Steward Leadership — needed now for a world with a future

To create spaces and places to birth ideas for a world with a future requires Steward Leadership. Spaces and places designed with infinite love, care, attention, intention. Spaces that bring out the very wonder of people.

Leadership that rarely needs to resort to command, control, authority, and domination.

Leadership that creates a space and container for flourishing ecologies for human synergy, where we are better working together.

Leadership that invests time in attunement — with the Source Idea and its Pattern Integrity, with the beloved humans supporting the creation of the enterprise you are leading, with the emergent future, with the environment and community that is close by and the one far away. With the flows and patterns of the whole, our home planet, its many nation-states, the economic forces and geopolitical currents beyond our control.

Leadership that will fiercely protect the Pattern Integrity of the enterprise being stewarded.

Leadership that stands easily in not knowing, flies with the currents of emergence with high trust, takes accountability and responsibility for mistakes made — learns from them, and evolves.

Leadership who knows completely the principle of Synergy. The heroic myth of the lone warrior as an archetype is one that denies the greatest technology we humans have — human minds working TOGETHER, synergistically.

Leadership that learns, lives in awe, remains humble, practises gratitude and compassion and never assumes positions of arrogant dominion.

One of the key components of a Syntropic Enterprise is Steward Leadership.

The etymological source of the word stewardship is to be a guardian of the home.

At Syntropic World we hold that human enterprise — people coming together to create things — and doing so Syntropically — leaving everything better — needs to become the very foundations of a world with a future.

It is humans collaborating, co-creating and working together — be that to build a healthy family, a community group, a not-for-profit or a large global business — that will create a more beautiful world.

It is humans doing this in partnership with earth and her creatures, relinquishing the long held role of exploitation and extraction.

How do we choose to lead?

Each day we get to choose how we lead, no matter our position or role description. We can choose to be a Steward Leader in a world awash with power and status accumulation, systems and structures that encode the success of the few over the many, corrupt and greedy intentions, divorced of care for others, the future or our home planet.

Do we ensure the people we lead know why we are together?

How do we treat each other, especially when things get tougher?

Do we put their health, well-being and care as primary and integral to the purpose of our enterprise?

Are we clear and clean with our communication?

Do we seek first to understand?

Do we demonstrate through our own actions the people we want to be?

Do we consider context, timing, place, and space in our decision making?

Where Steward Leadership lives in a Syntropic Enterprise

In Syntropic World, Steward Leadership inhabits the ‘walls’ of the social architecture of the enterprise. We use the metaphor of the cell membrane as the place the Steward Leader resides. It is a holding of the home, for surely an enterprise is a home to people who care to convene to create things that matter for a world with a future?

Many of the critical actions of a Steward Leader appear to be passive rather than active.

*Holding the space and shape, the integrity, of the enterprise.

*Attunement to the interiors and exteriors, the past, present and future, the emergent. To the local and global community, to the next step to be taken.

Signs that our Stewardship is coherent and effective

We will experience synergy as a normal occurrence. People will be co-creating projects and responses that will be exponentially greater than we had anticipated.

The team will be highly functional in a self-managed way, requiring little intervention.

The team’s accountability and responsibility will be evident. What is said is done, what is missed is owned and becomes a powerful tool of learning.

Rarely will the Steward Leader need to step in and correct the path taken by the team, as the Source Idea and its Pattern Integrity and purpose are transparently clear to all.

Synchronicities, magic and the beautifully emergent will be commonplace. Kairos time will be working well.

How to become a Steward Leader

To become a Steward Leader requires our willingness to let go of our tight fisted desire to control, to learn to trust others, and to know the power of synergy.

This doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The Social Architecture of the enterprise — our cell membrane equivalent — needs to be designed with comprehensive consideration.

The threshold crossing through the structure of the architecture needs to be both clear and transparent, requiring an investment of action, emotion, mindfulness and understanding. It is designed as a deliberate threshold crossing rite of passage. The Syntropic Enterprise Trust Manifesto and the Synergistic Audit is a possible template to design this kind of threshold crossing.

Many years ago when I first embraced the role of Steward Leadership I discovered that I needed to get out of the way to enable others to be brilliant. I needed to be the one in the wings, not on stage. I needed to invest my time holding the space for others, not doing things and telling others what to do.

It is a completely different type of leadership. It reminds me of the tales and stories I have enjoyed from Celtic Mythology, where the priestesses would hold the space for ceremony — for others to be initiated. Ceremonies duplicated in cultures around the world through times past. There is such an intentional act in this holding. The gardener, farmer and parent know this act of holding. As does the person creating spaces for unique experiences for others. Disney in its heyday knew this act of holding. People walked into the park and were transformed by the magic of the experience.

Nature knows the act of holding. Walk into a forest and be held in awe. Allow the experience of the forest to transform us.

To create spaces and places to birth ideas for a world with a future requires Steward Leadership. Spaces and places designed with infinite love, care, attention, intention. Spaces that bring out the very wonder of people.

This!

I want to see, live and experience enterprises that do this everywhere.

Where our work places and spaces are as sacred as our home, where we get to bring our brilliance to the community, in community. Where collaboration and co-creation are as natural as breathing. No one is exploited, extracted from, used up, or discarded.

This is the world I want to see.

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Syntropic World is a global education and community of practice applying the organising principles of nature to enterprise design and human coordination. Creating ecologies of trust, ensuring integrity in everything, enabling collective sense making, and organising around a central purpose — how to create a world that works for 100% of humanity without ecological offence or the disadvantage of anyone.

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Christine McDougall

Committed to supporting those in business who strive to leave the world better. syntropic.world