Prototyping Quiet Leadership

Over the last several months i have been sharing some new work around Quiet Leadership: it’s about our individual actions and mindset, and the ways that we weave strength into the social system. It’s a view of leadership beyond heroes: not grand ideas that operate at scale, but the smallest behaviours that impact our immediate community, and aggregate up to culture as a whole. This work explores ‘Humility’, ‘Kindness’, ‘Fairness’, and ‘Grace’, and i am now carrying it into a prototype workshop experience.

I am using the format which i developed for a parallel stream of work, on ‘Social Leadership: Power and Potential’. Each week will explore four questions, encouraging people to discuss and reflect on the topic both in the abstract, and applied to their own context and action.

This is not a ‘learning’ experience, so much as a shared journey: for the initial cohort i am intending to bring a diverse group together, to provide contrasting perspectives from their very different everyday realities.

The broad narrative considers ‘Humility’ to be the foundation: a reflection on how our actions are held, and judged, and the way we position ourselves relative to others. It relates to the notion of ‘Curation’ that i discuss in Social Leadership more widely (choosing your space, looking around, seeing what you want to change), but it’s internally focussed, not external/environmentally so. It also closely aligns to the work on ‘5 Things a Social Leader does Everyday’.

Five things a Social Leader does every day

Kindness’ is positioned as a characteristic of growth: as we gain power and position, how do we interact with others. I will be revisiting earlier work here, which explores why kindness counts, and how it is traded.

Fairness’ i am equating to the spread of the branches of the tree: as we mature in our careers and leadership, do we use that strength to benefit ourselves, or to shelter others. This language needs refining, but the idea is that our power gives us the potential to be fair, but does not guarantee it. Here i will revisit the ‘Framework for Fairness’, which is older work, but i will consider an update or reframing (the central notion is the gap between ‘intent’ and ‘impact’).

‘Grace’ is the new idea in this: it’s about execution, and both a confidence, and clarity, of action. Achieving grace in our leadership is about a fluid state of operation, where we know our boundaries of action, and are confident in our execution. It is perhaps a practice, not an end state. I am still exploring this.

My prototype group will complete the journey this side of Christmas, and from there i will start to explore running open sessions in 2021. These will be free, but limited in numbers to maintain the dialogue. More details on this in due course.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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