Mature Leadership – the ability to handle increasing complexity

It is quite obvious that our life conditions are increasingly complex and that this complexity is only going to continue to increase.

50 years ago most leaders simply had to worry about their own company, perhaps within their own community, and maybe within the larger context of their own country.

Today what happens in New York, London, Beijing, or West Africa will affect our local business.

Technology changes will catch us if we do not have our heads up. Blockchain from bitcoin anyone? Banks? Are you paying attention? The early warning of a massive breakdown in centralised systems. Say goodbye to banking as we know it.

How about the public desire to shift to solar, local, distributed power, despite the tremendous resistance from both local and national governments and the incumbent systems? This is a train that is gathering its own momentum…people driven.

A mature leader not only needs to have the view of all the multiple and daily changing global issues in their field and out of their field, they also need to have the wisdom and capacity to know what to do with it.

A significant body of research over the last 40 plus years clearly demonstrates that adult humans evolve through very specific stages and abilities to handle complexity.

We can observe this when we look at the majority of our current political and business leaders. Their response to issues is a re-arranging of the deck chairs. Not going to work.

Take the economy. The response is to either increase or decrease taxes, increase or decrease interest rates, print more money, hold more money, or, like George W, tell people to go out and spend. Or, tell people to save more. But definitely we must GROW the economy for it to stay healthy.

These responses all live in a limited world view from the industrial model of business.

News flash…we now live in a post industrial global world, and all the rules have changed, are changing…will continue to change, like it or not.

On one level it matters not whether you are a local coffee shop owner, or one of the National banks. You need to be able to see, hear, integrate, respond… ahead of time.

Mature leadership is currently rare. If you want to study it, look at someone like Elon Musk. Created the Tesla S for the non-environmental market. Getting the conversation about electric cars into the market place where the buyers simply do not care so much about the environment as they do about driving a beautiful and fast car. Get these people (the most resourced and connected people on the planet) to buy and drive electric cars in their droves and we have change….big massive change in whole systems. Suddenly we have a mass impulse to buy/drive electric cars. (Also look at all the other systems he is creating…very integrated, extraordinary, quite ahead of his time.)

Or check out the podcast from last week, with Hugo Spowers, also in the motor industry, or as he would say, human transportation.

If you are genuinely interested in staying at the cutting edge of your leadership capacity, at evolving to be able to handle increasing levels of complexity, then you need to do the work, mostly on your own development.

It is not a weekend workshop. Its the gym routine for your development. Daily, weekly, consistent, year in, year out…practice.

No short cuts…no magic pill.

Interested.?..let me know…I am seeking to work with two leaders who are serious about their own mature leadership development.

Photo credit: Mark Mathosian via Compfight

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