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The purpose of a company is to bring a product vision to life. All the other components are in service to product. If you have to let people go, be generous, treat them well, and celebrate their accomplishments. Build an Envelope of Trust. Listen intently, practice complete candor, and be an evangelist for courage by believing in people more than they believe in themselves. Only Coach the Coachable. The traits that make a person coachable include honesty and humility, the willingness to persevere and work hard, and a constant openness to learning.

Practice Free-Form Listening. No Gap Between Statements and Fact. Be relentlessly honest and candid, couple negative feedback with caring, give feedback as soon as possible, and if the feedback is negative, deliver it privately. Be the Evangelist for Courage.

Believe in people more than they believe in themselves and push them to be more courageous. Full Identity Front and Center. People are most effective when they can be completely themselves and bring their full identity to work. Team First. That the team wins has to be the most important thing. Work the Team, Then the Problem. When faced with a problem or opportunity, the first step is to ensure the right team is in place and working on it. Pick the Right Players. The top characteristics to look for are smarts and hearts: the ability to learn fast, a willingness to work hard, integrity, grit, empathy, and a team-first attitude.

Pair People. Peer relationships are critical and often overlooked, so seek opportunities to pair people up on projects or decisions. Everyone Needs to Be at the Table. Winning depends on having the best team, and the best teams have more women. Solve the Biggest Problem. Move on as fast as possible. Winning Right. Strive to win, but always win right, with commitment, teamwork, and integrity. Leaders Lead. When things are going bad, teams are looking for even more loyalty, commitment, and decisiveness from their leaders.

Fill the Gaps Between People. Listen observe, and fill the communication and understanding gaps between people. Spot those fissures before they become deep and permanent, and act to fix them by filling in the information gaps and correcting and miscommunication. Permission to Be Empathetic. Leading teams becomes a lot more joyful, and the teams more effective, when you know and care about people.

The people on your team are people, and the team becomes stronger when you break down the walls between the professional and human personas and embrace the whole person with love. Ask about their lives outside of work, understand their families, and when things get rough, show up.

Cheer Demonstrably for People and Their Success. Always Build Community. Build communities inside and outside of work. A place is much stronger when people are connected. Invest in creating real, emotional bonds between people. Love the Founders. Hold a special reverence for—and protect—the people with the most vision and passion for the company.

Campbell held a very special place in his heart for the people who have the guts and skills to start companies. Build Relationships Whenever You Can. There are things we all care about as people—love, family, money, attention, power, meaning, purpose—that are factors in any business situation.

That to create effective teams, you need to understand and pay attention to these human values. Authentic truth is who you are. Inauthentic truth is who you are when everyone is looking. Not leadership. Not serving. Inauthentic leadership is selfish. We use it to get something. To get us from A-to-B. As leaders, we need to be sure we are walking our talk. If we talk about service to others, then everything we do must be guided by that value. If we believe in building others, then everything we do must build others without regard for our own position.

If we are empathetic, then our criticisms are constructive and measured, not strident. The alignment between who we are—our authentic truth—and what we say and do is critical. A leader who acts or his or her authentic truth is a leader that can be trusted. If we jump on every bandwagon that comes through, we can be perceived as not knowing our own mind. When we lead from who we are and not from where everyone else thinks we should, more than just being trusted, we can more easily adapt, grow, and lead in a thoughtful and measured manner.

Kind Of. The authentic truth. Its power to propel us as creatives mighty beyond measure. But there is another truth. It is feeble. It is disingenuous. Cloaked in insincerity. Call it the inauthentic truth. We all want to ally ourselves with brands that have hitched their star to a purpose. You know who they are. The poseurs. The opportunists. The ones that are willing to embrace any cause, any movement, any social activism if it means getting themselves a place at the table. Donaldson and Karl Weber extract relevant lessons for leaders in Entrepreneurial Leader.

The thread that runs through his career is the entrepreneurial mindset. There are leaders and there are entrepreneurs, but not all leaders are entrepreneurs, and not all entrepreneurs are leaders. Simply put, I believe that entrepreneurial is a mindset—a way of thinking—and leadership is a way of acting.

