What Are the New Emerging Leadership Models?
Pass the Mic Podcast Series is an unscripted group discussion born out of AcornOak’s belief in the power of many voices. Each episode begins with one question asked of a small group of 4 to 6 open-minded and passionate individuals who explore complex and difficult concepts with curiosity, uncertain beliefs, and the willingness to objectively listen and learn from the shared insights of others.
In our second episode of our Season Two titled “A New Age of Conscious Leaders”, our guests discuss the new models of leadership that are emerging in our post-pandemic era.
Starting the Conversation
As the podcast host, Virginie Glaenzer paved the way for this conversation with Céline Schillinger and Charles Matheus who explored their experiences working with leaders as well as their own leadership models.
Welcoming Our Guests
We were honored to welcome our panel of special guests eager to discuss this important and evolving characteristic.
Founder and CEO at We Need Social - Author of Dare to Un-Lead.
A global Engagement Influencer, I help leaders and organizations succeed and grow by engaging their clients, partners and employees. Engagement is the active mobilization of many talents, to deliver value together. This requires new leadership methods, tools, and behaviors. Thanks to a rich experience in the corporate world acquired over three continents in large and small organizations, having driven award-winning engagement innovations in business and industrial environments, I help all types of organizations across industries.
Leadership speaker and host of the Remaking Manhood Podcast.
Charles helps men, in particular, find meaning, purpose, strength, and compassion by combining ancient wisdom with modern approaches. He is on a mission to help other men feel powerful and confident as they step away from old, unsound leadership models and toward more inclusive, flexible, and sustainable modes. Charles Matheus is an adventurer, entrepreneur, soul work mentor, and leadership visionary. He has thirty-five years’ experience as an educator, wilderness guide, nonprofit leader, and as an organizational consultant to startups, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies.
Charles has led individuals and groups to the top of the highest peaks in Wyoming and to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (and back!). He uses the facilitation and coaching skills he honed in those intense, high-risk wilderness settings to support, teach, and mentor experienced and emerging leaders.
Listen to the tour de table introduction of our participants.
Key Shared Insights & Perspectives
A New Definition of Leadership
Before we discussed the new emerging models, Céline suggested that we start with a new definition of leadership to help us rethink this important role.
Céline invited us to discover Martin Chemers, author of Leadership and Effective Management, who offers an integrated theory of leadership and an interesting definition. He defines leadership as a “process of social influence in which one person is able to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.”
This definition disrupts the common toxic idea of leadership as power over others and of entitlement.
Charles complements this definition with the idea that leadership is a fractal, or repeating pattern, ranging from society leaders and leaders of an organization or a community to being the individual leader of our own lives.
From Passivity to Agency
The panel emphasized the importance of reminding ourselves that no model should be a quick scheme because it requires deep personal work.
Therefore, with new societal values arising, such as equality, inclusivity, and health combined with humility and moral values, a new leadership model becomes an example to help us think for ourselves and move from passivity to agency.
After all, what is leadership if not the ability for everyone to act in the world?
Listen as Charles shares his experience going through the required inner work to move away from traditional top-down behaviors. The work allowed him to offer his own vulnerability and build a trusted connection with his team.
Five New Emerging Leadership Models
1. Servant Leadership
While traditional leadership is focused on helping organizations thrive, servant leaders put the needs of their employees first. They focus on developing individuals to help them perform at their best. Examples of servant leaders are Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Theresa.
Some of the key characteristics expressed by servant leaders are empathy, selflessness, and humility.
2. Conscious Leadership
This model refers to the ability to bring one’s entire self into a leadership position and requires an acute understanding of one's emotions, bias and worldview.
In short, conscious leadership is the process by which a leader becomes radically responsible, self-aware, and focuses on building a culture of “we” rather than a culture of “me.”
Diana Chapman, Co-Founder of The Conscious Leadership Group offers this insightful video “Locating Yourself - A Key to Conscious Leadership.”
