Wednesday 5 July 2017
The Leader's New Work
The original publication in 1990 was highly valuable when I was just starting out as a leadership development speaker, writer and mentor.
I read the 2006 revised and updated edition shortly after it came out and have continued to use the insights presented in my own best way as foundational to my work.
My passionate interest in the new world of work, and particularly what this means for leaders and the future of leadership, meant that this restudy (I did reread all 445 pages) focused on chapter 15 'The Leaders New Work'
There's a lot that's old about the new!
Senge quotes Confucius for example "To become a leader, you must first become a human being."
I see leaders becoming better humans every day in my work. One of the reasons I get out of bed every morning filled with enthusiasm is because of the joy of knowing that leadership is fundamentally about being human and that I will see this in action today.
I'm not into generation descriptors (I value humans of all ages) however what I know for certain is that Millennials, Generation X and Y whatever the label are people half my age. You get that leadership is about being human and because you outnumber the rest of us the future of the world is in good hands.
In The Fifth Discipline Peter Senge says that the leader's new work is about being designers, teachers, and stewards. I like these. What really jumped out at me however in this chapter was the reference to the English verb "lead" which comes from the Indo-European root "leith", which means "to cross a threshold."
My takeaway from this is that The Leader's New Work therefore is all about helping fellow human beings to move from what is to what can be with meaning and purpose for them.
Who will you become? What will you do next?
PS FYI below is a snapshot of some of my notes from rereading The Fifth Discipline.