Friday, May 30, 2008

Transformational Leadership & the Wisdom Age

In Stephen Covey’s 8th Discipline, he outlines the transformation of our working lives from an Industrial age to a Knowledge worker age. Anyone would agree that certainly our first world economies are firmly rooted in the knowledge worker age, whereas our third world economies are perhaps a bit behind that.

What comes after the Knoweldge worker is the Age of Wisdom, and it is Transformational Leadership that lubricates the transition between the two.
In a knowledge filled world, we have access to huge quantitative of information, especially via the internet. We get to take in, process and make use of more information than ever before. This does not mean that it is ever turned into Wisdom.

KNOWLEDGE = Information Applied
WISDOM = Knowledge & Reflection over time

We can apply, process and refine all the data we want to in the pursuit of Wisdom, but if our efforts remain in the transactional realm, merely shifting the data around, breaking it apart and reconstituting it, we miss the vital element of our own reflection. Without our own reflection over time we stay in the realm of the mind, and never reach the transformational levels to really break through.

A transformational leader will most likely be pressed for time, especially during the early stage of perhaps crises, and so it is important to break away from the never-ending grind of slogging away, and lead some personal transformation. Making time to reflect during the day, or perhaps before or after, creates space in our compact lives. Many of the most successful top executives take time to reflect or meditate during the day. In a world that we do not have complete control over, having this time is time that you control. Transformational leadership can be a demanding undertaking, and if you are the leader, but burning out, how will your team see you, and more importantly, who will they be copying.

As we move from being efficient with our time and energy, how do we make the move to being really great at who we are, and what we do? How to we make the leap of faith to surrender and trust in our purpose, letting go of the need to control all that happen around us?

When will we have the wisdom to let life guide us, to make the time to reflect and listen to our instincts and follow them, in line with life?
Our world is driven by our drivenness, at the expense of humanity. We forsake our higher purposes to be slave to our lower desires, and then complain that we are not making progress.

Transformational Leadership calls us to take a stand for something greater in our world. It allows us to choose to follow our higher calling in life, and to call others to do the same; to invite others to access their own transformational leadership potential, and bring it into the world, in the service of humanity and our collective good.

In our wisdom, we can do this. I can do this, you can do this.

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