Since my post “The End of Leadership”, the topic of Leadership vs. Leadingship keeps buzzing in my head. I further elaborated on the topic in a subsequent post “Leading from the Edge”. As many of my readers know, the inspiration muze for these posts was Rune Kvist Olsen from Norway.
Rune is fine-tuning the concept by sending regular comments to those posts. He now has collected and gathered his writings from February and March into 9 lessons for Leadingship.
Rune lives a bit isolated in a self-designed and self-built house on a lake in Norway. A bit disconnected from technology and social media and all the rest, but probably more humanly connected than many of us hyper-connected digital stress rabbits.
It is a pleasure to respond with a wholeheartedly “yes” to Rune’s request to post his lessons on my blog as a guest post. It is probably his only voice to the world.
It’s a long read, and you need your attention and intention with you when reading, but Rune has developed such a rich language to articulate the differences between Leadership and Leadingship that I find it always worthwhile to immerse myself in his thinking.
So, here they are, the 9 lessons for Leadingship. Red and italic highlights by myself.
+++ Start of 9 lessons from Rune on Leadingship – Feb/March 2013 +++
Lesson-1: The consistency in interactions between personal conceptions of reality and the influence of personal power in the organization.
The general conceptual principle: We are envisaging the reality as we are our self, and not as the reality is in it self. The particular conceptual principle: We are seeing the reality in our organization based on Who we are as persons and What we have as persons.
The organizational design principle: Our reality conceptions at work varies and fluctuates with our specific and factual organizational circumstances.
1. The reality conceived from a Leadership point of view:
As superior persons appointed to leadership positions we see the reality from above and downward. We are envisaging the reality based on our position and rank as superiors and will understand, interpret, explain and defend our conceptions and perceptions of the reality context accordingly to his respective circumstance of power over subordinates below.
The superior person in a leadership position is given the power to determine and ascertain the correct version and view of the truth and the power to enforce the authoritative description of the reality.
The subordinate person must accept and comply to the version of the true reality conception established by the ruling order with loyalty and obedience, with the purpose of sustaining one owns job and work.
The reality conception powered by Leadership is based on What we are and have by the virtue of positions and ranks.
2. The reality conceived from a Leadingship point of view:
The power of Leadingship is based on the principle that everyone in the organization are entitled and authorized personal power within a respective field of work, and entrusted with individual freedom and personal responsibility in making autonomous decisions.
Everyone are relating as equals and peers and are envisaging their reality context from a similar point of view (neither upwards or downwards – but sideward’s) from the same platform of out looking the organizational reality.
A shared reality conception between individual human beings occurs when individuals are able to understand that other’s conception of reality can be as real, true and valuable as their own conceptions and perceptions.
The common awareness that our reality are composed of a myriad of different views, conceptions and opinions, are the dynamical cord that are linking and connecting us together through our individual personalities in shaping our common identity as a working community.
The reality conception powered by Leadingship is based on Who we are as individual human beings based on our personal competence and capacity in doing our respective jobs.
Lesson-2: The Truth powered by Leadership versus Leadingship:
A. The Truth powered by Leadership:
The Subjective and Superior Truth as a matter of an Objective Supremacy Fact. The superior leadership person sees and rules the truth, and the subordinate person is told and ruled by this commanding truth:
If and when a superior person in a leadership position don’t like, disagrees and disputes a critical and controversial report from subordinates, the superior person will most likely terminate and close the matter, and file the case in the archive as invalid, unreliable and unaccountable. The subordinates will be labeled as disobedient, disloyal, dishonest and not trustworthy.
B. The Truth powered by Leadingship:
Subjectivity is a personal matter as an individual expression of reality conception. Objectivity is a collective matter as a result of shared understanding amongst the people involved.
When people have gained the personal force to operate and function independently and entrusted the liberty to take responsibility of actions as equals and peers, they have at that moment of conscious state of mind attained enough personal confidence and will force to accept and trust the reality description of others without fear, rejection, condemnation, denunciation. damnation and contempt.
Lesson-3: The consequence of a polarized reality conception powered by Leadership versus a shared reality conception powered by Leadingship.
1. The Leadership reality conception directed downwards and upwards:
- Mastering hegemony by monopolizing the truth.
- Colliding values and believes.
- Minimizing, discrediting and ridiculing alternative statements as rhetorical and semantical matters (depriving and renouncing confronting aspects their authority in being serious and real).
- Conflicting priorities.
- Contradicting truthfulness.
- Compromising reliability and credibility.
- Alienation by separation.
- Ruling by dividing, conquering and domination.
