Unlocking the Heart and Soul of Remarkable Leadership, Keith Merron
Remarkable Leadership

Archive for December, 2012

Leadership in the Flow of Time

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Elise Boulding has offered a concept for seeing oneself in the concept of history that is both fascinating and extraordinarily relevant for conscious leadership. She reminds us of the value of seeing ourselves in the middle of history, rather tha

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n its beginning or end. She says in an interview:

“A favorite concept of mine is the 200-year present, a way of thinking about change. The 200-year present began 100 years ago with the year

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of birth of the people who have reached their hundredth birthday today. The other boundary of the 200-year present, 100 years from now, is the hundredth birthday of the babies born today. If you take that span, you and I will have had contact with a lot of people from different parts of that span. So think in terms of events over that span and realize how long

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change takes. You can see how difficult it has been to create these bodies and new ways and how in many ways we are slipping backward; but in other ways we are not. I take comfort to know that super-power hegemony has a very limited lifespan (decline and fall of Rome, the Ottoman Empire).”

Elise Boulding Interviewed by Julian Portilla — 2003

This wonderful image has important implications for leadership. What if you as a leader saw yourself in the middle of the history of your organization? You might see yourself as having taken responsibility for an organization or a culture that has a rich and perhaps enduring past. You might honor that past and also see the tensile strength of it. You would recognize that it took much effort to get here and that all choices in the past co-emerged to create the moment that is now. You would see and respect how difficult it is to change because of these forces and not apply simple and limited solutions in hopes for an easy fix of the culture. At the same time you might see and envision a glorious future and believe that your actions matter for the future success of the organization. You might take great pains to ensure that wise decisions are made in order to leave an enduring legacy. You might honor the Native American notion of making choices that meet the needs of people seven generations forward. These thoughts emerge because you see the present in the context of the past and yet unrealized future and you recognize yourself in this powerful flow.

Leadership and Soundwaves

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

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Click on the following link to hear the beat of our solar system.


It is a haunting and beautiful sound, one that invites me to reflect on the following question: What is the beat of your organization?

It seems to me that all human systems

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have a rhythm and a beat. And the most effective of organizations produce a melody, a harmony and uniquely discernable rhythm. Some great organizations sing a song of efficiency; others are melodious.  Some are airy while others are like the pounding beat of Japanese Taiko drums, whose synchronized style of drum play powerfully reverberates.

Without a central rhythm, organizations create wildly asynchronous outcomes and experiences. It is the beat of the organization that reflects its inner culture and it is guided not by happenstance, but by a leader’s inner thought process and outer actions.

What kind of sound does your leadership make and what kind of tone reverberates in your wake?

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