The Paradox of Leaders

The Paradox of Leaders

Leaders today have paradoxes to solve. We live in a world of increasing uncertainty. Which direction to go may be one of the most challenging tasks for leaders. Technology changes fast and no sooner we adapt to a new technology a new one appears. Technology has its spillover effects. For example, people changed socially by exchanging messages that they could forward to all their friends> Social habits changed accordingly, and people socialize less in person. Technology is also affecting employment. Take for example the self-driven cars they shall reduce traffic accidents and insurance companies will have less business. Cars shall need less spare parts and again some industries shall suffer. The need for drivers will be reduced and drivers may have to find other jobs. We live in uncertain times that may lead to chaos.

In these uncertain times we expect people to be fearful and their feeling of losing direction magnify. It is in these difficult times that a leader must be the compass showing others the direction. Sometimes it is like driving in a dark and foggy night with no lights on the street. All options are hard to make and finding directions is complicated by the risk of running into a rock or running into other cars. Piling fear on a fear makes decision-making challenging.

It is in these times and under these circumstances that we need genuine leaders. They need to refrain from actions that deepen the chaos. People may ask questions that a leader has no answer to. The leader must be honest and say that he/she doesn’t have an answer. His or her pride might stop them from saying they don’t know. Followers will then feel the leader is holding the information. This shall only compound the chaos. The core values of being honest are tested mostly in crisis times. It is in these times that leaders need to stick to their core values. If not, the followers shall be disengaged, and this is only adding fuel to the fire of chaos.

Leaders must make fast decisions with limited information. Yes, the rapidity of change may expose the leaders to limited information in certain cases. A genuine leader has the responsibility of deciding and taking the responsibility of his/her decision. A leader needs to not crack under pressure if he/she wished her followers not to crack too.

The challenges grow, and leaders must face them with integrity. In times of confusion people lose focus. It is in these difficult times that a leader must keep focus. It is this focus that shall help leaders chart out survival strategies. Forcing stability isn’t a choice (if it could be realized). Continuing in a state of instability will only bring more chaos to the organization. A great leader knows that there is a third way- balancing the extremes between instability and stability. That is reverting more to self-organizing activities such as self-organized teams. This shall only happen if the leaders allow for decentralized decision-making and assign it to the team level. There is a hidden paradox here. The team members might be in a state of chaotic confusion and how the teams could make decisions? The leader knows that we are learning organizations and the teams shall learn only by trial and error. Self-development of the teams may become possible this way.

I was so influenced by the buzz of Jennifer Heflin titled β€œTalkin’ Bout a Revolution: How we can transform the current political and societal chaos”. In her buzz she wrote β€œDon’t become discouraged and disgusted by the current state of the world. Right now, planet earth can be seen as a bucket of dirty water, which is being cleaned up. When you pour clean water into the bucket of dirty water, the debris is stirred up and rises to the top for all to experience and observe. The issues coming to the surface aren’t actually new onesβ€Šβ€”β€Šthey’ve been there all along but were just hidden and not in our general awareness.

This is the process of looking at what we have intentionally and unintentionally created, letting go of what no longer serves us, and choosing a new, more evolved way of being. May be this is what world leaders should be doing now.

But first we need to clean the bucket of water in our heads.


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Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#36
David Navarro L\u00f3pez. Harvey's comments are fractal being rich in beauty.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#35
These are "mirage-like" leaders . They make the mirage of water a water fountain. This type of leaders soon lose face and the trust of others. They compound their failures.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #29

#33
If i could expand the thought. The process of visualizing our plight does come to the very question you raise. Am i in the wrong river paddling? Where is the right river? These questions pose circular arguments that we can leave us wandering the wilderness of existence. The real question you answer: We are all in the same river, at the same time with equal oars. Searching for the right river is believing nirvana exists in its physical form. Once we decide that the river is great equalizer then we begin to see the fractal nature of our existence. Now the real question is asked. Fractals display layers of the same thing while repeating themselves horizontally and vertically. Can you find joy where you are, or do you need to move vertical or horizontal within the fractal? These questions lead to destinies unknown and joy.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#33
Yes my friend David Navarro L\u00f3pez. Great leaders try to simplify complex systems so that they may become manageable. If they can work within a manageable boundary then that is great. The other approach is to encourage learning and adapting. Self-organizing teams is one example of such approaches. A team would set simple rules for all to abide by. Due to interactions some great discoveries may emerge. Like a flock of birds when on fly and by following simple rules a V_shaped pattern appears. A leaders job is to simplify rule, because even though they may appear simple, their interactions and feedback may not be.

