Adding people to an organization or transferring them out changes culture; imparting new knowledge changes culture. Changes in the structure, environment, or processes of a culture change that culture. The point here is that cultures are forever in flux. We cannot prevent a culture from evolving. But we can guide the direction of such inevitable change. This is Evolutionary Leadership, or Leadership by Design. Functioning as an Evolutionary Guidance System, enterprise leadership can guide the evolutionary unfolding of an organization. In precisely this way, leaders guide the evolution of an organization from one state of culture to another. This is the best anyone can do. Think about it.
The craft of Leadership cannot be properly understood as the function of any number of psychological traits or the results of project-oriented behaviors in which the attainment of some goal defines one's leadership quotient. Rather, leadership is a constantly evolving something that never reaches its horizon. It is forever an unfinished expression of the human heart to transcend the current substance and shape of the world.
As such, leadership, authentic leadership, forever remains incomplete and perennially unfolding. Authentic leadership is more about the wonder of evolutionary consciousness and the design of human activity systems than it is about a single success or a collection of personality traits or any number of psychological descriptions.
This book breaks free from the well traveled path of traditional thinking on the nature of leadership and leaders. It carries the reader along a new journey that clarifies the wider leadership landscape and the broader method of redesigning this landscape again and again. As we make this journey from common wisdom to evolutionary leadership we find that the authentic leader, those people who mastered the test of time, designed great human activity systems.
Whether the leader was Thomas Jefferson, Mohandas Gandhi, or someone you personally know today, they all were great designers of Human Activity Systems, and they all exhibited a taste for evolutionary consciousness. This is monumental. They all had vastly different Intelligence Quotients, different psychological characteristics, and even different personality traits. Some leaders even failed to achieve their goals in their lifetimes. Nevertheless, their leadership legacy survived them.
For those of you who know a lot about leadership, I congratulate you on your good fortune. I also caution you to remember that there is more about leadership that you do not know than you do know. For the rest of you, I suggest that you are about to enter unfamiliar territory. As you progress in this book from chapter to chapter, you will gain a fresh insight into the nature of leadership and develop a living systems perspective on what it means to be a leader. So sit back and enjoy the experience ahead. You are about to build a personal model of 21st Century leadership. Enjoy the challenge.
Repetition is the mother of study. Hard earned experience over the years has taught me that I generally need to repeat myself three or four times before a C-Level executive hears me for the very first time. Although we have two ears and only one mouth, many people at the pinnacle of decision making operate as if things were the other way around. Understanding this principle of executive enlightenment,