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  • Ulf Kurkiewicz

Leadership - What Leadership?

We live in a situation where some of us have a good and comfortable life, at least at the surface. Others struggle to survive and to find something to eat on an every day basis. Others have to take the consequences from ..........

......... the environmental impact imposed by us humans. How did we get to this situation, where we extract the resources from Earth long beyond what it can manage?

From my point of view we have ended up in this situation because of poor leadership. A leadership executed on all levels, from the individual, over the political and into the business levels. A leadership focused on short term goals, with lack of considerations of the consequences for them coming after. In many cases personal incentives, high salary, other benefits, power and votes in next election comes with highest priority.

Maybe a hard description, but we are in a situation where leadership need to shift focus and add some new elements to be able to handle the situation we have put ourselves into. Lot of talk and promises, but no action, summarizes the situation.

Of course there are numerous examples of good leaders and leadership out there, but sadly not in the right areas or positions.

We are simply not good at describing consequences of decisions taken by ourselves or by leaders. And the same goes for our ability to create a narrative about our future that can serve as a beacon for humans to aim for. We are instead good of creating narratives that blurs the reality, and creating Domesday narratives that pictures the devastation of mankind together with our fellow animals and other living beings.

We have a to narrow view of time and do not take the responsibility for the inheritors of what we have created. The care of each other has been exchanged to benefits for myself. What’s in it for me kind of handling?

”We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.

Albert Einstein

A profound change in the way we act, lead and decide things is needed. A change in the way many of us live, and a change in leadership. Changes in the way we live need to be practical and need to have benefits for all affected, meaning all of us. It most likely will have an impact of our current financial system, moving from growth to circular economy. I will not follow this thread in this article. It will take to much focus from the leadership aspect.

In my view a new leadership is needed. A leadership that reflects the human and life side of the equation. A human side with respect for the individual, the right for different beliefs and the right to express your view. A leadership that also takes the right to life for all beings into considerations, before decisions are taken. Where long term perspective is a fundamental and natural part of discussions, analysis and synthesis of different problems or challenges.

All changes occur inside individuals, so there is where it starts. The development of the new kind of leadership is at the starting level a transformation of you as an individual. Changes that will ripple across and over to gatherings, organizations and companies. Bringing the result of the transformation into action on different levels. The transformation includes gaining a new perspective of yourself, other individuals, how you do things and how what you do effects yourself, other persons, your activity and your surrounding world. It means that you have to really get to know your self, what you stand for and how you live according to your values. Make it clear for yourself what the new values will require from you. Find out what is true about yourself, seen from other persons point of view, and what is just things in your mind, or on paper, not put into live action in real life. You have the responsibility of leading the transformation of yourself.

If you want to take on a leader role for others it requires that you take the responsibility for yourself and the ones you are set to lead. Taking on a leader role gives you power over others, in some sense, and with that follows also a responsibility to take care of them you have the responsibility for. It is not about becoming ”curling parent”, more from a coaching based perspective, coaching from another level of understanding. A coaching perspective with collaboration, co-creation, development and equal treatment as it foundation. A perspective that help you to have an eye on the long term view and at the same time conduct actions that benefits yourself, the ones you are set to lead, the activity you are engaged in and your surrounding environment.

Can anybody become a leader, or is this something for specially trained and skilled persons? Tricky question, isn’t it? Everyone can, and should lead them selves. Can everyone lead others? Most likely everyone can, but with very different outcome. The leadership that need to emerge to handle, and to set out the way forward must have some characteristics as a foundation for their leadership. Most of them can be trained but some of them need to exist, on some level, within the person. A profound understanding of relationship, the importance of understanding, and to value other human beings are some. Understanding, and acting accordingly, the nature and other beings around us is another one.

Obtain and develop the capability of resilience and resilient behavior is one thing that can be trained. Developing a holistic view and the use of scenario planning is another one. Setting and put into action long and short term goals with a just cause is another. Inspire others by live out the things that really matter and benefits the ones coming after us.

We know that there are huge challenges laying there to be taken care of. Meaning that leaders will have to act in situations that will change rapidly. Leaders need to develop a mindset and ability to come out of every new situation with increased energy. Taking the opportunity to use the large amount of knowledge hiding in the ones being lead. Dare to involve everybody into risk management and idea creation. One keyword for the new leader is collaboration. Collaborate with the ones you lead, collaborate within or outside your organization.With collaboration you can create a real win - win situation.

Are all the new leaders all ”well” educated with bachelor and master degrees? On the contrary, I think you can find the new leaders all over the place, you just have to look for the right ones. The ones that actually have some of the characteristics needed. The rest is a development thing.

To create the needed changes we have to conduct to become into balance with our planet there is a need of change in behaviour, or self leadership if you want to use that word. If just people did this or that can be heard from politicians and business leaders. The people down at the bottom is the ones that need to change. This can seem right in some sense, but, and there is a big but.

We all need to change - and change at different scales. As individuals or families we can contribute at some areas. As politicians you need to make your changes through your leadership at the level you are, with the benefit for your population and their environment as first objective. Working as business leader, or in authorities you need to make the necessary changes according to your work objectives and in the benefit of all living beings.

The new leaders have the courage to tell how things really are, and they take responsibility for actions leading to a better situation for everyone. They care about the ones coming after us when setting goals, strategies and taking decisions.

Be conscious! Ulf

You bend your back when turmoil rules around you and everything is put at its extreme. You bend but don’t break. Rising up with new strength and experience. Stronger than before, ready to handle whatever comes in your way.

Your fragmented mind is to no use when faced with unknown challenges. It cannot support you to make wise decisions. You have to return to your inherent I and reconnect with your true values. Removing the parts that actually are unnecessary roles you play. Becoming the real you.

The way forward is not based on competition, now it is based on collaboration. Finding the things that unite, instead of split. Find and share our values as human beings as a foundation and focus on how to create a win-win situation, instead of a winner - loser mindset.


Future World Music - The Miracle of Life | composed by Armen Hambar


Be an infinite player | Simon Sinek


Dare to be vulnerable (How To Deal with Your Critics) | Brené Brown


The infinity game | Simon Sinek


The Good Ancestor | Roman Krznaric


Structure in Fives, Designing Effective Organizations | Henry Mintzberg

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