- Verticalization of relationships.
2. The Leadingship reality conception directed sideward’s:
- Sharing by beneficial benevolence.
- Communication by leveling.
- Collaboration by coordination.
- Corporation by complementation.
- Connecting by integration.
- Equalizing by reciprocally.
- Horizontalization of relationships.
The structure in organizing, managing and leading work and people are a consequential reflector of the structuring of power as the premise shaper of the reality design in the organization.
Lesson-4: The necessity and essentiality of substituting and replacing obsolescent and anachronistic believes and dogma (f.ex: Leadership) with new and alternative options and solutions (f.ex: Leadingship) – which are not part of the illness and disease that inflicts and infects the mental health of the human mind in contemporary organizational life.
The excellent and brilliant statement of Buckminster Fuller says everything about the necessity in creating alternative options (model, concept, system, structure) when dealing with obsolescent matters opposing and counteracting new future realities:
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
The power and force embedded in the concept of Leadingship enables us in moving beyond existing mental boundaries in reaching the emergent future of a new workplace reality, where everyone are relating equally and mutually on the same level of co-existence.
At that point of evolution in the state of mind of the individual human being, we have released the chain of control and command from someone above to lead and others below to be led. This significant action have made the existing model of Leadership for Someone superfluous by compensating this obsolescent dogma with a new model of Leadingship for Everyone.
Lesson-5: Notorious governing administrative mechanisms and ruling Leadership techniques in enforcing silencing, subjugation and subordination in the workplace – in relation to Leadingship practice.
The purpose of well known and famous governing mechanisms administered by the system and ruling leadership techniques applied by the superior (leader, boss, supervisor, controller, director etc.) person in charge, is quieting and silencing people against advocating personal, individual and collective concerns, anxieties and worries about their work, working conditions and working contracts. The intention of such subtitle and often concealed leadership action, are enforcing, protecting and preserving the interest of the power holding and the powerbase that ensures supreme privileges and advantages for the people in charge in leadership positions.
In practicing Leadingship everyone must take responsibility and operate independently because there are none to command and control, and subsequently there is an absence of manipulative mechanisms and techniques of silencing people to muteness. One main purpose behind Leadingship is to take each other seriously and not dismiss controversial, challenging and critical arguments as invalid.
There are some factual and actual factors (mechanisms/techniques) applied by superiors above in governing/ruling subordinates below by legitimate leadership strategies and tactics:
1. Dismantling the existing workplace setting.
2. Dispersing/dissolving the working group.
3. Exiling persons from the workplace (office/station).
4. Removing access to working instruments.
5. Depriving of tasks and functions.
6. Redrawing authorization, certification and security clearance.
7. Degradation/depromotion downwards.
8. Excluding/out locking from job.
9. Expelling from department.
10.Relocation to another physical setting.
11.Discharging/firing from job.
13.Disgraced/dishonored professional reputation.
Revealing and exposing pretentions, intentions and reasons behind the monumentation and cementation of the Truth of Reputation by the correct version of history description, is the only option in establishing transparency and prevent future veiling of manipulated truth powered by Leadership.
I will end this enigmatic lesson with a statement from some years ago:
“The truth is only threatened by its own essence when revealed as a deception and falsehood in concealing the real and sincere intentions and reasons behind a manipulative action in preserving the status quo.”.
Lesson-6: Identifying and mapping the consequences of institutionalizing the correct version of the Truth by the legitimate and authorized act of either superiority or equality in the organization.
Evidencing the Truth of reality by Leadership versus Leadingship. Our conception of reality becomes our truth depending on how we are letting and accepting the reality being described and interpreted by someone keeping the power based on (leadership) position, or by everyone sharing the power based on experience and knowledge (leadingship competence).
The act of indentifying the common reality experienced by everyone individually in the organization, can be done by proposing relevant questions in revealing and exposing the real truth about powering, organizing, managing and leading work and people:
- Can you envision a workplace where all people are powered with authority by their own abilities to operate and function independently and responsible?
- Can you envision a workplace without superiors and subordinates where some people have power to dominate, control and command others in the act of subjugating them to subordination?
- Can you envision a workplace reality where the power to make and take decisions is linked exclusively to personal competence (in contrast to position and rank)?
- How are your present workplace powered, organized, managed and led?
- What are the intentions and reasons behind the existing structuring of power in your organization?
- What would you regard as the most important, crucial and vital assets and requirements in changing your workplace to a reality where everyone have equal access to personal freedom and individual responsibility?
- How can you contribute in addressing issues at work that you need to resolve in creating a transparent and ethical social conscience amongst the people in your organization?