David Navarro LΓ³pez

David Navarro LΓ³pez

3 years ago #27

#32
So if future is unpredictable, why not trying to manage the future making things happen? It could look like a risky strategy. But it can be as risky as waiting to see what happens. This is to me, the difference between a reactive leader, and an active one. Everyone should be a leader, at least, of his/her own life. Is it better to react to the things that happen in life, or to provoke changes in the way you would like to? My point is, as our societies are so complex and unpredictable if one is willing to walk the path it fits one's expectation, the only way is establishing the boundaries of this path yourself, instead of letting unpredictability to set them.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#30
Thank you my friend David Navarro L\u00f3pez,, You discuss a hugely-important point on whether leaders should anticipate and be prepared or adapt to an unpredictable changes. My answer in complexity, and our societies are getting more complex, is that they are also getting less predictable. This is the butterfly effect in operation. Like we can only predict weather for a three days with 80% accuracy so is the work environment. The business weather is getting unpredictable like the weather. If we extend our prediction beyond three days the accuracy falls down exponentially. So, with what choice leaders are left? Some businesses are more sensitive than the others. Lucky leaders are those who run a simple business.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#29
Thank you for seeing the forest Kevin Baker. You are a positive soul

David Navarro LΓ³pez

David Navarro LΓ³pez

3 years ago #24

Great Buzz, my dear Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee On it, you are assuming that a leader task is to react to fast changes. My question to it is: Wouldn't be a better leader the one who can anticipate these changes, and act consequently before the changes have taken place? Otherwise, the leader is being led by the changes and makes of him a follower of uncertainty. Furthermore, a leader would make things change, not the other way around. Take Columbus as an example. He wanted to find another way to Asia, not to be dependant on the established ways. In honesty, he failed, because instead, he found the new world. But this happened to be a much better growth opportunity. So leaders, in my opinion, need to explore (and thus, leading) new ways to go ahead, even if things do not happen to be as planned.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#26
To be a successful leader nowadays is truly demanding. To survive for six years is admirable. Yes, Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador adaptability and resilience are rare traits.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#25
Thank you for your contribution my friend Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee. Your comment put a smile on my face "...but were just hidden and not in our general awareness". Is this a paradox of awareness that isn't? Have a nice "move" dear Joyce.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

This is a perfect post relating to the ongoing events of today. I wouldn't want to be in a leadership position today, yet my LinkedIn feed notified me of the 6 year anniversary of one of my managers from the past. The 6 years reflects her new location and not inclusive of her many years of management, while at a previous location. I feel her success, along with other good managers, is due to being adaptable and able to weather the storm(s).

Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

"The issues coming to the surface aren’t actually new onesβ€Šβ€”β€Šthey’ve been there all along but were just hidden and not in our general awareness." Oh so very true. When you live with such awareness it can be frightening. Remember my love of Subcultures? Oh, that I had had a chance to do a dissertation on the topic. I look in wonder around me. I'm not in often. I'm moving and will be doing so for the next 2 weeks. But I saw this and just had to peek. Good one, my friend.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #19

#20
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPwXeg8ThWI&t=1150s This is a video that has always made me think when leadership gets tough. It reminds me the levels i have earned and those i have not. Thanks for your comment and your sound wisdom.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#22
Thank you Randall Burns. I hope to read more of your very insightful comments soon.

Randall Burns

Randall Burns

3 years ago #17

Great post and very engaging discussion Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#19
Thank you namita sinha, Success Coach. You really touched upon the most relevant concepts in the buzz. Yes, if a leader fails to lead himself how could we expect h/h to lead others? There is no room for selfishness when it comes for genuine leadership. A great leader is a great server of others. Service with honesty, transparency and sharing are all a must. As for your point on intuition I couldn't agree more. In the lack of information intuition becomes of high value. Thank you Namita for always you share your wisdom generously.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#16
Yes, I agree and I am very glad you commented on the great comment of namita sinha. I loved so much your use of the word crowsnest . It is seeing all the horizon of possibilities that leaders need to.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#15
You are most welcome dear namita sinha. I wish if you would share your insightful comment on LI here as well so that it gets more deserving attention. Your presence here shall be greatly welcome.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #13

#4
namita sinha had an excellent comment on LI. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. A leaders success is predicated on the success of those they lead. My concern lies within the paradigm of leadership as it applies to each human. We all lead in some fashion. Whether it is ourselves, families or communities. Lew Gerstner, Jack Welch and many of the great professional leaders are humbled in leading under the title, father, mother, brother or friend. Leadership is anyone who chooses to climb up to the crowsnest for another and help them find direction. No matter who we are we have found ourselves at the base of that mast more often than we can count. There are two sides to that climb. The intentions of the person taking on the task and the one receiving benefit. Each has a role to play in a successful outcome. This role is the covenant communications that each participant has to stand on as the process proceeds.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#13
I like your idea "...current abilities of his team to take on additional direction". Yes, even direction should be verified and may require taking a new direction. Many have the opinion that changing direction is wrong. More wrongly is pursuing a direction that becomes obsolete.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #11

