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Being a Leader & the EffectiveExercise of LeadershipAn Ontological ModelAn Artistic ExpressionText is Copyright 2011 Werner Erhard, Michael C. Jensen, Landmark LLC. All rights reserved.
The first of the three fundamental structural elements of the course are in mastering the factors that form the foundation for being a leader and the effective exercise of leader……..integrity,authenticity, andbeing committed to something bigger than yourself
The second of the three fundamental structuralelements of the course is a contextual frameworkfor leader and leadership that when masteredbecomes a context that in any leadership situationhas the power to leave you being a leader andexercising leadership effectively as your naturalself expression.
Look into your own life and find acontext that shapes the way yousee a certain situation or a certainperson or a certain group of people,or that shapes the way you act withthat certain situation or certainperson or certain group of people.
• The third and the last of the three fundamental structural elements of the course are removing from the way you wound up being what limits or distorts your natural self-expression.
Most of us think thatthe way we are beingand acting is our naturalself-expression.However, our naturalself- expression islimited and distorted bycertain ontologicalconstraints that havebecome a part of theway we wound upbeing.
Ontology is theinvestigation of thenature and functionof being.At the core of mostapproaches toontology is thequestion of what itmeans to exist.
An exploration ofOntology is concernedwith the nature andfunction of being whenbeing a Leader, andwhat way one’s beingwhen being a Leaderaffects one’s actions inthe exercise ofleadership
Some of the ontological perceptual andfunctional constraints that limit our opportunityset for being and acting are inherent in andshared by all people………..a consequence (without aneffective intervention) of the wayour brains work.
The point is until you remove those constraints, you have no access to ways of being and acting that lie outside the way you wound up being – your personal opportunity set for being and acting.
As a result of theseconstraints, each of us getsleft with idiosyncraticpersonal ways of being andacting that allow us tosucceed in some situations,but which leave us at bestgetting by in others, andunfortunately failing in yetothers.
In our formative years virtually all of us begin to develop a certain strategy foravoiding failure that we continue to rely on as life unfolds.
The first half of the strategy is to attempt toavoid failing by simply staying away fromsituations that don’t fit with the way we woundup being (don’t fit our set repertoire for beingand acting).
The other half of the strategy is to attempt tosucceed by polishing that set repertoire forbeing and acting, and seeking outopportunities in which we can succeed byutilizing our set repertoire.
Given that leaderscannot choose thesituations that requireleadership, if you areto be a leader, thisstrategy won’t work….
You need a focus ondiscovering whereyou might be beingAuthentic, and thenwhen asked about myin-authenticities,telling the truth aboutyour beinginauthentic in thatway.
To become a Leaderand to exerciseLeadershipeffectively you haveto be open andruthlessly straightabout your way ofbeing and acting.
To become a Leaderand to exerciseLeadership effectivelyyou have to be opento having yourWorldview examinedand questioned.
And, be open to having your Frames of Referencerelative to Leader and Leadership,And, relative to who you are for yourself,examined and questioned.And be open to transforming your Worldviewand those Frames of Reference
In order to be a Leader, you must master being an Effective follower
Integrity for a person is a matter of theperson’s word, nothing more and nothing less.
For a person to haveintegrity, the word of thatperson must be (asintegrity is defined in thedictionary) whole,complete, unbroken,unimpaired, sound, perfectcondition.
Integrity Is Honoring ORYour Word, andHonoring Your WordIs…..Keeping yourword, and on time
Whenever you willnot be keeping yourword, just as soon as a. that you will not be keepingyou become aware your word, andthat you will not be b. that you will keep that word inkeeping your word the future, and by when, or, that(including not you won’t be keeping that word atkeeping your word on all, andtime) saying to c. what you will do to deal with the impact on others of the failureeveryone impacted: to keep your word (or to keep it on time).
Before giving your word it is wise to weigh thebenefits of giving your word against the costof keeping that word. When you give yourword, you are in effect saying, “I will makethat happen.”
