Everywhere I looked I was amazed with their gifts and skills. In many cases, this extended far beyond their current roles. Valuable and often times untapped potential.
I realized there was more to being a leader than “getting stuff done”. I started learning and leading others in ways that were more meaningful – lifting people up, supporting and developing them. Meaningfully recognizing each individual contribution and allowing them to grow and thrive according to their talents and passions (to the extent possible in the organizational structure).
Yes, we have to get stuff done. However, not at the expense of individual health and well-being and the well-being of these human organizations.
There are two major stumbling blocks. Many organizations support an unhealthy culture of busyness. Always rushing, squeezing in as many meetings and work in a day as possible. Feeling anxious and overwhelmed or bored and apathetic, burned out and unappreciated. In The State of the Workplace 2022 Report, Gallup shows stress and worry at all-time highs. The facts bear out from business studies, psychological and sociological studies – this is not an effective way to work.
Second stumbling block. Leaders don’t know how to handle the increase in complexity required to lead in the 21st century. They are too stressed to think outside the box. (from Regenerative Leadership Academy Laura Storm)
An Adobe study on the global creativity gap interviewed 5000 adults across the US, UK, Germany, France, and Japan, found that 80% feel that unlocking creativity is critical for their ability to be delivering successful results in these complex times. YET 75% feel under pressure to prioritize being productive rather than creative. (Regenerative Leadership Academy – Laura Storm)
What is going on? What is causing this?
Our world is reflecting back at us, what we have created. These systems and structures and ways of being are not conducive to life: The warming and polluting of the world’s oceans, pandemics, massive biodiversity, and ecosystem loss. This shows up in our organizational structures, habits, and behaviors. Burnout, low engagement, high turnover, illness, and stress.
How did this happen?
We have separated ourselves from the living systems we are connected to. This includes organizations and associated communities. This includes each other. Our hyper-competitive, hyper-busy, mindsets have disconnected us from our true inner and outer nature.
Our human nature is connected with the natural world. We are part of a relationship with the ecosystem of life. We have strayed far from this relationship and are now being reminded, it’s time to re-connect.
We certainly know by now we aren’t in control of everything – just wait for the next major pandemic, extreme weather event, or conflict stemming from separation and fear. We currently seek to solve problems using linear, analytic, and mechanistic means, looking only at individual pieces, disregarding our innate intelligence and the wisdom of nature which has had billions of years to evolve solutions. We have forgotten how to look at the inter-related whole of our human organizations.
The good news is there are ways to address the stress and anxiety and find long term life affirming-solutions to these issues. There is a new narrative emerging from our times, a new regenerative leadership paradigm growing in scope and number, based on the interconnectedness of all life. To evolve, sense and respond to the current and future complexities.
This became clear for me after a 12-month journey in Regenerative Leadership, facilitated by Laura Storm, based on the book “Regenerative Leadership” co-authored by her and Giles Hutchins. They both have been doing amazing work helping organizations create the conditions of everyone (including the living world) all life to thrive in the organizational ecosystem. A community has emerged from these 300 strong regenerative leaders from all over the world.
This regenerative lens is required to effectively view the human organization and its leaders. The creation of a new story is necessary for the agencies to survive and flourish for those “future generations.” One that revitalizes the human organization within its interconnected and inter-relational living systems.
One last remark: I am aware of how the “next new thing” in leadership getting shoved down people’s throats, feels to an overly busy leader with increasing workloads and shrinking operational budgets. I encourage you to make the decision yourself, based on your own thoughts and feelings.
Reach out to me if you are curious and would like to learn more. There is always a place to start that will be of immediate benefit. That said, it’s a journey that takes place over time.
A highly impactful journey.
You may have noticed, nothing worthwhile and long lasting happens overnight. My current focus and expertise is reforming the connections needed for the wellbeing of leaders and employees of civil service organizations, to help people start seeing things with a more life affirming lens. To cultivate healthy, new ways of being.
It becomes part of you.
A healthy part of you.
An empowered part of you to create your own environment of well-being, support, and creativity.
DM me or contact me at email firstname.lastname@example.org
Facilitator of Reconnection
Author Christine Freeland, Founder Sirius Leadership – Guiding Star for Harmony