Leadership involves many things, one key insight that has arisen this decade is that creating sustainable change is really about how we work in complex or VUCA environments.
Another insight is that how we approach an issue is just as important as the solution we bring or the way we understand the problem.
“Around 90 percent of scholarly papers describe our problems. 8% describe solutions. leaving about 2% to get into the how of putting solutions into practice. We need that to change.”
Leadership can be seen in this light as being expert in a number of things: problems, solutions — but also in how we approach what we don’t understand but want to change. Whether this be climate change, designing inclusive learning environments, delivering person-centred planning meetings, facilitating team meetings and yes, even asking a teenager to tidy their room. How we do these things is often hidden from view, more so when we are tired, overworked or just trying to get through the challenges thrown at us each day.
Otto Scharmer: U-process
Sometimes asking for help can mean facing into what we don’t have the time or energy for in our busy schedules. Leadership then also becomes about intentionally creating that time with others who understand what we are trying to achieve.
Viewing leadership in this way has us continually coming back to face into what we don’t yet know, with a deep sense of curiosity about the things that trouble us, even when others are happy to keep going with ‘business as usual’.
We will need help finding others who share our curiosity. And most transformations happen when we work with other deeply curious and committed individuals, on our issues of pressing concern.