Entrepreneurial leadership, then, describes the way such a leader behaves. As founding dean and professor at the Yale school of management, he taught a course on entrepreneurial leadership. He focused on the personal characteristics of the leader. But I think those topics are distinctly secondary. More important are the human qualities that the entrepreneurial leader brings to the job —the ability to see the world through fresh eyes; the ability to pay attention to both the big picture and the small details that define a particular situation; a high degree of personal energy, optimism, and a sense of fun; the readiness to shape and define the system in which he or she operates rather than being controlled by a system someone else has created; and, most important, a strong sense of integrity.

By integrity, he means that they transcend themselves. They look beyond their ego. They remain true to the vision and commit to the value of individuals. He notes that an entrepreneur is not a gambler. Effective leaders must be entrepreneurial—which means getting things done, regardless of the obstacles. Entrepreneurial leaders must have the ability to learn fast in environments of ambiguity and change, while providing clarity and coherence for those around them.

Entrepreneurial leaders have the ability to see the world a bit differently from everyone else. In the business arena, entrepreneurial leaders must think and behave as if they own the company—whether they do or not. Entrepreneurial leaders must define systems rather than be defined by them; they must adopt an ownership mentality. They understand that they must take ownership of their choices, including the smaller, day-to-day decisions they make. Furthermore, entrepreneurial leaders find ways to encourage everyone in the organization to think and behave in this way, and create circumstances that help them do this.

7 Principles to Lead with Imagination

The range of his life and career demonstrate the broad relevance of the principles he describes in this book and makes for a fascinating read. It is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Developing leaders places a huge responsibility on us today that goes beyond telling those future leaders what we think. To develop leaders, we must not only envision the leaders we want tomorrow, but we must behave in the manner of the leaders we want to see.

Unwittingly, we perpetuate hatred, outrage, and vulgarity in the leaders of tomorrow. Martin Luther King succeeded because he calmly but passionately painted a picture of a world that appealed to our morality. He shared a positive idea to replace a negative idea without attacking other people. His example had moral weight. He was silenced by hatred. We must be the leaders we want to see developed in the generations that follow us. If you want leaders who listen, who are understanding, compassionate, civil, and respectful, then we must display those values in our dealings with what we see happening around us.

If not, we are the problem. If we want others to respect us and listen to us, we must respectfully listen to them. We talk when we should be listening. If we believe people should be respectful of each other, then we must be those people. Returning in kind is tempting and sometimes funny, but it does nothing but add to the discord we see around us. Real leaders resist the temptation and rise above it. Our response should be one that is conscious and empathetic of the other person's frustration and often misplaced angst.

To do anything else only adds to the destructive division we see today. They focus on similarities, not differences. The most strident voice is not the leader. Harsh words do not connect with others. When we become the leaders we should be, those that follow will learn to lead the way they should. As we learn and grow, those around us will learn and grow. We are modeling now the kind of leadership we will have in the future. We are all blind until we see —That in the human plan Nothing is worth the making if —It does not make the man.

Why build these cities glorious —If man unbuilded goes? In vain we build the work, unless —The builder also grows. If we want our children to be intentional about their lives, we must too be intentional about ours with the end in mind—with the consequences of our personal behavior in mind. If we want them to be adults, we must act like adults. We are shaping the character of future leaders today.

We must resolve to be the leaders we wish to see. What will our future leaders be like?

The Dawn of System Leadership

Who will lead us tomorrow? What legacy are we leaving for our children? We only need to look at ourselves. As a three-time Super Bowl champion, Michael Lombardi provides lessons in organizational culture, team building, strategy, and character. His philosophies on how to build championship teams were foundational for the teams built by both Walsh and Belichick. Organizations of all types will benefit from the insights found here.


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The main lesson that comes through his experience with great coaches and owners is that culture comes first. No detail was too small for Walsh to consider because, to his assembly line way of thinking, only the sum of them all could produce the organization he wanted. As he was fond of saying, if he managed to perfect the culture, the wins would take care of themselves. More than any other factor, inaccurate character assessment is why draft boards are to this day littered with so many mistakes.

What Makes a Great Quarterback? A winning way. Winning is a habit. A thick skin. The measure of who we are is how we react to something that does not go our way. Work ethic. Your best player has to set a tone for intolerance for anything that gets in the way of winning. Football smarts. A quick mind come with preparation. Innate ability. Quarterbacks have to inspire.

