Monday, January 07, 2008

Beyond Iowa ' the true determinant of leadership' unveiling the Players profile

This is dedicated to my Sister, Rosanna and Sherri a frequent poster on these pages both of whom are early supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Senator Obama's win in Iowa is quite an eye opener even for people like me who are avid supporters but sceptics about the temperament and attitude of the people of the United States of America. This was a triumph for the spirit of possibility amongst the voters of Iowa and likely to be for the larger American populace. The question remains whether every day citizens can allow themselves to dream again. Beyond this the drama of this primary process allows for a broader discourse of leadership through the lens of the Omoluwabi dynamics. Without opening up the full 7 elements it seems more powerful to use a metaphor to explore the characteristic of adaptive, transformative leadership and locate the main candidates of the Democratic party on that continuum.

My metaphor for this exploration is the player. Yes the much abused word which has been reduced to either pimping or gaming but actually in this context is an expression of how we approach the game of life. In this context there are four domains in which we play and quite honestly through life we move from one to the other depending on environment as well as circumstances. These are not linear categories but circumstantial places in which we express parts of our complex and contradictory characters.

The four domains or orientations are the following:

1) The player orientation which is the most evolved of the four captures a disposition to be driven by mastery of ones own internal dynamics and self love which allows for an authentic expression of of the hungers and drivers that shape our journey. It allows for a coherent life narrative that focuses on personal evolution rather than a scarcity mentality. It manifests in the space of abundance and openness recognising that what matters is not the hands that life deals you but how you choose to play it. This is what Senator Obama is using to drive his movement for an American renewal and shapes how people experience him. Quite simply he is comfortable in his own skin which he wears with self love that allows him to embrace both the white and black part of his heritage without being disrespectful of either. He has mastered the Mo Lo of his own energy that makes him capable of running against the grain and yet exude a confidence. Those who deride his positions as naive and irresponsible are now forced to rethink and reassess. Here is the dynamics of the player as what matters is what delivers results it is the domain of leadership and it is always inspirational to experience. It seeks and delivers transformation.

2) The wanna be player is the second orientation which is often the space for specialism, authority and management. It is often shaped by a fear of failure and a need to establish what the playbook states rather than what ones intuition raises.It is a transactional space where it is driven by outside /in dynamics. It always is shaped by real politic and a need to win rather than succeed. Senator Mrs Sister Hillary 'experience from day one ' Clinton has this one nailed down. It assumes knowledge of the way the game has been played prepares you for the way it will be played in future. It promotes the fear of the unknown. It is a domain about technical competence rather than adaptive wisdom.

3) The Player hater is the a well worn orientation that is shaped by judgemental and blaming focus. It is about dividing and resentment of others. Former Senator John Edwards exemplifies this approach. It reduces all issues to who is fault and always finds a wedge issue to determine its priorities. It personalises all challenges and uses competition rather than cooperation as its main plank of operation.

4) Finally the played orientation which is where the majority of us act out a roles as pawns in the game of life living in the matrix of the contract of employment, mortgage payments, pensions or 401ks and escapism from retail therapy or watching channel O. We buy the next hysteria from the media abrogating our choice to live out or assignment.

I started writing this before the New Hampshire result. This Primary process is extremely rich in lessons about character and how it shapes destiny. Expect a lot of posting over the next few days.

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