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Emergent Leadership

We’re living in what I call The Emergent Era—a period defined by the emergence of new ways of working, governing, and living. Even though these new patterns aren’t fully formed yet, the systems they’re replacing are waning and in some cases gone completely.

For all institutions, but especially companies, that means we need a new leadership style. Instead of commanding, it means coaching. Instead of minutely defined plans, it means being open to improvisation. Instead of hoarding information, it means sharing it in radically transparent ways. And instead of annual performance reviews or big presentations, it means tapping into a continuous stream of feedback from them, and being willing to give feedback more frequently.

Taken together, these habits add up to Emergent Leadership. I believe it’s not just an optimal way of working for companies looking to innovate, but also an essential way of governing if we’re going to tackle the challenges that are unique to this moment.

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