Creating an uprising for good
From the Arab Spring to the Yellow Vest protests, or the Greta Thunberg-inspired student strikes or the Extinction Rebellion, we can conclude there’s a lot of anger in the world. Yet if we look beneath that harsh noun there’s another more compelling one – passion. There’s a lot of passion in the world, passion for something better.
And though not all these movements generate a positive outcome they are classic demonstrations of people’s ability to mobilise and bring their energy and presence to something they believe in, to something that matters to them, that has meaning for them.
Imagine if we could create the conditions that generate and harness this well of passion and will to good in our own organisations – what a difference that would make to how people show up and the results that flow.
It’s not about allowing things to get so bad that it prompts uprising rather about consciously creating the conditions that empower. There are a number of things we must do as leaders to create this climate that invites others in, perhaps the most telling of which are around purpose, trust and power.
Is our organisational purpose clear, focused on a greater good and are we ensuring we lead explicitly, day in, day out in service of that purpose?
Do we lead with trust, ensuring we place the power of, and accountability for, decisions and actions in the hands of those who can make the most difference, those who are closest to the challenges and opportunities that arise? And are we staying close, supporting and coaching and holding to account, without taking over?
Of course ‘letting go’ in this way – coaching rather than commanding – can be uncomfortable, not to say downright scary for some, but it’s worth this discomfort when people step up and into the space we’ve created, encouraged to be and do more by our trust, and bringing the full power of their passion to the work.