Why Lead with Adaptation

Why Lead with Adaptation

In 2019, my Grandfather - Thomas Jordan, turned me onto the theoretical biologist Stuart Kauffman's full lecture at KLI Austria.

No one could have known three billion years ago that feathers would evolve for thermoregulation then be co-opted for flight. No one could have known that legs would evolve from the fins of fish, or that fins would arise. Not only do we not know what will happen, we do not even know what can happen. Hence we can write no laws of motion for the evolution of the biosphere, we have no idea what the relavant variables will be.

Around the same time, I had also been exploring content from The Conscious Leadership Group. Conscious Leadership provides a mental model to understand our mindset as a geographical location and offers simple classifications and motivating factors that help us understand our behavior as leaders. Gaining perspectives such as "prioritizing being curious over being right" was eye-opening. My entire career as a manager, leader, or software developer was governed by my ability to "be right." In technology, if you are not "right," you are considered out because who should follow your direction? That is not to say that systems that focus on fact-finding are inappropriate; instead, it is essential to draw attention to the potential emotions behind the conversations that happen each day. Conscious Leadership reminds us how to apply curiosity and encourages seeking coherent solutions, not ones that "feel" right.

"The Mind Illuminated," a journey into meditation. For years in my career observing CEOs and the various cabinet executives, the ones I admired the most were the ones that presented many characteristics of the stoic. I did not understand how reactionary my emotional engine had become, and I lacked the tools and perspective needed to make meaningful changes. Emotional and thought ignorance is why I find the skill of meditation to be transformational; it has helped me separate focus from thoughts, teaching me that I am also not in control of my thoughts. However, I had not precisely connected that thoughts influence my emotions - however obvious it was once it was pointed out. The critical connection is that the stoic path can benefit from mindful skills.

Now that you have all the big pieces, let's pull them into a program.

Stuart Kauffman introduced me to the concepts of Complexity Science; conscious Leadership taught me to lead with curiosity and forfeit "being right." Meditation taught me to notice the difference between my thoughts, emotions, and focus.

I have repurposed my blog to focus on merging these few rather complex subjects to focus my writing on this deeper exploration and application of these subjects to Leadership. I intend to write and publish free-form to untangle my thinking and later come back and combine these writings into a formal book or short guide with refinements.

If you managed to land here, welcome to this journey. I encourage your engagement by sending me feedback so you can get my attention. I hope this exploration helps others as I have found it has helped me.