As this new model of integrity points out, integrityis the state or condition of being whole, complete,unbroken, unimpaired, sound, perfect condition.Such a state is the necessary and sufficientcondition for workability. And, workability is anecessary condition for performance. As a result, itbecomes clear that integrity determines theopportunity set for performance.
Leadership Is Not Title, Position, Or Authority!Leadership is not Management!While it is true that leaders sometimes have titles, or are in aleadership position, or have authority (decision rights), none ofthese in and of themselves, nor any combination of these,makes anyone a leader nor are they necessarily a part of theexercise of leadership.To be a leader, you must be able to lead and exercise leadershipeffectively with no title, no position, and no authority.
To be a leader, you must be able to lead andexercise leadership effectively with no title, noposition, and no authority.
The context throughwhich you perceive asituation, other person,or group of people, canbe constituted by yourworldview (model ofreality).
The way a situationoccurs for me (shows upfor me) is colored andshaped by my context forthat situation, and myway of being and myactions are correlatedwith the way thatsituation occurs for me.
The Contextual FrameworkContext for Leader and Leadership – that is, a contextthat has the power in any leadership situation to shapethe way in which the circumstances you are dealing withoccur for you such that your naturally correlated way ofbeing and acting is one of being a leader and exercisingleadership effectively.
The Contextual FrameworkLinguistic Abstractions (leader and leadership as“realms of possibility”)Phenomena (leader and leadership asexperienced; that is, as what one observes or isimpacted by, or as exercised)Concepts (the temporal domain in which leaderand leadership function)Terms (leader and leadership as definitions) andexercising leadership effectively.
Linguistic Abstractions (leader and leadership as “realms of possibility”)As linguistic abstractions, leader and leadership create leader andleadership asrealms of possibilityin which when you are being a leader allpossible ways of being are available to you,andwhen you are exercising leadership allpossible actions are available to you.
Linguistic Abstractions (leader and leadership as“realms of possibility”)In order to be a leader, what must be present?In order to be a leader, what must not be present?In order to exercise leadership effectively, whatmust be present?In order to exercise leadership effectively, whatmust not be present?
Phenomena (leader and leadership as experienced;that is, as what one observes or is impacted by, or asexercised) As phenomena, leader and leadership exist in the sphere of language, whether that be literally speaking, or speaking in the form of writing, or speaking and listening to yourself, that is, thinking, or the speaking of your actions, as in “actions speak louder than words”, or in providing a certain kind of listening.
As concepts, leader and leadership exist in the domain of a created future, a future that fulfills the concerns of the relevant parties, that the leader and those being led come to live into, which future gives them being and action in the present consistent with realizing that future. Being a leader and the exercise of leadership is all about realizing a future that wasn’t going to happen anyway.Concepts (the temporaldomain in which leader andleadership function)
As a term, being a leader is defined as, committed to realizing a future that wasn’t going to happen anyway that fulfills the concerns of the relevant parties, and with the availability of an unlimited opportunity set for being and action, being the kind of clearing for leader and leadership that shapes the way the circumstances you are dealing with occur for you such that your naturally correlated way of being and acting is one of being a leader and exercising leadership effectively.Terms (leader and leadership as definitions)and exercising leadership effectively. Acombination of the previous 3 Aspects
As a term, leadership is defined as an exercise in language that results in a created future that the leader and those being led come to live into, which future gives them being and action in the present that results in the realization of a future (that wasn’t going to happen anyway) which future fulfills (or contributes to fulfilling) the concerns of the relevant parties, including critically those who granted the leadership (those who lead you and those you lead).Terms (leader and leadership as definitions)and exercising leadership effectively. Acombination of the previous 3 Aspects
One’s Perceptual Constraints distort one’sperceptions of what one is dealing withand oneself in dealing with it.By contrast, even if one’s perceptionswere not distorted (limited and shapedby a Perceptual Constraint), one’sFunctional Constraints when triggeredfixate one’s way of being and acting
One’s being and action are fixated by aFunctional Constraint in the followingsense: When anger, for example, is thetriggered fixated way of being and acting,while the way one expresses and acts onthe anger may depend on thecircumstances that triggered it, one’s way ofbeing is fixed as (restricted to) anger. Wemay even try to hide our anger bysuppressing our expression of it; but ourbeing angry is still the fixed way of being.
