Recently, Bob Dunham (Institute for Generative Leadership) and I sat down to discuss the role that purpose plays in leadership. Bob describes leadership as taking care of what you care about. Please LISTEN here, and watch the video below to learn how leadership and purpose intersect through the care conversation.
As leaders, we face the twin task of awakening our inner purpose, and outer purpose - what is the world demanding us to do now? However, we live in a world impoverished by purposelessness, with 87% of the global workforce disengaged at work (Gallup, 2014) and 80% of the world's CEO's living without a connection to their life's purpose (Harvard Business Review, 2015), despite identifying it as a top priority (IBM, 2012). The result is not just terrible workplaces and wasted human potential, but capitalism collapse (Piketty, 2014), democracy collapse (Princeton, 2015) and most terrifying - ecology collapse, with leading public institutions (NASA, UN/IPCC, Union of Concerned Scientists) and private institutions (Swiss Re, Grantham, PIMCO, Shell Oil) warning us of a human colony collapse in as few as 15 years unless we radically change the ways we cooperate economically, politically and ecologically.
As leaders, as business people, how do we respond to this purposeless epidemic? How do we awaken our life's purpose and create a future that includes humans and empowers a more just, sustainable and peaceful human presence on Earth?
Bob Dunham's BIO:
Bob Dunham is founder of the Institute for Generative Leadership (IGL), which delivers the action-based discipline of Generative Leadership and management in the Generative Leadership Program™ (GLP) (www.generateleadership.com/courses/glp/). He and his team also deliver the Coaching Excellence in Organizations (CEO) program in association with Newfield Network (www.generateleadership.com/courses/ceo/), one of the world’s leading schools of coaching. The Institute has affiliates in India, Spain, and Latin America.
Bob has worked since 1981 as an executive, consultant, educator and coach to executives, management teams, and coaches worldwide in leadership, communication, teamwork, and people process redesign. Prior to founding the Institute Bob was a VP at Motorola Computer Systems, COO of Action Technologies, and VP of Consulting for Business Design Associates.
Bob is co-author of The Innovator’s Way – Essential Practices for Successful Innovation with Dr. Peter Denning, published by MIT Press (www.innovators-way.com), as well as the articles The Missing Customer and Innovation as Language Action with Dr. Denning. He has also published articles including: The Generative Foundations of Action in Organizations; The Body of Management; What Makes Leadership Work?; Back to School – The Top 14 Mistakes that Executives Make; a chapter in the book Being Human at Work, edited by Dr. Richard Strozzi Heckler; and has been published in numerous publications including Communications of the ACM, Training Magazine, the International Journal for Coaching in Organizations, and the Center for Quality of Management Journal. He has written over 30 proprietary papers used in his programs.
Bob also developed the one-year Management in Action program for Dr. Fernando Flores, holds two degrees from Stanford University, was on the staff that developed the three-year Ontological Design Course, and has studied the discipline of embodied learning and leadership extensively. Earlier in his career, he led the on-board software development team for the Hubble Space Telescope for several years. He also co-holds two patents for workflow technology based on the structure of human coordination.
Bob founded and is active in Enterprise Performance, a performance consulting company, where he and his teams have consulted with clients that include IBM, Discovery Channel, Adobe, Toshiba America, Classmates, Scholastic, Wells Fargo, and many other companies.
Bob is a guest lecturer in the Executive Certification Program for Presidio Graduate School and in the Leading by Design Fellows Program for the California College of the Arts. He was Adjunct Faculty, Executive in Residence, in the Presidio Graduate School MBA program in Sustainable Management for three years, and previously taught at the University of San Francisco. He is currently exploring Chinese inner wisdom traditions for their contribution to understanding and embodying generative leadership.
Please watch this IGL client (LiderAcion) video and on embodying purpose as leaders through communicating what we most care about: