Archives for Leading future possibilities

Reconnecting with our story

When I began to get involved in sustainability issues I gradually noticed that I was not turning into an entirely new path, but began to reconnect with my own story. I grew up in the divided Berlin and remember I could not understand why there was a terrifying border that separated people from people. I took it for granted, but it did not convince me as reality. Tracking my own story has helped me to understand why I believe that sustainability requires reconciliation and understanding of difference. Rethinking our contribution is not something that reveals itself in an instant. But
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Singing from the heart

When I lived and worked in Zimbabwe for five years, before the country was ruled into chaos and difference in opinion was brutally suppressed, I often listened to the songs of Oliver Mutukudzi. He was a hero symbol for Zimbabweans of all ages as he not only portrayed the sense of pride and freedom the independence of the country had given people, but was also at times critical of the new government. One day he gave a concert in the small town I was living in, organized by a friend of mine. As is a most loved tradition in Zimbabwe,
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Inquiry is a good friend in a crisis

There is one thing certain about crises: First: they come unexpectedly Second: we tend to ignore the beginnings Third: we fight them initially Fourth: we finally surrender Fifth: Inquiry is the best way to handle the uncertainty a crises causes. Engaging in inquiry means to be willing to look into what we do not know or understand, and to search for the coherence of a situation that we dislike. When we are courageous we can even find out what others see that might differ from our own perception.
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Who would you be willing to follow?

What would a leader be like and how would s/he act for you to be willing to follow (not in war, not in emergency)? Place yourself in the position of a voluntary follower. You might come up with the idea that, if you had a choice, you would not want to follow anybody. This is fine. It might be worthwhile inquiring into that. Or, you might have a feeling of how it could be to be led and to grow at the same time. Or you might remember persons who led you (or taught you) whom you admired. Whatever comes
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Leaders’ choices

Why is the change towards sustainability so slow in most companies? I believe, every change in an organization results from the choices made by dedicated people. Leaders are co-creators of an interconnected reality. There is hope that the leadership in global as well as local organizations will respond, out of a sense of interconnectedness and co-responsibility, to questions about human dignity, inclusiveness, and fairer distribution of wealth. It might finally respond to the call for a sustainable world. A leader in a prominent position is bound to be a mirror for the organization. He or she can be seen as
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Making sense of our leadership journey

It is sometimes a moment of revelation when one’s journey begins to make sense, when in retrospect things fall into place and one suddenly discovers that there is a theme emerging, a thread going through the chaos of experience.  Then we begin to see our leadership journey in a different light. We discover that themes are re-emerging and there was an intention at the outset of the journey. That initial intention might have had a different name, but it turns out that it may have belonged to a family of themes that gathered over time. So why then do I
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Intention creates energy fields

Intention creates energy fields. It organizes life. It creates order in our path, it attracts people and opportunities. When we neglect our deeper intention it withers and we fall short of our potential. We might not need grand visions; small steps continuously taken can create a pathway. But we need to be sure that we are moving forward in our intention. It is the daily step that will make a difference over time. We know that we have come closer to our deeper intention when the voices of doubt become less influential, less forceful. We begin to trust in building
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Reconstructing the history of our voice

All communication starts within. It is all connected. If you have intentionally or unintentionally buried your early dreams and silenced the voice of your heart, the way you communicate with people can only touch the surface. You can neither reach out to your own wholeness nor bring forth wholeness around you. You cannot access the humanity of another person when you have not accessed your own humanity. Learning to speak your voice is a process of unfolding the courage to be really you. Your deeper values, symbolically held in your early intention, your dreams, and your aspirations are gateways to
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Can we learn to think us into future possibilities?

My experience is that intention creates energy fields. It organizes life. It creates order in our path, it attracts people and opportunities. When we do not have a larger vision  our deeper intention withers and we fall short of our potential. When I listened to Monika Griefahn, Co-Founder of Greenpeace Germany, former Minister of Environmental Affairs in Lower Saxony, Germany, I could sense the power of vision – in the literal sense. This was part of her reflection on how Lower Saxony became a pioneer in renewable energies. „You have to have an image of the future  that goes far
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Collective Leaders create pathways

Whenever I have experienced a group’s commitment to collective action for sustainability, there was an insight palpable in the room: Leading for sustainability is not an act in isolation. It requires leadership by various individuals towards a similar goal on a collective scale, trust in a common goal that everybody will contribute to differently, yet in alignment cross-sector collaboration without hierarchy or central coordination a preparedness to join a collective learning journey. I believe the capacity for leading, initiating, facilitating and sustaining the construction of meaningful futures is enfolded in all of us.
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