‘Leaders have followers and managers have employees’ is a common belief. Also the statement such as “we manage things, but people we lead,” is one we will recognize. For several years there have been visions of leadership. Think of Stephen Covey (‘seven traits of effective leadership’ ) and Simon Sinek (‘How great leaders inspire everyone to take action’ and ‘The golden circles; Why, How, What’). But how do we bring leadership to the 5th dimensional level?
Koen Litjens, MBA Tutor in Management Skills and Change Management
Now leadership, and the extent to which people have these traits, is often measured by several characteristics: participative and empathic could be called more feminine and directive and task-oriented more masculine leadership. However, this is an old and stereotyping approach. Especially the stereotyping, as more feminine leadership, which hinders a new route of describing leadership.
I see leadership as an inner attitude, separate from the “masculine or feminine. The form of expression, as indicated in the old model of participative, empathic, directive and task-oriented, I would therefore like to let go of.
So what does inner leadership look like? As humans, we are already about 10-20 years into a transition from a three (3) dimensional* to a five (5) dimensional world*. The whole science, around quantum mechanics, for example, is based on 5D research.
The 3D Leadership
Translated to leadership, to me this means having a Vision, Story and Transparency, as being 3D elements.
Having a vision has been talked about a lot. While there are still those who compare a vision to an “Elephant in a room blocking the view,” true leaders do agree that a vision is indispensable to stay on course. And yet, I still encounter many companies that confuse a vision with an abstract goal (desired outcome). A vision such as “We are the No. 1 in the world in terms of…,” is not a vision, but an outcome or consequence of a strategy, structure and culture combination.
We see the use of Stories with bloggers and vloggers, among others. The cabinet also uses a lot of storytelling around the leadership around COVID-19. This is not always about telling truths, but more about addressing large groups of people. Storytelling also has a more abstract purpose of creating a generic feeling and thus movement.
The Transparency element, now also a hot topic in politics, is still struggling through and is still in its infancy there.
Transparency requires more personal leadership in the literal sense. Whether we have leadership or not is essentially not interesting. Activating the leader within yourself is essential. ‘Know Thyself’ (One of the Delphic maxims) is the most important form of leadership development we have to go through. Recognizing where we accelerate and where we block when interacting with our environment when it comes to our leadership behaviour (a form of expression) is crucial in this regard.
Taking charge of your humanity with all of it is true leadership. This requires clear transparency in being present and reflection on one’s actions.
From 3D to 5D Leadership
The 5D leadership however for me means besides Vision, Stories and Transparency, having Systemic sensitivity and accepting Emptiness (the ‘not-knowing’).
Systemic sensitivity means having a feel for the “invisible undercurrent in organizations and society. Looking from a perspective in which imbalance in the natural laws of ‘balance give/take, order and bonding’ in the undercurrent creates dynamics in the upper current. Knowing your place as a leader, how you deal with ‘sharing’ and knowing where identifications or entanglements are.
To accept the ‘void’ or ‘not-knowing’ I like to refer to Otto Scharmer who expounds on this thought in his book ‘Theory U’. A leader needs to know that life often consists of ‘un-learning’ habits, recalibrating and ‘letting come’ what is needed at that moment. Using creative creation to make sense of the current complexity of issues and bring them into free motion.
Both of the latter elements require much more interpretation. During the meetings leadership and management skills in the MBA and the Action Learning method of Business School Netherlands, are discussed in more detail.
> (3D length x width x height; 5D length x width x height x time x place).
Also, read or listen to other teachers’ blogs and podcasts about their management field.