Monday, April 30, 2007

Deeper Learning in Leadership - coming to fruition

The time when Deeper Learning in Leadership will be published is coming ever closer. It is now posted on Amazon for pre-purchase. It's exciting beyond belief to actually have a book cover and all the contents (including Lena and Sandy Astin's foreword) back to be processed for page proofs. The next step is review of the proofs at the end of the month. The projected real publication date is late September.

I've continued to reflect on the message I sought to send with Deeper Learning in Leadership. Every once in a while, I get a chill up my spine that there will be those who will take exception with one of the primary arguments - that our institutional models may be undermining our ability to achieve the deeper leadership that our institutions, businesses, and communities need. At the same moment I hesitate, I am struck by the constant evidence that our institutions are not sending the messages and modeling the kind of leadership that our world so desperately needs.

Matching our thought and actions seems always to be one of the greatest challenges organizations face. In the particular case of leadership learning, it seems that we have no choice but to engage as deeply as we can so that our graduates are prepared for the changing, challenging, and chaotic world of the future. We need responsive, creative, and wise leadership to create a future for citizens around the globe. The stakes are high and the opportunities are great.


Darbi said...

Indeed, matching our thoughts and our actions is something every human being struggles with. I often am frustrated with myself when these two things don't match up. It gives me a sense of shame when I talk one way and my actions don't always reflect that. One of the things I've had a hard time dealing with this semester is just that... knowing and understanding things in a certain way and not being able to bring them into fruition in action. I think that's just part of being human, but I think this is the biggest setback to any leader, past or present.

Denny Roberts said...

Recognizing when our thoughts and actions are out of alignment is the key. It's inevitable that we will miss things, lose our focus, or cut corners - all of which are examples of misalignment. It seems to me that disappointment may be justified but never shame, at least when we recognize what happened. The toxic individuals are the ones who either don't reflect or rationalize their inconsistent behaviors as a way of avoiding the ultimate need to realign their actions with their thoughts.

It's also not just about individuals. It's about organizations, which presents a more difficult challenge. Organizations almost always exhibit some inconsistency between purpose and action. When this happens, what is the role of the individual in realigning the systems and colleagues that are involved? How much out-of-alignment is tolerable before we determine that we must make a statement by withdrawing? These are tough issues that require great focus and courage.