“Motivation” and “Empowerment”

We reject all models of leadership on the spectrum between controlling others on one end and motivating them on the other. The politically correct terms for these are “motivation” and “empowerment.” 

Most traditional approaches to leadership advocate for a place or a combination of places on this spectrum between the “stick and the carrot.”  We believe that neither of these extremes, nor any combination of these are effective, long term in leading change. We advocate getting off this spectrum completely.

We see the problem with the traditional spectrum and all points contained within, is that it is “other-focused.” It tries to control what cannot be controlled. These models are, therefore, sure to eventually fail.

Trying to control what cannot be controlled is an endeavor that is riddled with anxiety. (You can change a person for about a week. Unless they are internally motivated to change, they will snap back to homeostasis.) Anxiety (Stress) shuts down creativity and makes people reactive and stupid. Traditional leadership is an anxious position and is not only ineffective, it is toxic to both leader and to followers alike.

We see leadership as primarily an emotional process, rather than a strategic one. It is about courage and being oneself, rather than strategies and techniques to change someone. It is being the one who says what he or she sees (“The emperor has no clothes.”) and letting people make their own choices accordingly.

Therefore, Healing Leadership is about giving up the pipe dream of trying to change others, and instead focusing on one’s own courage, growth, maturity and functioning.

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