Home Concepts Gestalt Principles Staying Alive In Complex Challenges Of Leadership And Organizations

Staying Alive In Complex Challenges Of Leadership And Organizations

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  1. As leaders (and everyone else), we are usually running after some unrealistic expectations, desires, and wants. Some of these expectations are things that we have to learn to let go, stop grasping and grief over to be effective and to make best of the leadership opportunities when we are in leadership positions:
  • Most, if not all, of these in someway are connected to control. Even though many leaders cognitively know that the results and processes are dependent on many conditions and factors outside their span of control, they organize themselves and their actions in an attempt to take these conditions under their control. The result is while trying to control uncontrollable conditions, they end up giving away, or loosing their power, the ability to influence and mobilize people and systems towards common goals, and the ability to respond effectively to ever-changing conditions, e.g. VUCA.
  • Likewise, the basic and deeply ingrained human need of being able to say “I am innocent” (need to be loved and accepted) is a luxury we have to let go the moment we assume leadership. To say “I am innocent” is moving away from responsibility and accountability, and eventually from power.
  • These two trade – offs, namely power instead of control, accountability over innocence, are what makes a leader, what distinguishes effective from ineffective leadership, according to my experience. When we look deeply into the issues our coaching clients present, more often than not, we will find these four archetypical issues of control, power, need for innocence (need to be loved and accepted) and accountability/responsibility.
  • Other much sought after things, like guarantees, feeling totally secure, or a feeling of fairness, or certainty, or everlasting happiness and satisfaction, and others as well also fall into this category, as we operate in a VUCA environment and these are simply unrealistic.
  • You will also note that to expect to have all of your SCARF (status, certainty, autonomy, relation, fairness) needs to be satisfied all the time is in fact quite unrealistic in a VUCA environment.
  • To the extent a leader tries to grasp these unrealistic expectations, he/she gives away his/her power to lead.
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