chaos is interesting. Sick employees are of course not must haves. Chaos does not necessarily have to be in the process itself. Innovative thinking. This can be grafted on a serial way, by adding small innovations, one at a time. It may also lead to a grand new picture about a new direction. A group-with-boss is inclined to consolidation, instructions, demarcation. Everyone his due. Everyone his desk.

A leader walks about (inside and outside the company), provides new links between people, thus creating some chaos.

At the same time he is concerned with the new order that arises from this: transformation. Growth. NO ‘change for the sake of change’. No cosmetics but new order and progress, driven by the power of the old and not paralyzed by its weight.

He/she who is able to do this, also understands the fun of it.

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