They can always look as if they have it all under control and that somehow they will figure out how to lead the team to victory. No one wants to follow a sulker. Quarterbacks who fail to gain the respect of teammates leave a team rudderless. Even from a distance and after only a few throws, he could sense immediately if a quarterback could run his offense. Guys like Walsh and Belichick are unusual this way: They can visualize how skill sets fit in their schemes in a way that both maximizes those abilities and fuels the system. From Bill Belichick:. Mental Toughness: Doing what is best for the team when it might not be the best for you.

What Makes a Great Coach? Command of the Room. Followers need something to commit to. A leader has to have a plan. Command of the Message. Command of Self. Personal accountability is the ultimate sign of strength. The only crime is pride. Command of Opportunity. Becoming an NFL head coach is a process.

You learn on the fly. Command of the Process. A leader must be fair and consistent. In a particularly good section of the book, Combating Complacency he talks about how Belichick and Walsh fight complacency. That clean slate demands a trip back to basic principles and fundamentals after a detailed examination of the current process. With the same kind of success in the NFL many lesser men have become close-minded, authoritarian, and lazy. We tend to fall back on transactional relationships and rule-based leadership. Edgar Schein and Peter Schein call this Level 1 based leadership.

What they advocate in Humble Leadership is moving to and developing an organizational culture based on Level 2 relationships. That is relationships that are intentionally personal, cooperative, and trusting. Level 2 relationships come naturally with friends and family, but no so much at work. Level 2 relationships come about by seeing others as a whole person and not just as someone filling a role at the moment. Transactional relationships can somehow make us feel like we are serious and getting down to business by avoiding all of the relationship stuff.

But it comes at a cost. Much of our work life occurs at Level 1 because the services, stores, hospitals, and businesses we deal with are organized bureaucratically to deal with us at that level. This is typically the source of our dissatisfaction with bureaucracies.


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  • In a Level 2 workgroup Humble Leadership emerges by enabling whoever has pertinent information or expertise to speak up and improve whatever the group is seeking to accomplish. The process of creating and maintaining Level 2 relationships requires a learning mindset, cooperative attitudes, and skills in interpersonal and group dynamics.

    The Heroic leader will no longer be the leader with all of the answers, going it alone to forge a new future. The leader of the future will need to be humble, cooperative, and open. At the end of the book, there are exercises to help you shift from Level 1 relationships to Level 2 relationships. Leaders must know when to adapt. This is where self-awareness plays a big part. In a word, they need balance. Extreme is almost never the answer. Anything can be taken too far. A leader must be able to where to be on any given continuum in any given situation.

    Steadiness comes to mind. Or as the Romans termed it: gravitas. Knowing what the tensions or the dichotomies are is the first step avoiding the trap of extremes.


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    • Willink and Babin offer twelve. The bottom line that leaders build on is the first dichotomy: To care about your people more than anything—but at the same time, lead them. But you also have to make decisions that will allow you to continue the mission for the greater good of everyone on the team. Getting it right is caring. Own it All, but Empower Others. The next tension is between micromanagement and hands-off leadership styles. You have to have to take ownership, but at the same time, give ownership. You have to empower your team to lead, to take ownership. So you have to give them ownership.

      Resolute, but Not Overbearing. When and where do you hold the line? They must set high standards, but they cannot be domineering or inflexible on matters of little strategic importance. It can be expended foolishly, by leaders who harp on matters that are trivial and strategically unimportant. Prioritizing those areas where standards cannot be compromised and holding the line there while allowing for some slack in other, less critical areas is a wise use of leadership capital.

      When to Mentor, When to Fire. Instead of continuing to invest in one subpar performer, once a concerted effort has been made to coach and train that individual to no avail, the leader must remove the individual. Disciplined, Not Rigid. The more discipline a team exercises, the more freedom that team will have to maneuver by implementing small adjustments to existing plans. A Leader and a Follower. Following is a part of leading well. It was about collaborating with the rest of the team and determining how we could most effectively accomplish our mission.

