The 4 Pillars of Complexity Leadership

Most leadership frameworks or programs focus on the relationship between the leader and their followers, but rarely on how a leader should direct their mindset to create the environment to influence the relationship between the leaders and their followers. If teams are complex adaptive systems, team members rarely trust their leaders due to their words, but rather on how they behave. Leaders can influence their behavior and their effect on their followers by following a reciprocally improving process of the 4 Pillars Vulnerability, Empathy, Integrity and Adaptability.

Trusting the own capability in leadership requires leaders a profound understanding of themselves and therefore a high level of emotional intelligence as well as growth mindset. Only if we can see, where we are and how we can increase to become better, we can improve. The growth mindset describes individuals, who believe, that their success if based on efforts and investments by themselves. It is basically an orientation, that becoming better (mastery) is a key for future success. Individuals with a high orientation towards Mastery are looking for continuous ways on how to improve. The most important understanding for the 4 Pillars: If we are vulnerable to understand, that we do not have all the answers, we might be easier to create a vision of themselves. Our 4 Pillars then are only a sense-making or question framework to help you on your path towards your ideal leader persona.

In our experience, people trust each other and leaders, if they are authentic. If they do not have the need to appear better, than they feel they actually are. If they are at peace with themselves and believe in their capability, they can focus rather on increasing the relationship between themselves and ensure, that the team and the leader have a trustful and high-performance oriented organization. This is what we believe, Authentic Leadership is.

Leadership within, therefore, is a guided approach on self-understanding, self-improving and changing mindsets and behavior on what it means, what leadership is for the person within their context. The 4 Pillars are not a recipe to build a certain leadership persona, but a way of making sense in their context to build themselves as leaders they need to be within their context. The confidence of being authentic and being ok with that is creating an environment, most of the organizations want. Therefore, the 4 Pillars approach for every leader; but especially newly appointed ones, is a cornerstone for a successful Agile transformation within the company.

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