3. Inclusive Relational Leadership
Charles describes inclusive relationship leadership as one of the earliest models, dating back thousands of years, while humans were living in small groups. This collaborative and cooperative way of relating to one another is how indigenous communities, religious orders, or women’s movements have organized themselves.
An inclusive relational leader will reclaim those relational abilities, also described as natural feminine characteristics we all possess, to build deeper relationships.
As a result, a leader brings their own vulnerability to foster trust with others.
4. Systemic Leadership
Céline introduces an approach that recognizes a broad perspective of systems where everything is interconnected and consequences are unknowable.
The three characteristics this approach embraces are: Freedom, which comes from liberating oneself from the dominant patterns; Equality, in relationships between equals; and Community, which stems from joint activism in the service of a shared cause.
Freedom, Equality, and Community are much more open to emotional connection than a purely rational, expert, knowledge-based kind of relationship.
Listen to Céline describing the Systemic Leadership perspective.
5. Sherpa Leadership
Virginie shares how she feels inspired to become a Sherpa leader while leading multiple teams from different organizations in her role of fractional CMO.
The term Sherpa comes from the members of a Himalayan people, living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet, known for their skill in mountaineering. In other words, a Sherpa leader guides others where they want to go. It’s no longer about the leader, but supporting the collective to reach their own destination.
This leadership model requires one to engage in deep listening to others, since it’s not about their own journey. They need to understand people beneath their words.
How Can Leaders Inspire Others?
In the last part of our conversation, we discussed how we can find our true power and give meaning to our lives while making our world better by inspiring others—and being inspired by them.
Being a transformational leader means that we recognize the dark elements within ourselves. Finding our own leadership style, sometimes called the “Shadow” starts by reconciling all parts of ourselves, our fears and anxieties, but also our conditioned desires to be safe, avoid vulnerability, seek power, and gather more resources.
When we can be honest about those limitations and acknowledge that we need help from others to become a better leader, that self-empowerment is a gift we give to the world.
When Power and Purpose Lead to Engagement
To inspire others also means we have found our true power with purpose. There is a mysterious emergence that takes place when one reconciles power with purpose.
As a result, it creates a deeper engagement that arises organically - disconnected from the outcome.
Listen to Charles describing his experience when something emerges within a relationship.
Letting Go of the Scale Fantasy
Finally, transformation happens one discussion at a time.
New leaders will recognize that change is a small and individual process that can only happen when we let go of the fantasy of scale. Brave leaders will develop and implement a strategy that truly inspires and mobilizes people by challenging the status quo - one idea at a time with one person at a time.
The idea of one leader creating mass change through his or her charisma has become obsolete. Instead, what is arising is a leader who supports others in their own leadership and change making. There is something to be said about scaling and broad impact via ripples and how leadership empowers others to empower others.
As we came to the end of the hour, our group concluded the discussion in the same way we started, with a tour de table.
The intention for this podcast is to help each of us become the self-authoring leader of our lives through meaningful actions. Each participant had the opportunity to reflect on what they heard and share their take-aways from the conversation or any last thoughts that they felt was left unsaid that they like to leave us with.
Listen to the last 10 minutes of the episode.
Final Thoughts to Consider
Our global health crisis has put our leaders to the test and many failed because they could not grasp the new societal values. As a result, the pandemic just gave many workers an opening to act on these shifting values. One of those is the way we see leadership.
In the past, we believed a leader was one person having the ultimate power and authority without having to consult others.
As a consequence, we’ve created a culture that is all about tangible results and high-performing teams. This no longer serves us because it sacrifices our well-being and the well-being of our planet.
Therefore, it’s time to shift to a new leadership model, one in which each employee can succeed through their work and creativity to lead a life of meaning and dignity.
To dive deeper on some of our panel’s work, we recommend Céline’s new book Dare to Un-Lead: The Art of Relational Leadership in a Fragmented World (now available for pre-order on Amazon) as well as Charles’s Remaking Manhood Podcast.
You can also rewatch our Pass the Mic, Episode 6, Season One on Ethical Leadership.