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Leadership is never democratic

The majority of people want to keep things as they are. They are conservative by nature. To change something one needs guts, vision or a desperate need. Than leadership appears. The rest is powerful management of what has been.

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Those focused on economic growth only fear chaos and stand progress in the way

So don’t expect leadership from your politically chosen representatives. They forcefully try to please the voting majorities. Leadership and change is always outside politics.

Sudden repositioning of societies

The sudden swap from growth to change is not necessarily motivated by a moral burst of awareness but a self reflective sense of self preservation

The sudden global leader’s swap from growth to change is not necessarily motivated by a moral burst of awareness but a self reflective sense of self preservation

When we read news issues on the internet these days we see a significant change. For decades the climate change, pollution issues, migration and poverty problems, water and food manipulation, misuse and shortages, etc had been denied and overruled with reassuring messages by the economic forces that were looking for unlimited growth. Now we see that denial has changed into acceptance of the problem with the tsunami of scientific reports and studies proving the damage we are doing to our environment and subsequently to our selves. Within 250 years scientists expect that there will be no economies anymore because there will be no human beings left to uphold this invention to value transactions.

Formally recognizing the problem is a first step to finding solutions even through we are still far away from letting go of the ideology of economic growth in favor of the sustainocratic economy of balance. So why this sudden change in political leadership and media coverage?

The problem world leaders encountered recently was not their sudden burst in sense of responsibility for our planet or people. Their problem was that the drive for unlimited economic growth was getting them into a position of severe competitive aggression among each other. It is a natural phenomena that when growth is blocked tension rises until it explodes, unless an escape is found. If one is nit sure that one can win a competitive encounter one should not even enter the battle but challenge the opponent(s) by changing strategy. The current moves demonstrate that global leaders have become aware of the potential point of singularity (eminent collapse, war and chaos) of their economic potential caused by the dependence of their systems on resources of the other powerful nations. When these resources are suddenly blocked in an encounter then politics is not about showing strength but finding each other’s weaknesses.

Leadership changes to finding ways to become self sufficient enough to minimize the dependence on other nations of the world and hence reduce the amount of weaknesses that can be misused in times of stress. Recognizing the need to transform and re-position one’s own society sufficient innovative impulses can be generated to build up strength again. Finding a new balance with nature through the acceptance rather denial of the global issues and threats can than provide labor and local economic development for many decades ahead. It takes the tension away from the world while leadership turns into itself instead of against each other.

Since world war II the focus was placed on  growth. The tension has been building up gradually producing an exponential increase in recessions, depressions, chaos and threats around the world. Now time has come to change and focus on co-creation, harmony and symbiotic relationship with our environment on a local for local basis. What world leaders do is re-position their own society in a natural way causing the shift of attention to happen also in business, science, media expression, etc. This is what we can observe now and it shows the results of an intense and sudden shift at policy makers level based on self preservation rather that morality. The next five years will be extremely relevant to see the changes have their effect on the societies, the human beings and the system complexity that governs us. Will it be sufficient or a prelude for more to come, adding perhaps a new phase of moral awareness and true stability in nations?

 

 

When leadership and management work together

Evolution has a cyclic nature, clockwise of course. A self aware species develops “leadership and management”. In this drawing I explain how we deal with both in a natural chronological order.

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Leadership introduces change after a burst of awareness. It expands into new phases of wellness through the acceptance and co-creative efforts that change entire communities.

Management wants to keep wellness by growing its values out of greed or the fear for loosing it. It tends to avoid change while introducing control mechanisms by building bureaucracies.

Excessive management and focus on growth or risk avoidance tends to blocks leadership out of fear that change affects control mechanisms and hierarchies of power. This unavoidably leads to a crisis, chaos and collapse. After the collapse leadership and change become dominant again with the introduction of new values, making the cycle complete.

When then can Leadership and Management work together effectively in a complex society?  That occurs when the eminence of chaos and collapse is so powerfully present and destructive that management open up to leadership development, accepting change as part of the management process. Leadership and management goals can find a match. The purpose then is harmony and chaos avoidance.

STIR Foundation shapes this by taking leadership initiatives around complex issues. We position ourselves in the field of awareness and leadership and invite top level management officials to participate in change processes and co creation towards harmony (symbiosis). The management officials then have to introduce change through managed routines and controlled processes. Total chaos can be avoided when multidisciplinary coalitions address the issues together. This we call Sustainocracy, the complex but highly productive process of interaction between leadership and management.

Experience shows that bureaucracy is largely eliminated, decisions accelerated and result driven processes terminated in years rather than decades. The pain of chaos is reduced to a minimum and surrounded by care.

