Women and Emerging Futures

The next wave of my own evolution lies in exploring the potential of women to profoundly shape our world. Not only if women can but if women will...do what is required to make the difference. This demands redefining our notions of 'leadership' and reclaiming meaningful expression for women. To progress beyond historical notions of evolution through incremental change, we must redefine what it is to be human - and women are the key.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Credentials aren't enough!

I’m noticing how every day brings with it yet another insight or enquiry into my own thoughts about women and leadership. Such an awareness continues to demonstrate to me how my life is indeed, unfolding on the holodeck I design; and how my (now) much larger and more intense intention is calling to itself moments of opportunity for discovery.

Take today’s unfolding. Lunch with my dear friend Noreen and one of her colleagues caused me to begin to notice what I think is going to be a critical aspect of this conversation on women and leadership. The conversation is about the relationship between education and leadership. I do not dispute the need for the kind of education that comes from formal schooling. What I am suggesting is that it is not enough.

In this moment (and this will be a much larger, longer and on-going conversation), the ideas or notions or perceptions of ‘leadership’ lead us to believe that leadership is the domain of the few, and following the leader is the responsibility of the many. Most of us will live lives of followers while few of us will become those being followed.

The kind of leadership I’m talking about is very different from this. I believe that each of us must become the leader in the living of our own, meaningful life. I believe that as each of us discovers that which is meaningful and authentic to the uniqueness of who we are; and as we become willing to decloak and come out of hiding to engage our lives this way, ‘leadership’ will be the result that we can calibrate for. This invites us to begin to get curious and wonder: what is it that is going on when I feel that I am in the presence of leadership? How do I know when I am being/experiencing ‘leader’? What is the essence of my experience (what is happening inside myself) when I am drawn to an experience of ‘leadership’ – my own or that of someone else?

The education of women (and men, for that matter) cannot be limited to a deep concern about content knowledge and credentials that will invite us into a status-quo world. I believe that as women, we must both discover and share with others what it takes for us to be willing to differentiate…to be seen and heard for that for which we are unique… and create a world that we personally, individually and uniquely hold as meaningful and worthwhile.

As we move into the 21st Century, the ‘leadership’ models of the industrial age will not serve us as we enter more provocatively into the Age of Awakening. Leadership cannot continue to be the domain of the few. It must become the way of the masses….like breathing in and breathing out. Each of us must discover within ourselves, what is required in order for us to invite the essential nature of our Being – the essential force of who we are – to begin to manifest itself in our daily lives and in so doing, design a new world.

There is an acceleration occurring in the world with regard to all that is and is not working. We are past the point of being able to sit on the sidelines and watch the game unfold. We are running out of time to recognize that we ARE the game!

Breathing is good…..


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