following a river of thoughts triggered while reading @notthisbody’s post on distributed leadership and being in service, here some lines on alignment and leadership pathways (rather than leadership figures) and an idea for an exercise to embody what it means to be in service of a system for it to flourish.
besides the inquiry around leadership it’s interesting to look at what creates alignment. that can be the will or statement of a person but it can also be pressure from the environment, being faced with something we are all against, the emotion of joy in the beautiful sunset at the ocean or the possibility of getting free beer in the pub.
an impulse is born and gets shared and shared further until it finds a role in the system that has the energetic mandate to amplify it into collective movement. you could say the power-constellation/person took leadership – but what they did was just picking up a signal and amplifying it using their given or energetically evolved mandate.
groups are full of these leadership-pathways. people have preferred mates to share their ideas with (or to shy to share with others) and then these are very good at communicating them to the rest and so on… creators, conduits, amplifiers, distractors, wisdom-depth holders, social circle gatekeeper… and so on. nothing bad about it – natural this is i guess (might be super-interesting to explore this pathways (=playlists) algorithmically as i wrote yesterday about).
it can easily become a trap though and the system gets blind to other potential pathways or signals that are not gaining momentum on the pathways that people were used to and built (blind) trust in.
keeping leadership-pathways fluid and meaningful is certainly more possible in fields where the entities (people, ideas, conditions…) are not gated by ego-barriers or the need to keep a brand-identity on the market for instance. nodes in the net have the energetic gravity they naturally have and form the landscape of this field with the other players. the meaningful travels along this landscape (mathematical derivative landscapes are a rich metaphor for this) ARE the leadership-pathways :)
service – besides the many emotional or philosophical things that can be explored around that i want to share an exercise that i had in mind since a while (and might have shared somewhere else earlier?). if it can’t be put into practice at the moment (i haven’t done/facilitated it yet) – it also serves well as a game in imagination that ideally sparks other ideas for exercise that can train the muscle for what serving a system to flourish means and feels like.
let’s say we have a group of 10 people. for one full day the individuals in this group are NOT allowed to talk in groups of 3 or more – meaning that all communication needs to happen in 1&1 space. now you give this group simple and later complex tasks that involves agreements between 5 or all 10 people for instance. let’s say they need to find 6 people to make dinner for the rest. what i imagine happening is that it gets very messy and uncomfortable in the beginning but over time these 45 (!) unique 1&1 units start to behave, organize and share information more hive-like… leaning towards meaningful pathways. and what i think will one of the possibly many learning-reflections is that it works best if you and all the 1&1 units you move in, dedicate their information-processing towards the highest potential of the whole! in the moment you bend or filter information to get out of it what you alone want, flow might not happen – people may or may not be able to track you back for ‘causing’ this distortion but the point beyond guilt is that (i assume) the system flourishes the most if all their units are committed to the highest potential of the whole – and yes, that doesn’t mean blindly passing on, it can also mean radical opposing… an inner energetic alignment of being in service of the whole doesn’t need to look all the time peaceful and happy on the outside.