Awareness breakthough

Have you ever heard of the “gateway to heaven”? It is real. Not many can see it though. Experience shows that the gateway is only reached after a phase of pain. It is clearly visible then but gradually fades away again until we reach a new passage through. That is how we evolve. It is a spiral shape, or sinus wave when we add time. Understanding this is new. Evolution has long been considered purely physical. It is however spiritual. It only adds up to our awareness when passing through the gateway.

At a certain time we may equally our level of evolution and break through to add something to it. This drawing may help you understand. You are right in the middle of it (the drawing and life)

Can you see the awareness breakthrough? It's the gateway to a new world

Can you see the awareness breakthrough? It’s the gateway to a new world

Some call the area below the line of self awareness “hell” and above “heaven”. The gateway is referred to the “the end of suffering” and a new beginning. Every time we pass through into a new cycle we add new awareness to our evolution. Societies evolve like this too. I expect a global breakthrough. But not before a lot of pain.

21st century society
“The new, emerging society (I call it “Sustainocracy”) situates itself permanently into this heaven of wellness (symbiosis) through understanding life instead of killing it. It will be an historical breakthrough that is happening right now.” (Jean-Paul Close)

There is no leadership in world economics

Much is being discussed these decades about world leadership with respect to global issues. Often fingers point at Obama, Putin, the United Nations, the G20, G7 or the IMF. In reality these people and groups display hardly any leadership, just management. In the world of economy there is no leadership, even though we really need it if we want to face the real issues of concern. 

More importantly, considering that this “world leadership” emerged from the ashes of world war II, we can state that the lack of leadership of these groups and individuals actually cause all the world problems. Within the context of world powers and economics they all compete using the rules of economic management to compete efficiently. Their financial interests used to be focused on trade only. In a consumer economic scenario the issue now is also on consumption. Most consumption is energy (oil) based which means that much of the management of relationships and confrontations deal with energy and trade issues.

Democratic misunderstanding

There is a general lack of understanding of the difference between “management” and “leadership”. This is why we tend to point erroneously at these “world managers” for solutions around the other issues (global warming, pollution, migration, rising sea levels, etc). We forget that these are caused by the trade development, usage of resources and usage of energy around which economies are built. If such world managers of economic interests are to lead the solutions they would have to step over their managerial tasks and economics in the first place. That is not their mission (yet). There is hence no leadership in economics, certainly not in world economics, just management. To solve this we need two things: understand the difference and introduce leadership. 

What is the difference between management and leadership?

Management: The control over fixed process patterns with an objective of growth, improvement and optimization. (more of the same, better)

Leadership: The initiation of totally new initiatives and processes based on vision or need. (change, different)

The Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands recently remarked that he was governing without vision because “vision costs money”. Politics and government, in a world reigned by financial dependencies, reason from fixed economic patterns that consist of rules, financial relationships and money dependencies. Managing the complexity is difficult enough because of all the interconnected economic strings. When we introduce the leadership issue of “change” the total system’s balance can get disturbed. No PM or President, unless post war (or in chaos), dares to introduce change, preferring to let chaos arise rather than being the cause of it. Prevention of chaos is impossible to explain in a democracy. People would not understand as change also affects them. That is why you see a management culture of fear in every economy, business or government, preferring resistance and even opposition to change. Conservative economic forces see leadership as a threat. 

Management is wrongly characterized as “realism” because it deals with known patterns that can be explained and forecast by analyzing the past. 

Leadership is wrongly seen as “idealism” because it addresses change through ideals, with passion and vision from which there is no proof other than common sense or non economic logic.

This all has to do with the history of economics that developed from instrument to goal, allowing room for real leadership only after collapse. This needs to change.

The learning process of humankind is also reflected in our periods of wellness and recession

Leadership comes traditionally after chaos (collapse) , when management is forced to let go

Economy is cold, deprived of moral and sense of holistic reality because of concept of “money” as a goal of growth. The real reality has nothing to do with the fake materialism. It has to do with sustainable human progress. The consequences of lack of (or room for) leadership is building up to reproachable levels and proportions that reaches a point of “criminal against humankind”.  Policy people who recognize their responsibility but impotence to perform leadership tasks within the economic management system have the tendency to quit their position. When they leave there is a self regulation within the system to keep robot like people without moral scrupulous. We cannot call those leaders.

STIR (City of Tomorrow)

STIR offers an unprecedented solution for the world problems but also for these top executive world managers with leadership ambitions. STIR introduces a global shift where chaos is avoided by accepting leadership as equal part of the (holistic) picture.

The holistic society has very different characteristics than any society before

The holistic society has very different characteristics than any society before

STIR asks the self aware governance people (in business and government) not to throw in the towel but to stay and connect instead to STIR leadership activities of the City of Tomorrow. They can use their authority within the system and use their position to provoke changes that are being caused by introducing the “STIR loop”.  The leadership of STIR is not personal but driven by the global issues of the times we live in (such as food scarcity and manipulation, health damage due to pollution, security issues due to lack of awareness and attention, blindness of the masses, lack of self reflection and self sufficiency in money driven democracies), picked up from a local perspective.

