Systemic Leadership Development

Systemic Leadership Development

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What is it that creates leadership?

What makes someone choose to step up and lead?

How can we systematically create more leadership in our community or organisations?

These are the questions I have been working on, and developing answers to, in the past four years.

Underlying all the work I do, there is a singular intention: to develop the necessary leadership to create a model and scale of transformation like never before.

In society, the common narrative is to complain about how bad our leaders are, then we move from electing one, to the next – with the same level of hope and disappointment every time. Rarely do we question our own behaviours and our own leadership. And rarely do we recognise the connection between our own personal behaviours and systemic behaviours – which are just amplifications of who we are, individually.

I want to create a community of 63,000 leaders in a population of 63,000. I look to develop models that naturally create whole-system leadership. Through inspiring people to act in devising easy solutions to challenges; training coaches to help people self-reflect; social prescribing and self-directed learning to create better health and education outcomes; liquid democracy; crowdfunding; participatory budgeting – these are all systems I encourage, to create greater participation at all levels of society, with the by-product of greater leadership.

Leadership is massively misunderstood. I really don’t think it is about being in charge. I believe it is much more about taking personal responsibility and taking part. In this sense, following and supporting a ‘traditional’ leader might be an act of leadership in itself.

Encouraging mass participation is the bedrock of systemic leadership development. When you add a number of changes together, to create a system – this develops many more leaders and also creates a more inclusive and effective form of leadership. You initiate more support and engagement from people if the systems that existing leaders use are participatory.

Moving people from apathy and consumption to participation develops momentum. If supported, over time, many participators become leaders in society. But the creation and development of leadership is unpredictable and hard to measure. Therefore, it is difficult to attract investment. Investors want to invest in people who deliver things that already work.  They don’t understand that we need develop new people and try out new things, to discover what works better.

This is one of the primary investments necessary in a community. By designing our systems to encourage more personal responsibility and participation, we can educate a population to become a community of participators and leaders.

The relationship between education and good governance is key to the next level of society. We have so far educated our populations towards conformity, compliance and dependency and not understood the scale of the huge problems this brings.

In order to have great leaders, we need to create an environment where we all practise giving and taking the lead, as much as possible. The short route to a quick win is to get things done fast, with minimal intervention. The longer, but vastly more sustainable, route is to take everyone in your community with you. This builds capacity in society and gives significant, far-reaching results.

The bright future we crave comes from each of us contributing to its creation. For that to happen, we all need to learn the skill of stepping up.

To taking the lead.

Marc

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