      There were many times in my Navy career when, in an effort to prove my leadership, I failed to follow. And rather than strengthen me as a leader in the eyes of the team, it undermined my leadership. Trying to plan for every contingency can create more problems than it solves. If you try to create a solution for every single potential problem that might arise, you overwhelm your team, you overwhelm the planning process, you overcomplicate decisions for the leader. Therefore, it is imperative that leaders focus on only the most likely contingencies that might arise for each phase of an operation.

      Choose at most the three or four most probable contingencies for each phase, along with the worst case scenario.

      Humble, Not Passive. Be humble or get humbled. Humility has to be balanced by knowing when to make a stand. Staying humble is the key to developing trust with the chain of command. When you find that you are not managing well one of these tensions, the tendency can be to overcompensate. This is a common error: when leaders sense they have gone too far in one direction, they can react by going too far in the other direction. This is ineffective and can make the situation worse.

      So instead, make measured, calculated adjustments, monitor the results, and then continue to make small, iterative corrections until balance is achieved. Balance is never achieved once and done. You will need to move back and forth along these continuums to achieve the results you need because circumstances are always changing. Yet, as a leader, you are remembered because you were able to move an agenda. Leaders are remembered for their accomplishments, not their promises. To that end, Bacharach has provided a practical guide to do just that.

      He presents a four-step process that anyone can learn to master with practice. To move an agenda, you need to learn to harness what others have to offer if for no other reason than you have blind spots. You need to build a coalition and develop the managerial skills required to maintain forward movement. It requires a campaign of pragmatic leadership. The four major stages in any campaign are first, you must anticipate the agendas of others.

      Second, you must mobilize your campaign. Third, you need to negotiate buy-in.

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      And fourth, you must sustain momentum. In this post we will focus on the first stage—Anticipate the Agenda of Others—because this is the stage that most of us miss or move too quickly over and set ourselves up for frustration or failure. Anticipate the Agenda of Others. This means knowing where others are coming from. Putting yourself in their shoes. Our own egos are the enemy here. You need to know who you are dealing with—the stakeholders.

      Bacharach lists four: Top Dogs organizational decision-makers , Gatekeepers the liaisons , Gurus senior individuals, external consultants, the board of directors , and the Players people directly impacted by your agenda. The players are your essential ally. Never underestimate them. All of these stakeholders have their own agendas and ways they go about accomplishing them. If you know where you are coming from and where others are coming from you can begin to see what might motivate someone to join your change effort. This framework can help you do that. Distinguishing traditionalists from developers, developers from adjusters, and adjusters from revolutionaries allows you to identify where others are coming from quickly and efficiently.

      In making these distinctions, be careful not to assume that these agendas are immutable or that people are uniformly consistent from one situation to another. Of course, we are a factor in the process. We have our own motivations and our preferred ways of dealing with change. It is critical that we know where we are coming from too. We may need to adjust the approach we are comfortable with in order to move our agenda. The chart below helps you to see how your motivation relates to the motivation of others. But here is a key insight:.

      Successful leaders understand that the real challenge is in the gray area—converting potential allies into allies and making sure the potential resistors are not transformed into full-fledged resistors. Potential allies and potential resistors disagree with either your approach or your goals. Skillful negotiation may persuade these individuals to reconsider aspects of your agenda that differ from theirs. If you are not careful, potentials can easily switch to resistors. Mobilize Your Campaign. Timing and tone make a difference. Choose your words carefully to justify why your agenda should be supported.

      Make sure your idea is well thought through and you demonstrate the ability to see it through. Negotiate Support. How will it benefit them? If they come on board, it is reasonable to assume that it can be done, will they get any of the credit, and are they protected if it fails. They want to know what changes for them. Your approach to the situation will make a big difference.

      You can approach it with a controlling, hardline mindset if this is a one-time thing. On the other hand, you can try a more cooperative mindset that seeks to pull-them-in. This mindset may allow you to build supporters for any future agenda you may have. Sustain Your Campaign. This is where the rubber meets the road. You have to be smart about how you present yourself and deal with others. You can micromanage your team, but you are better acting as a facilitator coach.

      To go the distance, your team must act with a collective purpose. You can sustain the campaign mindset by reminding them why they are part of your effort, reinforcing the payoff, keeping an optimistic outlook, and maintaining your credibility. It is crucial to remind people not only about the importance of the mission but also about how important they are to the mission.

