When we strip leadership back to its bare essence, there is only one truth that binds all leadership dynamics: people following a lead that is inspiring to them in that particular moment. If something doesn’t inspire right there right then, we simply don’t feel inclined to follow it. So the key element to leadership is present moment inspiration.
Unfortunately in ‘modern’ society we annually pump enormous mounts of money into research and schooling of the ‘right’ kind of inspiration and leadership. It has led to a wildfire of leadership theories and models, which are based on someone’s experience in the past and a projected & assumed result in the future. They create a formularized and controlled environment of personal & positional influence, which gets mistakenly named ‘inspiration’. They move us away from the power and simplicity of true inspiration.
Here's Wikipedia’s description of the word ‘inspiration’: ‘Inspiration is prior to consciousness and outside of skill... Technique and performance are independent of inspiration... Inspiration refers to an unconscious burst of creativity.’
Apparently inspiration can happen through us but not consciously by us. We cannot instigate it personally, no matter how good our technique, skill or performance. We cannot ‘do’ inspiration to someone else. We can become a temporary embodied source of inspiration, however, we are never inspiration itself.
In other words: true inspiration is not dependent on a person’s intention or position. It’s not something that a person can influence or even take credit for. It actually by-passes the conscious personal mind. Inspiration therefore is Non-Personal.
In times of transformation, leadership is asked to explore new territories. Solutions are often not found in systems that created the problem. It can mean letting go of the existing structures and rules to allow new inspiration to come through. But can we, will we?
Over the past 10 years, the world has changed dramatically. The enormous increases in globalization and in technology, the power of “social media” to upend eve
Arnold Timmerman's insight:
Good article. Just one thing to add... Rather than trying to invent a new style of leadership, why not redefine leadership by exploring its true (non-personal) essence? Innovation is extremely hard when we keep looking at something with our old-paradigm glasses on.
Many things in the life of a leader are uncontrollable and unpredictable. If handled incorrectly, this can lead to calamity. But if managed well, change, chaos, and creation can work together to cr...
Arnold Timmerman's insight:
Inspiration is just as impermanent as the flow of chaos and creation that our individual and organisational lives are subject to. So how come we lock leadership and organisational change into rigid step by step models and theories?
Digital technology is changing the face of human resources. Top-performing HR organizations will likely respond by becoming smaller, less centralized and more project-oriented. Expertise in marketing and analytics will be highly valued. New ways to identify, attract and nurture talent could proliferate, with more emphasis given to workplace culture.
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