Joining a larger movement

If you were led by your intention to create wholeness, how would you lead?

Profound professional change starts the moment we are able to see our own leadership contribution as part of a larger movement towards global sustainability. While following a larger goal, unrelated to sustainability, we may only be able to see the small – albeit important – contribution we are making. Although it serves our growth, in that we are able to enhance our potential to contribute to a bigger goal, we need more. With a redefined leadership for sustainability our focus shifts. Our own maturation is embedded in helping to contribute towards the long-term goal of creating a sustainable future for all. A maturity where we do not need to enjoy our own greatness; we do not thrive only on resonating with only our individual success. Neither are we solely dependent on our personal advancement or afraid of our failure. This process – as we discover – requires iterative learning and agility.

Serving sustainability goals does not just bring about a shift into outer action, it also facilitates an internal shift which  might be so subtle that it is not evident to other people. A manager from a large company once told me: “The moment I started engaging with sustainability initiatives, I did not feel alone anymore. I felt part of a larger movement of change. I suddenly saw so many others struggling with similar challenges.”

Moreover, when we become part of a a global sustainability movement we start placing more emphasis on enhancing each other’s potential and as a result, we look differently at our leadership journey. We notice we can actually support each other’s journeys and as we do so we might gradually notice that our own potential grows stronger. Connectivity and interdependence are no longer mere theoretical constructs. They directly affect the way we perceive change, not only in our own lives, but also in our endeavors to lead. Building resonance becomes the cornerstone of our ability to influence people and events. How would our journey be different if we have always led through creating relationships, enhancing authenticity in people, listening for what wants to emerge, listening to people, looking for common ground, being open, engaging, creating shared meaning, living empathy?

For one, our context changes. As a result, we are often less fragmented and become more stable in following our path. We begin to see our part in the evolutionary process and we realize more clearly that leading is a collective endevour. This does not prevent us from taking a stand and knowing where we want to go – instead it equips us with new ways in which to dialogue with ourselves, with others and with life.

Let us start the week with awareness in action, and begin to notice:

  • What are my opportunities to lead sustainability initiatives?
  • How do I support others leading towards sustainability?

This blog post looks at the dimension of Wholeness and zooms into the aspect of Contextuality as defined in the Collective Leadership Compass. For more information on the Art of Leading Collectively, checkout the inside the book and  reviews on, or get inspired by an onsite course that takes the compass into the daily challenges of navigating complex change.

Blog post by Petra Kuenkel: Reproduced from her website at

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