      Anyone successful at moving an agenda knows that it is not a solo effort. The Agenda Mover is a book that leaders at all levels would benefit from reading. It is common to see people trying to push their agenda without first defining what they are up against and without any understanding of the impact they themselves are having on others. Without that knowledge, we often resort to destructive behaviors to get our agenda moving.

      About the Torch Leadership Certificate

      In that regard, this book is critical for anyone with an idea they want to have taken seriously. Most of us live below our potential. As a result, we miss out on opportunities and therefore live below our true potential and hinder our ability to contribute to others. The Potential Principle by Mark Sanborn is about how we can become better — even better than our best selves. First, you need to figure out just what you want to improve. What Do You Want to Improve?

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      Your journey toward better can be organized into four areas : Performing, Learning, Reflecting, and Thinking. Improvement happens by not only things you initiate like interactive, collaborative activities but also by responding to what you hear, observe, learn as represented by the vertical line. Improvement also takes place in both our inner things going on inside us and our outer things going with others worlds as represented by the horizontal line. The top right quadrant is the most familiar to us.

      It takes deliberate practice. Performance improvement is not a straight line. There are plateaus. How often you practice, the intensity you bring to it and the techniques you use, make all the difference. Learning involves the acquisition of new ideas that we put into practice. If we approach life humbly, we will be enriched by what we do not know. Intentional curiosity keeps us growing. Reflecting is the inner world of responding. This is an underappreciated value in our instant, tech driven world. Think about thinking. It uses external input and creates connections and directions.

      Focus your thinking and write it down. Sanborn explains each of these areas in more detail to help you develop the right mindset. Improvement in these four areas are key to improving consistently. To be sure, each of us is more comfortable on one or two of these areas. If you are not spending enough time in an area, that will signal an area where you could improve.

      Doing so will help you reach your destination sooner and, perhaps more important, enrich the trip. Four Tools for Breakthrough Improvement. But engaging others and building mutually beneficial relationships will leverage everything you do. The ideas you will find in The Potential Principle are not all new, but they are organized in such a way as to make them actionable. Sanborn has done a great job of laying the foundation and providing a blueprint for continuous improvement. All you need to do now is to put it into practice. It seems like common sense: Become the best, and then hit cruise control.

      Getting some time for yourself is a challenge. But if we are going to lead effectively, we need white space. We need solitude. I know none of us have any extra time, but there is overwhelming evidence that taking a time-out to simply think is foundational to your success. Raymond Kethledge and Michael Erwin explore some solid reasons why you must make the time to think in Lead Yourself First. Clarity is about what is true. What is signal and what is noise? Solitude facilitates that distillation process.

      Doing nothing will bring nothing, but it will certainly make the person suspect their abilities and decrease the self-confidence. Another thing that is important apart from taking the actions is to stop fearing from the failures of any decision or the action taken. It demotivates the person who automatically affects self-confidence. Students must remember that failure is a part of success and it will only turn into success if they strive again without any fear. The above-listed ways prove to be of great help if followed diligently.

      With our exceptional faculty and international academic collaboration, we not only teach students the working of the corporate world but also provide them global exposure to help them carve a niche for themselves. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Here are some of the strategic ways one can boost self-confidence in the personality and accomplish new feats of success: The Positive Outlook The first thing to achieve is a positive outlook towards life.

      Self-Retrospection A worried mind will not lead to a confident self. Preparation for Future After identifying the future goals, students should focus on the ways they can achieve it. We figured he was the head of this part of the business and would know. But after some time, we understood.

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      The stuff that was in our products was there because of cost, function, and our design and material choices. Over the ensuing weeks and months came an epiphany for Winslow. While Nike had about 25, employees at that time, there were only about designers. Five to 10 percent of our designers represented only 15 to 30 people. Suddenly, building an initial critical mass seemed far less daunting. So I went knocking on doors. With the report in hand, Winslow simply showed the results to designers and asked what they thought.

      If they were, I asked for a second meeting. Soon Winslow was bringing together groups of engaged designers and others in related product creation functions, and a new network started to emerge. It is the challenge that engages them. A movement was born within Nike. For example, the Joint Roadmap Towards Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals, a joint initiative of Greenpeace, Nike, Puma, Adidas, New Balance, and others, aims to systematically identify major toxins and achieve zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in the entirety of the sport apparel manufacturing industry worldwide, starting in China.