#9
#10 This thought expands the discussion towards discernment. The process whereby we look to our human capital and measure the energy we have to apply to a action or change. The act of discernment is a leaders assessment of the current abilities of his team to take on additional direction. In this we would consider current pace, forward looking indicators, corporate culture and many other aspects as we begin to change the recipe for the next leg of the journey. Unfortunately this can be done in a vacuum of anxiety/fear or within the team structure. The latter is the prefered method since it is discernment we wish to lean on to look forward.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#11
I fully6 agree- leading by assumptions is a risky business. When leaders assume without verification they run into a rabbit hole.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #9

#5
Fear is a word to describe what a person may experience under someone's leadership. From personal to professional. The covenant relationship we have within the professional paradigm though would require that we express these fears within the team. Professionally of course. This would insure that we are of one accord as we move forward. What happens when we don't express. Leaders assume all is fine until the fears begin to compound over time. This sounds simple, yet seems to be a major leadership issue as we only assume intentions are clear when the environment is non reflective until issues become major points of contention.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#9
Yes, I agree and wish to add to the line of your comment "Somewhere spontaneity is required while in some situation patience is required". This is the dilemma. In complex systems in very little times so much happens. Change can be fast and unpredictable. Hopefully, leaders realize this point that in dealing with very complex issues if they take time to act soon they shall find themselves in a totally new situation that is different and again a new decision must be made. You really trigger a hugely-important point here dear Tausif Mundrawala would like to share his experience here.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

You are terrific my friend Debasish Majumder. Thank You

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#3
Thank you my friend Tausif Mundrawala. We say that a great ad will address people spiritually and emotionally. I believe the same applies to leaders who want to move people. To affect them they need spiritual words. I agree with you. However; leaders should also be aware of some restrictions as we work in multi-nationals organizations. Spiritually yes, but while keeping abreast of the differences among people in this regard; else, it could fire back.

Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

3 years ago #5

nice insight sirAli \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee! enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the buzz sir.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#2
Part 2 Harvey Lloyd- you wrote in your comment "we almost have to start with creating the covenants of successful communication within our culture first". I kept pondering on this line before responding. I am asking if bad communication is the cause or the result. If people are fearful of a leader then fear would stop them from proper communication. In other worlds the leader (supposedly) fills his team with fear and then expect them to trust him and communicate with him? I am still thinking over this point.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#2
Yes as the post of Jennifer Heflin on this buzz. she wrote a beautiful comment. Of relevance here is "...to create bridges, because as you rightly hinted..it's about getting inclusive - there's no place for a "what's in it for me" kind of attitude when it comes to genuine leadership.It is always about the people a leader serves and the "we" that enables him to see opportunity rather than obstacle". I believe you summarized who is a great leader in your line "A covenant between humans is that expectation of each other that we can lean on as we lead, take risk and assume dependence on". This is very true. If a leader has a purpose greater than self he/she would be serving others and they may serve him better.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #2

"Freedom without covenant becomes selfishness." David Brooks, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/opinion/elites-taxes-republicans-congress.html The post that you refer to as your motivation was a wonderful expose on how we have been lead through elitism in media. The above quote was sent to me by a friend and was really motivating for me as a leader. Leadership today is really battling the central issue stated in the quote. The covenant between humans has been broken. This is neither good or bad. But what is of concern is that in leadership there is now a vacuum of covenant language that we can lean on when challenging our teams. Do keep in mind that i am in the "America Paradigm". A covenant between humans is that expectation of each other that we can lean on as we lead, take risk and assume dependance on. Today one of the key leadership concerns that covenants don't exist, perceived bad behaviour. In leadership we make choices issue commands of direction and sometimes through individuals we get filtered through paradigms, narratives that misinterpret intentions. Sometimes they are not misinterpreted. The covenant would have us as a human reflect back to the individual (Leader or not) how it was interpreted for clarification. The reflectee should not judge nor the reflector perceive conspiracy. Communication should enhance our human experience. Today leaders are expected to get the success journey financially, politically and team filter correct every time. When we discuss leadership today we almost have to start with creating the covenants of successful communication within our culture first. Then we will have something to lean on as we move forward. Stirring debate Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Jennifer Heflin- you are mentioned in this buzz

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