The strategic option in this organizational context is either staying behind by maintaining and conserving Leadership for Someone or moving beyond by initiating and implementing Leadingship for Everyone.
Lesson-7: Why Leadership versus Leadingship are interconnected opposite poles in a dynamical learning progression interfacing each other through reciprocal interdependency and mutual influentially.
A key to a dualistic relationship between diametrical contrasting opponents is challenging each other by their opposing differences and inequalities, lies in the insight, knowledge and experience of how the essence on one specific entity is shaped and formed in the relation to its absolute contrast.
For example to understand white we must understand black, god versus bad, nice versus evil, sharing versus keeping, cold versus warm etc. Our conceptions and perceptions are constructed by this code of symbiotic dualism. Subsequently the insight and understanding of Leadingship is found in the knowledge of Leadership. The simple pedagogical motto is therefore: ”Knowing the one by knowing the other and visa versa”.
The paradigm of dualism unites separation and integration as two opposite aspects of the same matter, both contradicting and presupposing each other at the same time in a dynamic and progressive process of attraction and repulsion. The pedagogical flow are the initiating energy behind all human learning as a composition of mutual interaction and interference between distinctive reciprocal components. These influencing factors generates a synergic and symbiotically impact of unified consciousness by the momentum of learning.
In balancing and harmonizing a dualistically process between opposite poles that are contesting the essence and nature of each other constantly, we must establish counterbalance that are enabling the potential and options of alternative choices granting us the freedom to choose. In choosing and selecting one specific option, we must at the same time be aware of alternative options.
Alternative options gives of the freedom of choice, while absence of alternative options will be forcing us to submit to the only given solution at hand.
The lack of options is the opposite of freedom of choice.
In balancing and harmonizing our choice in organizing, managing and leading work and people, the option of Leadingship contra Leadership is significant and essential in sustaining the free will and the freedom of choice. Subsequently the counterbalance of interconnected opposite poles in a learning perspective, is substantial in generating “learning of the one” by the “learning of the other” and visa versa.
We learn our self in relation to others by questioning What, Why and How we our self can perform, accomplish, achieve and pursue our intentions and purposes.
We are not truly learning by letting others tell us what to do. Learning from others are just reproduction and copying old learning’s. Others can help us to learn, but the learning is ours to do within our self.
Learning is a personal process done inside the human embodiment. By internalizing and processing all types of inputs from outside and inside, we will be molding our impressions to distinct emotions and thoughts that can transpire to learning’s that enables specific actions. By converting the learning’s to actions, we are creating competence as we are testing our theories into practical operations for our self and others.
Competence is a individual and personal matter that never can be conveyed and transferred to other people, because of the nature of the process as a personal matter inside the individual person. Everyone must do their job and learn by themselves from birth to death. However we can share and exchange our knowledge and experiences so that others can internalize and process their own impressions, and later can convert their thoughts into competent expressive actions.
Learning as a dualistic matter is all about learning and understanding One Self through the relationship to others in true and affectionate mutuality of susceptibility and receptivity. In this way we learn by challenging and questioning the truth conveyed by others, and instead be searching for our own personal truth in becoming authentic individuals.
Lesson-8: The Learning Design of Leadership versus the Learning Design of Leadingship.
The vital and crucial questions are:
1. Am I my self able in taking responsibility for my own learning or not?
2. Am I the person who know best what I need to learn most and in a way that suits me best?
Answers to these questions will be determining and forming the applied learning design principles regarding which force of power that will be ruling and governing our learning process and learning lessons. The selected force of power will have two alternative options of choice:
1. My inner self capacity in taking care of my learning responsibility.
2. Someone outside my self who is assigned my tutor and appointed my superior being considered as best qualified.
I. The Leadership Learning Design:
Someone above as the superior authoritative person in charge is telling, instructing, training others below as subordinates what to do, why to do it and how to do it.
The learning belief is that the person in the leadership position has the best knowledge and competence to determine what is best for the people below in performing their jobs, while the subordinate person is not personally equipped and endowed with the adequate and sufficient talent in taking care of one owns learning in an independent and responsible manner.
This difference in preference and reference signalize the distinction between trust and distrust in people and in the emphasizing of the significance of position and rank. This differences in conception of who to trust as superior and who to mistrust as inferior, are the main reasons that someone is valued and regarded as best qualified to leadership positions and subsequently most trustworthy in taking care of others learning.
The leadership learning design principle is focused on organizing learning as a system of teaching, training and education from top down the hierarchical ladder by the appointed person in charge of the facilitation training program in employee education. The superiors themselves are summoned to exclusive Leadership programs in learning the design principles of organizing, managing and leading the subordinates below.