      We are all on a steep learning curve in understanding this gateway of creating space for change, but it seems to be crucial not only in initiating collaborative efforts but in what ultimately can arise from them. Systemic change needs more than data and information; it needs real intelligence and wisdom.

      System leaders like Baldwin and Winslow understand that collective wisdom cannot be manufactured or built into a plan created in advance. Instead, system leaders work to create the space where people living with the problem can come together to tell the truth, think more deeply about what is really happening, explore options beyond popular thinking, and search for higher leverage changes through progressive cycles of action and reflection and learning over time.

      Knowing that there are no easy answers to truly complex problems, system leaders cultivate the conditions wherein collective wisdom emerges over time through a ripening process that gradually brings about new ways of thinking, acting, and being. For those new to system leadership, creating space can seem passive or even weak. For them, strong leadership is all about executing a plan. Even more to the point, the conscious acts of creating space, of engaging people in genuine questions, and of convening around a clear intention with no hidden agenda, creates a very different type of energy from that which arises from seeking to get people committed to your plan.

      System leaders understand that plans and space are the yang and yin of leadership. Both are needed. But what is needed even more is balance between the two. Good intentions are not enough. You need skills. But skills come only from practice. Everybody wants tools for systemic change. This is why system leaders like Baldwin and Winslow never stop practicing how to help people see the larger systems obscured by established mental models, how to foster different conversations that gradually build genuine engagement and trust, and how to sense emerging possibilities and help shift the collective focus from just reacting to problems to releasing collective creativity.

      The practice is internal and external, and it requires discipline. Fortunately, a rich set of tools has emerged from diverse fields over the past few decades for developing these core system leadership capabilities. You cannot change how another thinks. Give them a tool the use of which will gradually cause them over time to think differently. What follows are examples of a few of these tools and how they can be applied to develop each of the core leadership capacities. Tools for seeing the larger system. Tools that help people see the larger system integrate the different mental models of multiple stakeholders to build a more comprehensive understanding.

      To see a copy of the illustration, go to www. This map especially helped clinical professionals to put in perspective the often-overlooked influence of family and community on asthma, not just clinical interventions. It also helped non-clinical actors, such as schools and public housing administrators, see more clearly how their actions linked to those within the medical community.

      Tools for fostering reflection and generative conversation. These tools enable organizations and individuals to question, revise, and in many cases release their embedded assumptions. Examples include the peacekeeping circles used by Roca and the dialogue interviews conducted by Winslow. Corporate executives visited farmer co-ops and social activists saw the operations of multi-national food companies.

      Gradually, as business and NGO partners got to understand one another better as people and as professionals, the cognitive dissonance between them became less, and the power of their differing views grew. Today the Lab has become a powerful incubator for collaborative projects, such as companies and NGOs learning together how to manage global supply chains for long-term reliability based on the health of farming communities and ecologies.

      Practices like Learning Journeys are regularly incorporated into projects and gatherings. The ladder also provides a reorientation path for shifting behavior, from asserting subjective assumptions as reality, to identifying what facts people actually have and the reasoning by which they interpret those facts. Tools for shifting from reacting to co-creating the future. Building the capacity to shift from reacting to co-creating is anchored in relentlessly asking two questions, What do we really want to create?

      This creative tension, the gap between vision and reality, generates energy, like a rubber band stretched between two poles. Helping themselves and others generate and sustain creative tension becomes one of the core practices of system leaders. An initiative begun in used an AI Summit to bring together police, grassroots advocates, courts, probation officers, state agencies, private agencies, education institutions, health care providers, and philanthropy to reform the New York state juvenile justice system.

      But no one had ever brought them together for real dialogue and to explore the visions they might share. Within ten months, the group had turned those goals into a full-fledged reform plan. A year later, components of this reform plan were adopted by the governor, passed into legislation, and rolled out in communities across the state. Today, three years into the reforms, New York has 45 percent fewer youths in the custody of the state juvenile justice system, without any increase in crime.

      This example illustrates something we have seen again and again.