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Today’s Leadership lacks ‘knowing’

Judith Gunneweg - Ssentia Development
  • Today’s Leadership lacks ‘knowing’

    Today’s Leadership lacks ‘knowing’

    A few days ago I met someone famous by measurement of media attention, wealth and CV. Books have been written about him and over the years, he collected a number of really well-paid jobs in the spotlight. Since retirement, he involves himself with social entrepreneurship, sustainability and (surprise surprise): his kids. I had been looking forward to this as he is considered to be a beacon of wisdom where it matters today’s challenges of the private – and financial sector. From conviction or guilt he offers solutions like social entrepreneurship and third world innovation as sustainable panacea. In that sense he is a trusted advisor to many. Nevertheless, when he finally turned up, my disappointment could not have been bigger. So even though I know that my experiential reality is always subjective-objective, what caused my disappointment? We may not know exactly what’s missing when it is not there but if and when something is missing, it is usually related to his/her being aware of the four levels of knowing. There is a whole theory about this and I really recommend you read about it.

    What happened a few days ago in my encounter with this famous person is a good example of what happens a lot in today’s world: business, politics alike. For example, take a face : face meeting between me and my manager. To what extent do I feel the presence of his/her energy or wholeness that generates a mutual resonance? This level of (experiential) ‘knowing’ articulates a reality that could offer a resonance with the inner being of my manager. Who is really there and how does he/she show it? During the meeting, I am object and subject of the conversation taking place. What image is being shown through that conversation? Is it just words or is there more? Is there an opportunity for imagery that could lead to different levels of irrationality between us; for example imagery, poetry or art? This level of (presentational) ‘knowing’ relates to how he/she looks at the world and what is shown through his/her eyes. What do I see? What does he/she wants me to see? Do I feel some kind of attuning with the world and its primary meaning embedded in our conversation or do I just feel words at best? It is very likely that my manager is doing his/her best to having a rational conversation with me. Almost like: “let’s be adults about this” – kind of way. Speaking from a believed truth, convictions and ‘knowing’ with reason that he/she is right and I am probably not. If my manager excels at this level of (propositional) ‘knowing’, it is unlikely that he/she shows behavioural synchronicity with head, soul and form. This last (fourth) level of ‘knowing’ is a practical knowing, a key to deciphering what causes the abyss in my overall sensing. The leader I met a few days ago excels at merely one level of (propositional) knowing, just like most of his (post) baby-boom colleagues in high-level positions of wealth, power and influence. Most leaders are extremely good at solving issues from their restricted frame of knowing. They simply believe their reality is true and unlearned any sense of boyhood-curiosity. The sad reality is however that their level of knowing is old-school Newtonian knowing that has created and maintained our linear way of thinking. We know that this road led to the Financial crisis in 2008 and will lead to Planetary destruction. Simply because this road is paved with the self-declared truths of greed and selfies.
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