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  • Ana de Andrés

LEADERSHIP IS A JOURNEY OF SELF-TRANSFORMATION


Seriously thinking that I need a break, don´t you?  Yet lucid enough to be grateful for this “school year”, in spite of the challenges, or maybe precisely because of their positive externalities: some key realizations resulting from the deepening of the questions.

My greater discovery (or should I say confirmation?) is the profound insight that leadership is a journey of self-transformation. Only when we finally stop fighting and trying to change others are we ready to discover that leadership is almost purely an “excuse” to engage in self-transformation. Everything else is day-to-day management, even if we decorate it.

Most voices agree that we are witnessing the birth of a “New Order”, where our leaders are facing new dilemmas, which seem rather intractable to many of them.  The very concept of leadership is being redefined, and there is a rising consensus that only through building a new kind of collective leadership will we be prepared to face this “Order” in a way that is conscious, intentional and strategic. We are also witnessing the decline of the "heroic leader", as no one can solve the adaptive challenges that we are facing both at the macro and at the micro level. I would dare to add that in the medium term –and I hope that this is much more than wishful thinking- we will also be witnessing the decline of selfish leaders, and that real social commitment will once again become "fashionable", even if only for those who want to enjoy fulfilling lives. Last but not least, we are definitively in need of “complex thinkers”, able to transcend polarities and to continue expanding their minds -and their consciousness- to work through them wisely. 

To navigate these new circumstances, we need leaders who cross the boundaries of their own thinking –and emotions- and evolve those of their businesses, organizations and teams. We also need to question the suitability to face the future of traditional leadership structures and styles. And above all, we need leaders for whom the "technology" of transformation is familiar and who have skills that are quite different from those that were so useful when problems were better defined, that is, in the "past" of leadership. And we need, according to my personal “crystal ball”, people who do not take themselves too seriously, with the vision and the generosity to put ahead the long term and the “common good” agenda, and who add to the formula a strong will and a good dosage of sense of humor and perspective.

Intrigued? Willing to explore more for your own sake? I started writing today thinking that this is a topic which deserves both you and me, and that it is complex and profound enough to last us for a while.  I also thought that for years I have been in a privileg