| 4 min
The Larger Conversation (V): Leadership Formula Upgrade: IQ + EQ + LQ
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. –Alvin Toffler
If one subscribes to the notion introduced in Part IV that a new ecology of competencies and skills, is an essential prerequisite for a successful paradigm shift in business, it is likely to be the most challenging to-do list that humanity has been up against. Even more so as we have to make sure that the lights stay on during the transformation process. Changing the wheels at 100 miles per hour seems easy in comparison. The good news is, the curriculum is slowly taking shape and more and more people are starting to agree that substantial change is required in business, in ourselves and beyond. That we need to bring all stakeholders into the equation while putting people and purpose at the center of our organizations.
What is not so clear: How to get there while an agenda is just forming and very little of what’s missing is currently taught in a coherent way in our traditional institutions. Obviously, it all has to start with a willingness to stop working from outdated scripts and a commitment to think, feel and experiment beyond default modes. But this can only be the first step. Most importantly, and in addition to finding the most promising approaches to our own rewiring, we need to rediscover the joy of learning. From „knowing it all“ to „learning it all“. From IQ and EQ to embracing the Learnability Quotient, LQ.
The ones with an open and flexible mind, curious and eager to learn and keen to upskill will lead the pack. Progressive leaders and champions of the future will be those who are
- keen to rewire, relearn and transform – combine next-level academic know-how with a deep sense of who and how they are
- able to admit that they do not know it all and capable of asking for help
- in contact with their own thoughts and feelings, and the large whole being second nature to them
- realistic in their self-image, able to self-regulate, and skilled at exploring and navigating the possibility space
- masters of deep visioning and imagination which helps them to come up with true innovation
- ready to step up and openly share what they really think.
Such new types differ greatly from today’s stereotype of a successful leader, where a lack of self-awareness, hiding inner and physical needs, and being the most impatient person in the room are still promising characteristics to make it to the top.
Although it may be daunting when the required shift and the substantial backlog fully sink in, there is no point getting stuck in a state of shock. The longer we wait, the more the gap between the individual and collective capabilities required to facilitate deep structural change and to come up with truly sustainable and regenerative solutions, and the capabilities we actually have, widens. Particularly people in positions of power need to urgently appreciate the severity of the skill gap and stop ignoring and underestimating the substantially adverse mid- and long-term effects.
What’s next? In the absence of a lot of viable alternatives, those who feel called to turn the ship are well advised to roll up their sleeves, break down the To Do’s in digestible chunks, and get started in big and small ways. Chances are, we still can innovate ourselves out of the current dilemma. It’s the most promising, if not the only option, and may well be be far more exciting than holding on to something that is already in the process of dying. The ability and willingness to admit that we do not know it all, that we need to learn and rise above our current evolutionary state will be crucial.
All of this is NOT for later, it’s for NOW!
Business Reinvented is my contribution to the transformation agenda in business. It is the go-to platform for progressive leaders called to deeply transform big business into champions of sustainability and regeneration. If you are looking for a truly progressive curriculum and a trusted partner to support you find your unique role and contribution on this path, it may well be for you. For more information, click here.
I would also like to acknowledge that I have found great inspiration in the wisdom of remarkable pioneers, like Daniel Schmachtenberger, Daniel Wahl, Otto Scharmer, and many others (see About).