By addressing the global issues locally we co-create and share leadership steps that feed management with well sustained innovations, challenging policy to change too. There is no need for fear, aggression or chaos for this leadership to manifest itself, just a conscience and the willingness to work together with other local players.  This picture clarifies what we call “the transformation economy of 1%” (1% change (leadership), 100% growth (management), 200% effort (both):

Transformatie economie - leiderschap voedt management

It is not dangerous or risky and changes old managerial culpability into involvement where the hierarchical leaders themselves decide how far they can go in their institutional structures.  

In Eindhoven (Netherlands) we initiated such process in experimental way, inviting policy makers, directors and scientists to the independent table of Sustainocracy. A lot of energy went into convincing these managerial top people with “attitude” to step into the group for leadership around key issues. It was tough because of the tradition of power of dominant authority and the initial reluctance of these people to participate in external leadership processes that expect them to commit with rebound to their own position. It is hence a challenge on its own to find, invite and involve the right people. They tend to be “special” and “extraordinary”.

When they accept the process and go through it individually, collectively and institutionally it is up to STIR to capture and contain the values achieved, including the learning process. We need to support these people who go from their leadership at STIR back into their management position and structure.

The precedents are now also available as so called “holistic learning programs” of the STIR Academy. We offer holistic education (higher than university), specialized study programs (eg healthy city, self sufficient region, etc) at university level and practical programs at high school level. Working together with partners from scientific and high school education, as well as training or coaching, we also offer the world of business, government, knowledge institutions, semi-governance, but also individuals with leadership interests, the possibility to get involved and learn the earlier the better out of self interest. No one will escape from the leadership requirements in the world and will be confronted, no matter what, sooner or later. Life can be made so much easier , significant and purposeful when leadership is learned to be dealt with as a natural part of sustainable human progress, in harmony with management, not neglected.

 

Jean-Paul Close – transformative leadership

Me2 (followers) or Me1 (leaders)

Changing mentalities

When we talk about the practicalities around massive change of human behavior we enter a very intering field of STIR research. Especially when we deal with the type of change needed to achieve sustainable human progress within sustainocratic processes. My own strong belief was always that people first need to become aware of the challenges we face before they take initiative. This is the way I got active in this field myself, only after opening my eyes into a new kind of visual dimension of awareness. This awareness may not be enough yet to get everyone to change attitude but certainly places a trigger under the surface that can be pushed any time by anything.

My views were overthrown when I invited J. J is professor at the technical university. J. and his team do research on “perception” from scientific point of view. He wants to know the effects of professional electronics on people and their behavior. I invited him to share his opinion and expertise in the sustainocratic teams of AiREAS. We were making an action plan for public involvement at city quarter level in our “clean and healthy city” project. His scientific expertise could become useful to avoid inventing the wheel (with a lot of costs) and become more effective as a group. That is one of the key arguments to get scientific knowledge directly at the table in the first place. At the same time science could be interested in the practical initiatives of AiREAS to formulate new research questions and gain support of the other participants..

During the multidisciplinary discussion the participating lady from our public healthcare organization stated her frustration that, after spending lots of public money on health campaigns no measurable change had been perceived or achieved. I added to that my own findings that awareness is simply not enough. Prior to changing attitude the people need to become aware AND assume responsibility. Lots of people are aware that smoking kills yet continue smoking. Same goes with people taking the car, knowing that the bike would be healthier for the short distance. Awareness alone is not enough. My own model shows the following steps:

Awareness -> Acceptance of responsibility -> Change of behavior -> Recognition

This places a large responsibility on communication with a challenge to get a feel on how to stimulate each of the steps.

Everyone agreed except J. He said  simply “Awareness? No! No awareness at all”. This caught us all by surprise. He explained a recent example, that a lot of communication had been done to get people to acquire solar panels. No one did. Until a bunch of neighbors got their own act together and placed panels on their roofs. Suddenly everyone else wanted them in the same street. Why not after communication? Does communication not work anymore? Why does the physical appearance trigger people and not reading about it with all the posible arguments on climate change, financial benefits, etc? What does that tell us?

Me2 or Me1!

For me it was funny because I use this expression for business enterprises when lecturing, training or coaching about “positioning”. But business is an entrepreneurial exercise in which market leadership (Me1 – me first) or being a follower (Me2 – me second)  is a strategic entrepreneurial decision and awareness exercise. In fact it is one of the five keys of 21st century excellence that I published as my 5K multidimensional entrepreneurial model. But in my mind I had not made the link with the diversity of general human behavior in society. J. had just opened my eyes. This is how it works.

