21st Century Leadership: Co-Creating New Paths Forward

“We’re faced with the biggest leadership crisis ever.”

That’s the backdrop of my recent conversation with business strategist Ayelet Baron on the Radiant Sessions Podcast.  And she would know. Ayelet’s a former tech executive from the Silicon Valley that “fired” herself so she could dedicate herself to cultivating the next generation of leaders.

When we spoke, I caught her at home in British Columbia after she just returned from Israel with a stop in San Francisco where she was speaking and teaching others about this new era of leadership. She opened up my heart and mind to new possibilities in the midst of (if you read the any of the news) chaos and dysfunction.

One of the transformations we’re going through is an awakening to our connection to each other and the earth. We’re not separate from nature. We’re simply a part of it. And we’re realizing that we’ve been running our businesses in a very un-natural way. And, oh yeah, it isn’t sustainable. Short term profits may pad bank accounts, but they don’t serve nature nor our higher interests.

As the calendar flips to December, we can clearly see the disconnect. What’s nature doing right now? Slowing down. It’s getting dark early. Animals are sleeping more. Trees have dropped their leaves and are quietly preparing for the spring.

And what we, humans, doing? Speeding up. Shopping and spending money. We’re busily running from one holiday event to the next. Many of us find ourselves in frantic rushes to hit end of the year sales or fundraising goals. And…and…we feel empty.

We’re doing what our culture expects, but so many of us feel unfulfilled and disconnected.

The good news is that this mindset is cracking up. Collectively we’re opening up to a new perspective.

On the surface it doesn’t seem that way, right?

Our leaders at the highlight levels of government and business are the epitome of the old mindset. Profit at all costs, ego, and power. Our media and our culture continue to push out messages of more, more, more. Higher, better, faster. However, the intensity of it all simply represents the last throes of an old system. And it’s ugliest at the end.

Ayelet explains that we’re moving into a human to human, purpose driven experience era. We don’t need more problem solvers. We need people who see opportunities and that bring others together in unlikely partnerships. We need leaders that think in a different way and connect the right people at the right time to have the right conversation.

Nature doesn’t problem solve, per se. Nature creates. We’re not here to solve problems, we’re here to create. And we’re here to create together.

We’re being asked to shift our mindsets. We’re being presented with an opportunity to, “co-create beauty in our world and restore our personal and collective health.”

And leadership plays a critical role. It’s not the kind of leadership that looks outside of our selves. It’s about leading our own lives, and reclaiming our own power.

Nature doesn’t look for a guru to find the answers. Nature leads itself and creates a flow.

The same is true for humans. We don’t need more experts to tell us how to live our lives. There isn’t a special council making decisions for us. You’re the only one that has the map for your life. It’s already there and it’s up to each of us find that map, trust it, and live it.

We all yearn to be human and connect. We’re here to create joy and beauty with each other. But our culture has gone astray. We’ve given up our power to others, to our technology, and to our governments. We’ve lost our relationships with ourselves, each other, and nature. The result is that many of us end feeling empty, unfulfilled.

And maybe, just maybe, our outside world is simply a reflection of what’s happening inside. If it’s true that we’re simply a part of nature, then it makes sense to see tumult such as climate change, political dysfunction, and economic disparity in our outside world when our own hearts and souls feel incomplete.

What Aylet helped me see is that it’s time for each of us to re-claim our power and awaken to our own bold and beautiful voices. Change comes from within. When we recognize that and take responsibility then we can create structures to do business for good: For the planet, for each other, and for profit.

The answer is simple. Lead our own lives. Take back our power. Find our purpose and connect with others doing the same thing. When we do that then will co-create a future of peace and prosperity.

When I take responsibility to lead myself, and then you do that, and our neighbor does, then our block can, then our town, then our county, then our state, then our country, and then the world.

Nature has a master plan. We’re put here with a purpose, and our job is to live that purpose while trusting that others are living theirs.

When we do THAT then we’ll naturally move into this new era of a human to human, purpose driven experience. And that’s a place I want to be!

Thank you Ayelet for opening my heart and mind to new possibilities.

Learn more about Ayelet on her website. Listen to our interview here.


About IanFitz

Ian Fitzpatrick is the founder of Radiant Tribes and host of the podcast, Radiant Sessions. When not helping organizations create the new economy he enjoys daily walks with his brown dog, Abby.

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