Leadership from 1984 to 2018: A Big Fat MESS! The way out?
The paradigm is the problem—a one-dimensional economic approach to human organization. Or put another way, the way we see the world, the beliefs we have about how it should operate, and the everyday things we do based on those beliefs don’t work to the benefit of a life affirming society.
Students of history—as opposed to herstory—can tell you that every couple thousand years or so of recorded history, along comes a new way of seeing things. A new set of beliefs that challenge the old. Well, it’s about that time.
Today we live in a world ruled by reptilian emotions, governed by medieval institutions, and driven by worship of the Technology God—supposed solver of all problems. Maybe, just maybe, we need a new Mohammed, a new Buddha, or even a new Jesus—and certainly a new, better definition and forward modeling of leadership.
What A Mess!
So, what is this MESS? That old, rusting, busted, industrial-age, economic paradigm is what’s created our current MESS (Massive Existential Systemic Shifts) that our world faces today. The single-minded pursuit of maximizing short-term profit—versus optimizing long-run well-being—is what’s ignited inequality, stagnation, climate change, and extremism—plus the problems that are likely to emerge from them later. The beat goes on. Let’s break it down.
Massive. As in all encompassing, permeating throughout all our social institutions. Education, economics, politics, military, and, yes, even our holiest of holies—the sacred.
Existential. There is an uncomfortable, growing realization; an awakening if you will that humanity’s basic sense of (well-)being has been cut adrift from our sensory reality. Our global life view of relatedness and ideologies have become corrupt.
This is not news. The first generation of systems theorists like Gregory Bateson, author of “Steps to Ecology of Mind”, pointed this out in the mid-1940s.
Systemic. It’s not only everywhere as in massive, but it is highly interconnected and the feedback mechanisms are driving things far beyond the limits of sustainability. Engineers say our society has gone ‘non-linear’ meaning our society has stopped progressing smoothly from one stage to the next in a logical way—instead, our society makes sudden changes, and seems to develop in different chaotic directions at the same time. We could 1) muddle through, 2) descend into chaos, 3) have an authoritarian response, or 4) have transformational change. Your guess? And your choice!
Shifts. We know it’s changing but we don’t know where it is going. In our book WORK THE FUTURE! TODAY, we talk about a shift from the OLD Story to the NEW Story—a new world based on an egalitarian ethic, which is more nurturing, more inclusive, and one based on a ‘people and planet’ motivation because:
No planet, no people, no profit.
And so—it’s no coincidence—here we are. Desperately clutching the controls in a nosedive of human possibility. But the controls don’t seem to work anymore, do they?
Every age has its challenge. Here’s today’s: Crafting a radically new paradigm of human organization—a new Operating System—that values, represents, respects, celebrates, elevates, and expands all forms of life and life systems.
BUT HOW? Our accomplishments are merely consequences of our ability to realize the potential of the present moment—the art of the possible. That is what we are here to learn and apply. The practice of How is starts with being in the Now.
“The past is already gone; the future is not yet here. There's only one moment for you to live, and that is the present moment.” ~ Gautama Buddha
The future bus is approaching. It is not going to turn around and go back to ‘making something great again’. That’s magical thinking as psychologists like to point out. You have a choice. Either take control of your future, or let it control you.
SEE IT, BE/LIEVE IT, DO IT.
You can believe in a future that can't be seen or experienced with your senses but have thought about sufficient times in your mind that your brain is actually changed to look like the experience has already occurred ahead of the physical event in your life. Then your brain is no longer a record of the past, but has become a (mind) map to the future—the path forward.
You can jump on the future bus and grab the steering wheel, or you can get run over by it—y/our choice. Not only can we change our brains just by consistently thinking differently, but when we are truly focused and single-minded, the brain does not know the difference between what is imagined and what is realized... between the internal world of the mind and what we experience in life. Our thoughts can and do become our experience.
When we change our minds independent of the environment (life) and then steadfastly embrace an ideal with sustained concentration, the brain will be ahead of the environment—literally ahead of its time.
So we must open ourselves to our potential to change for the better, to realize our potential for the betterment of ourselves and others, and create a new, better life affirming and sustainable future for all—to lead from the heart and bottom up to be ever more inclusive, diverse, and enriched by all our mutual gifts and destiny. We invite our readers to become leaders of the new paradigm. Ready to start, today?
“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.” ~ William Blake
Another big fat MESS—time to move onwards and upwards!