What follows comes from the weekly "Maestro-level letter," a letter sent each week to Maestro-level leader cohort participants and my Executive Advising clients.
-mark l vincent
"Many of us still dance between the wish and need to know and the fear of rejection that might come from revealing our needs."
- Virginia Satir
Virginia Satir's life work as a therapist helped leaders understand systems, most especially family systems, and how to nudge them toward health. She wrote these words in 1985, three years prior to her death and three years before my consulting career began. She wrote them in a forward to the book "The Secrets of Consulting: a guide to giving and getting advice successfully" that Gerald Weinberg wrote about his long consulting career.
Satir's subject in the above sentence is organizational leaders. We need help. Admitting we need help feels like weakness. Denial, shame and resentment more normally accompany our encounters with weakness than does our desire to learn and grow.
One identifying signpost of Maestro-level leaders is that they seem to have made peace with weakness, actually converting their fear or shame about weakness to joyful seizure of opportunity to engage curiosity and figure out future value. They are, however, surrounded by people they are developing who have not yet made that peace, or who are having their first experiments with trying to see opportunity in what most makes them feel exposed and vulnerable.
So, having learned to dance ourselves, we invite others to join the boogie.
Tags:process consulting, Process Consultation, wheel forward or spiral downward, leadership model, leadership failure, executive leadership, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, The Tao of Action-Reflection, steward leadership, Developing Leaders, Executive Development, society for process consulting, Effective Leadership, Maestro-level Leaders, The Third Turn, The Third Turn Podcast, Kristin Evenson
May 20, 2021