II. The Leadingship Learning Design:
Everyone are considered qualified in taking care of their own learning actions as trusted equals and peers based on their respective competence and personal characteristics in adding value to the common good and the corporate benefit.
The learning belief is that everyone are doing their learning from inside themselves based on personal choice of individual development. The learning must be subjected to personal choice and processes in order to evolve as a personal matter of competent individual actions. People will be operating independently and responsible in generating their learning and be converting their learning into applicative competencies.
The leadingship learning design principle is to situate and arrange necessary space for personal learning and collective sharing of individual learning, where the internalized learning outcome from everyone can be coordinated and integrated as a collective force of organizational competence. The leadingship design of learning is focused on organizing learning as a consecutive process of learning by experiencing progress and regress in personal achievements, and by reflection on continuous improvements in personal accomplishments.
The Leadingship programs of training and education are inclusive for everyone since everyone are learning by themselves together with others all the way through their working life and private life.
The ultimate choice of the Design principle of Learning is subsequently a choice between either Leadership learning program for Someone or Leadingship learning program for Everyone.
Lesson-9: As in Heaven – So on Earth. Leading and Learning through parallel perspectives of Reality.
In this time of solemn and holy reverential sentiment to come for the celebration of the Easter holiday, I would like to summarize my posted lessons in both an earthly perspective as a spiritual perspective. I will be starting this angling approach with the spiritual part in relevance to the theme; Leading and learning in parallel perspectives of reality, by making a connection between references to spiritual experiences extracted from conveyed interviews with persons under superconscious hypnosis.
The distinguished author and scientist Dr. Michael Newton has uncovered the mysteries of our state of being in the spirit world, and has written several books covering experiences from living human beings who convey reports from their spiritual realm. The texts of Dr. Newton gives a fascinating and an intriguing insight of how a parallel reality such as the spiritual world, could be organized, managed and led. The following statement is quotations from the book; “Destiny of Souls”:
“While in a superconscious state during deep hypnosis, my subjects tell me that in the spirit world no soul is looked down upon as having less value that any other soul. We are all in a process of transformation to something greater than our current state of enlightenment. Each of us is considered uniquely qualified to make some contribution toward the whole, no matter how hard we are struggling with our lessons. If this was not true we would not have been created in the first place. (page 6)… Advancement through the taking of personal responsibility does not involve dominance or status ranking but rather a recognition of potential. They see integrity and personal freedom everywhere in their life between lives. (page 7)”.
A rather solemn and reverential statement at this time of sentimental and ceremonial reflection and contemplation, I would say. In either way these words of Dr. Newton can perhaps give us a touch in raising our senses in expanding our perspectives of existential matter.
I will be ending this lesson with an earthly part in relevance to the theme; Leading and learning in parallel perspectives of reality. The earthly duality of values and believes states the overture:
“Someone are leading others and others are led by someone” powered by Leadership versus “Everyone are leading themselves together with others” powered by Leadingship.
At the moment when the majority of people are deprived their power of self-decision and ranked below as subordinates with superiors in charge, the structuring of power is shaped vertical and organized hierarchical. At this momentum of subjugation by subordination, someone is appointed the authority of leading others by the virtue of their superior position and rank, and others are subjugated to be led by the virtue of their corresponding inferior position and rank. This way of organizing, managing and leading work and people represent the rule of Leadership where the organization is adopting and adapting Leadership for Someone.
At the moment of revelation of the apparently devastating and damaging consequences of Leadership for Someone for the human energy and spirit in the workplace, where the majority of people are subdued to inferiority and subjugated to subordination, people will at the moment of despair understand that this vertical and hierarchical way of organizing is obsolete and destructive regarding human engagement at work.
The mantra of Leadership for Someone would at this point be at its breaking point of revolution, and ripe and ready for replacement by the essence of Leadingship for Everyone.
The essence of Leadingship for Everyone is that all people are enabled the authority of self-decision at work. At this moment of transformation in the way we operate as free individual human beings, the structuring of power is shaped horizontal and organized egalitarian with people sharing power, exchanging resources and complementing each other in unified actions.
This way of organizing, managing and leading work and people, represent the era of a humanized work life, where the organization is adopting and adapting the vision of Leadingship for Everyone.
At this moment of truthfulness including and equalizing Everyone and Everybody in the organization, we are in a way aligned with the spiritual vision of leading and learning beyond our own comprehension of reality.
+++ End of 9 lessons from Rune on Leadingship – Feb/March 2013 +++