Co-operative leadership, or co-leadership, is when two or more leaders deploy their individual great strengths as a collective whole in pursuit of a common goal. Co-leadership can cause an organization to experience extraordinary results, in a short time, and at low cost.
The Next Evolutionary Leadership Stage that Could Save Our Planet
This IntelliVen insight summarizes the core thesis of Alain Gauthier’s book which is that evolutionary co-leadership is needed now to catalyze the emergence of a truly generative and wholesome society.
A Wholesome Society, a society where everyone is invited, supported, and challenged to become a conscious, co-responsible co-creator – developing and expressing their unique gifts, while contributing to the evolution of humanity.
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True leadership involves crossing a threshold that opens to the unknown – becoming an example for others in discovering and giving voice to new possibilities to explore and realize.
Co-leadership opens a new space where an ensemble of people can jointly act as leaders and inspire others to do the same.
A Partnering Dance
After exploring the evolutionary worldview, the article invites the reader to discover the inner and outer conditions for entering into a true partnering dance with others. To enter the dance of partnering with others – and with life itself – requires the embodiment of an evolutionary perspective.
- The Inner Dance: involves awakening to both one’s uniqueness and deep connection to the whole, as well as demonstrating innocence (in the sense of not knowing), humility, presence, empathy, and courage.The practice of co-leadership both requires and develops these qualities.
- The Outer Dance: involves deploying one’s strengths and various aspects of identity, building upon the foundation provided by the inner dance, such that interplay, integration, and synergy with others becomes possible, in a search for the common good of the group.
Both dances are necessary to enter into a progression where one feels co-responsible for the evolution of the whole, and this larger involvement in turn helps one sustain the inner and outer dances.
- Evolutionary co-leadership – to a much greater extent than individual leadership – allows the multiplication of creative actions in service of the whole.
- These actions will be crucial for accelerating the shift to a society that becomes more conscious of its responsibility for evolution.
- There is already evidence of this multiplying effect in communities and organizations around the world that span societal sectors. The future is already here, although it is rarely portrayed in mainstream media.
The article invites the reader to reflect on two questions:
- What individual and collective choices can I make to act from an evolutionary co-leadership perspective and thus further catalyze and amplify that emergence?
- What can I learn from those who have already chosen that path, to find my own path as well as the support and challenge I need from others?
See PeterD’s Amazon review of Gauthier’s book.
ABOUT ALAIN GAUTHIER
Alain Gauthier is an international educator, consultant, and coach of executive teams and diverse partnerships, in and across society’s sectors, and on four continents. An HEC (Paris) graduate, Stanford MBA, and former McKinsey senior consultant, he is Executive Director of Core Leadership Development, based in Oakland, CA.
He is a co-founder of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) in the US and France, and has contributed to several collective books on leadership development and coaching.
Reach Alain at alaingauthier@coreleadership.