All human beings are endowed with a powerful mechanism thatprotects us from danger. The source of this “flight or fight”mechanism is the amygdala, a small organ in the reptilian brain. Feedback from the outside world such as sight, sound, etc, enters the brain and takes two paths, one path leads to the amygdala (several synapses away) and the other much longer path leads to the cerebral cortex, the thinking, reasoning, conscious part of the brain (hundreds of synapses away).
The difficulty here is that the amygdala can be triggered not only by thethreat of physical pain, but also by the threat of psychological or emotionalpain. When this system was put in place thousands of years ago theenvironment was a much simpler place than it is now and in such anenvironment psychological threats played a much smaller role.We now have to contend with environments involving huge numbers ofpeople and highly interdependent interactions.Thus in this new environment the amygdala regularly hijacks the consciousbrain in the face of the mere threat of psychological, not physical pain.And the result can be highly counter-productive. We have all seen people“lose it” in reaction to some perceived insult or lack of respect. In thepresence of an amygdala hijack there is almost no chance to have aproductive set of interactions in such situations.
One of the flawedmechanisms thatconstrains thebeing and actionof any humanbeing is what wecall rackets.
Gangsters run rackets by setting up a front (like a moneylosing business) that makes the actual enterprise appearto be legitimate and justifiable, but which front is keptin place only to conceal a payoff happening behind thatfront.The Functional Constraint we call a racket run by humanbeings functions somewhat like the rackets run bygangsters.
In order to be effective in dealing with this central issuein being a leader and the effective exercise ofleadership, you will have to deconstruct your existingframe of reference for “future”.And then, create a new frame of reference for “future”,one that provides you with the kind of access to“future” that leaves you with power in dealing with thefuture.
People have various kinds of possible futures they thinkabout, or worry about, or hope for, or strive for.However, given the way the brain functions, the “futureinto which people are living” is a future that is given bythe past.And, the brain generates being and action in the presentto be consistent with realizing the future it predicts, thatis, a past-derived future.
As should now be somewhat obvious, the future is thecontext for the present.Or said more precisely, the future a person is living intois for that person the context for life in the present.That is, both what is so in the present, and thepossibilities for dealing with what is so, occur for thatperson in the context of the future that person is livinginto.
What makes this all so dismal is the fact that theprevailing context is the future people are living into,and the future that people are living into is by defaultderived from and shaped by the past.Remember, the context is decisive. That means that, inthe default context, people’s being and action in thepresent will result in more of the same. It may be more,better, different, or a change, but it will still be somevariation of the past.And this is why leadership matters.
This was just a Glimpse ofthe Transformationaljourney a few of us took!!
The Times of India Senior Team at the CourseL-R : Neeta Asnani, Course Administrator, R Katyayani,Werner Erhard, Sandeep Kapur, Micheal C Jensen, TeenaSingh, Rajdeep Lalvani & Suchitra SenguptaL-R : Sanjoy Sen, Rajdeep Lalvani, Werner Erhard & Dhanush VirSinghL-R : Front Row : Shalini Sarup, R Katyayani, Neeta Asnani, TeenaSingh & Nafisa ThingnaL-R : Second Row : Rasesh Gandhi, Surender Unzan, Gautam Sen,Sandeep Kapur, Werner Erhard, Rajdeep Lalvani, Micheal Jensen,Ashok Sen, Kari Granger, Ramesh Menon, Sanjoy Sen, THomaSGeorge, Nandan Srinath, Ninan Thariyan, Dhanush Vir Singh
These PowerPoint slides contain selected quotations from the PowerPoint Textbook for the course “Being A Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An OntologicalApproach authored by Werner Erhard, Michael Jensen, Steve Zaffron and Kari Granger and taught at Asia Plateau, Panchgani, India (Nov. 22 - 27, 2010). I was a participant in this course. I have created this slide deck to to share with you the simple yet extremely powerful perspective of Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership FAIR USE: You may redistribute this document freely, but please do not post the electronic file on the web. Web links to this document are at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1941387