Blog from our global partner: by Raymond Perras

A year ago a group of career and executive coaches, organizational development consultants, facilitators and researchers met to explore new concepts of leadership based on what we were learning from working with people and organizations. The group focused on what causes people to be the best they can be at work and in other areas of their lives.

This is how we, the “Group of 7,” began to define a new aspect of leadership.

Our initial intention was to meet three or four times to create a new and unique leadership development program. One year later, we are still meeting and have discovered that we are now able to articulate a new concept of leadership which we have begun to integrate in the way we work together. We are learning to be truly comfortable with one another and attempting to bring the best of ourselves to our task. This is what we see as the intention of leadership.

Specifically, our concept of leadership involves mutuality, authenticity, presence, and co-creation. We believe leadership is invitational and appreciative at its core. It mobilizes one’s self and others to achieve mutual goals and purposes. We grow in leadership by being authentic in discovering and expressing our purpose. This is the fuel that provides direction, creates commitment and engagement, and adapts to an ever-changing environment.

One common experience in the Group of 7 was that clients approached us to accompany them in their leadership development because of their need to be comfortable with themselves and with others. They wanted to explore new ways of working and being together.

In our opinion this is the intention of leadership: to connect with others and to skillfully create new pathways to success. This connection allows leaders to create and innovate, to facilitate co-creation, and to bring out the best in people and in their organizations or communities. This relational focus is what fuels other types of outcomes such as working more effectively together, developing joint ownership for performance outcomes, engaging in creating new possibilities, and embracing uncertainty with confidence.

Through research and reflection on our respective practices, we identified that self-awareness and personal mastery are foundational in fostering creative and outstanding performance outcomes. Developing this foundation requires a whole-person approach, one that adapts to the full range of human diversity. It is important then that the leader adopts the stance of learner as well to be open-minded and be fully committed to his or her development.

This approach is supported by a double-loop learning methodology. We address leaders’ value systems, personalities, assumptions, and worldviews. We support them in becoming aware of their current view regarding how they interact with others and the impact they have on them. As self-awareness and personal mastery grows, leaders can intentionally choose to develop different competencies. With the support of double-loop learning, personal and organizational transformation is facilitated and sustained.