Unlike chemical reactions caused by the introduction of a catalyst, leaders who work to bring about change are themselves changed in the process of creating the reaction. Sensing the future is now—not only some distant and ethereal moment in time forward—we characterize the leader position as “leaning into the future,” to live and to keep becoming what we will become. This concept of continuous and purposeful adaptation replaces the soft notion of “the future” requiring some sharp, 90 degree turn onto some clearly delineated road at some precise moment. Instead, our “way” forward is intentional, resolved, and hopeful as we look for how the pieces of this future come into a clear(er) whole.
Clarity around why you are here is essential, as is the courage to listen and lead from one’s passion and source of energy. The ideals of integrity, respect, dignity and freedom have inherent value and importance in gaining the clarity each of us needs. This clarity feeds our passion and energy and fuels our creativity and courage to act beyond the safety of our traditional sphere. If we are truly on our way to a global village, where and how do we produce right action to lift up collective impact in our world?
The last lines of Wendell Berry’s poem, The Wild Geese, closes this summary, just as it did our time together at Conversation 2011:
And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.