Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership The Leadership Spectrum: I. Three Primary Perspectives and Practices

The Leadership Spectrum: I. Three Primary Perspectives and Practices

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The Domain of Ideas

The domain of ideas is entered whenever we attempt to generate a proposal intended to move from the current to the desired state. Ideas are sometimes fragile, often misunderstood, and easily lost. While information exists everywhere, we often ignore or misinterpret it. But we can usually go back and retrieve it. Similarly, even though intentions may be ignored or distorted, they resist extinction. Their resistance to change is often a source of frustration: old values linger as do old visions and purposes. Good ideas, on the other hand, are easy to lose and hard to recover.

Settings must be created in which ideas can readily be generated and retained. Two processes are essential. Divergence produces creative ideas. Divergence requires a minimum censorship of ideas, minimal restriction on people offering their own suggestions and taking risks, and minimal adherence to prescribed rules or procedures for the generation of new ideas. The second process is convergence. People must be given the opportunity to build on each other’s ideas, to identify similarities in their ideas, and to agree upon a desired course of action. Convergence requires leaders to observe specific rules and procedures, to listen to ideas and to be constructively critical of other ideas. The domain of ideas often requires that we display a subtle and skillful interplay between convergence and divergence.

Colors of the Domains

In the fiefdoms of the Middle Ages, not only did every domain have its own norms, values and narratives, it also had a shield or at least colors that provided this domain with a powerful, visual representation of its norms, values and narratives. While we are not in a place to design a shield for each domain, we can assign it an appropriate color. We have chosen to assign each domain one of the three primary colors on the spectrum: red, blue and yellow (acknowledging that there is a competing model concerning the three primary colors).

We are assigning the color of red to the Domain of Ideas. In fact, it is a ruby red– for as we are about to see this is the domain that is glowing with energy and vitality. The Domain of Intentions has been assigned the color of blue (and more intensely azure blue). This is a color that represents sky and azure blue suggests a quite beautiful sky that inspires us to look upward and outward into the future. Finally, the Domain of Information is represented by yellow. A Golden Yellow represents the intense light emanating from the sun. We must be illuminated by light if we are to find our way forward.

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