10-80-10

In a group of 100 people you roughly find this division of characters 10-80-10. Whatever changes you propose with some common sense you will always find 10% of the people opposing directly, no matter what. They are against everything. These are the “opposers”, the brakes on progress. On the other hand there is a 10% that is always in favor.  They are the “innovators” of the group, the front runners, the Me1. This 10% is always in for something knew and is willing to pay the extra price to be innovative. For some it is even a sport to be the first in everthing. In business these are normally the business leaders that take the chances to do things that others have never done. They create new values. Then there is the remaining 80%. They just observe and listen to the others, they do not take risks. Normally they tend to listen to the 10%  opposers who always claim to have the truth because “it was tried before”, “no one ever succeeded”, “its a waste of time and money”, “it does not work”, “no change, no risk”, etc.

When the Me1 in a quarter unite and show their initiative in public a part of the 80% will become a Me2, a group of followers. They overcome their fear and join the leaders of change. More join in when the novelty proves stable and adequate. The Me1 only manage silence the opposers through action, demonstrating that something indeed can be done. When introducing novelties or change most communicative energy always tends to go to the opposers who we try to convince of progress. This is also caused by the fact that the opposers put a lot of energy in blocking progress through their lobby using fear. The above shows that we should not even pay attention to them when we initiate sustainocratic processes that have already a strong reason to be introduced. To neglect this group is difficult because they tend to be the ones that go to meetings first, not the Me1.

In business the Me2 often position themselves to copy proven technology rapidly after its introduction by the Me1. While Me1 gets the recognition for the orginal idea, the Me2 make it accessible to the general public by making it cheaper, “better”, etc. The Me2 attention to a product is often good for the Me1 too. If the image of innovator is maintained, people who are Me1 will become loyal to the label because of its status as leader. Others however never buy from the leader because they know that price of a Me2 will be lower. It is all a game of psychology.

Sustainable progress

From our point of view all this helps to experiment with public initiatives and the introduction of all kinds of innovations. From a hardware point of view this can be understood, especially when dealing with city quarters with wealthy enough residents to follow certain trends and hypes that we try to introduce. But we want to transform society from a centralized to a circular local type of economy. This does not imply just external visuals around status an “look at me” Me1 attitudes. We work on getting people to become involved in their own local sustainable progress which is of not money driven. How would we make these good examples visible to achieve in depth mentality and cultural change? It opens up still more questions than answers that need to be researched:

  • When do Me2 decide to follow Me1?
  • What size of Me1 and Me2 do we need to get everyone or a majority to change?
  • How do we reach the Me1? Who are they? What triggers them?
  • We know about the Me1 psychology of wealth and luxury. Does it work too in the area of getting jobless people to become active in any way? Or youngsters who we want to get out of criminality or drugs and join certain wellness programs? When does it work and when not?
  • What if the quarter is multi-ethnical, multi-cultural? What are cultural differences in all this and how do different cultures interact?
  • How much awareness does it take an Me1 to take responsibility? Is it what we are saying (our prejudism?) in our communication strategy or is something else the trigger?
  • Can the findings in one city quarter be applied 1 to 1 on another? Is there some kind of blueprint that we can develop and where is it valid?
  • Who should do the innovative proposition for Me1? A business label? A government? AiREAS?
  • What effects have external impulses s.a. a crisis on all this?

The entire “living lab” situation around sustainable progress driven manipulation, because that is what it is of course, is tremendously interesting. At the same time it is very much needed to get people to assume a different role in society than today. We are still heading for disaster if we do not change drastically our course. Institutionally I manage to get cooperative coalitions but getting 100’s of thousands of people with a daily job, a particular view of their own world (also manipulated of course) and a dependency of the system, is unique.

Huge multinationals are showing interest to try products, technological innovations through our platform. That is great of course, especially when they come with some money too for our research and main program: the local human being. So from a human behavior point of view both awareness and not awareness are applicable but in a certain order and under particular conditions that we need to find out. We do this of course not just with institutions and scientists but with the public itself too. They are the guinea pigs of their own transformation, which we develop transparently with their complete involvement. It will be very interesting to see what we find out when we deal with many of such projects around the world and do research by comparing the results.

We still have a lot of work to do to understand human behavior more. One would think that sustainable human progress is easy “to sell” to people. It is not.

Gaining power by releasing it

When I started my consultancy group of self employed coaches, and later my STIR foundation that creates purpose driven cooperatives, I came across this interesting human phenomenum: the process of letting go leadership to gain true leadership.

 

It all started when I wanted “to change the world” and realized that I could not do this all by myself. I defined certain objectives that needed the co-creative input of different people and even institutions. Keeping things only to myself was risky. If something would happen to me my world changing plans and the instruments that I had developed would soon be forgotten. I decided to do two things:

  1. I made all my instruments, models and views freely available to anyone who would want to use it. The 5K method for 21st century entrepreneurship, UNITED for effective teamwork, the pyramid paradigm for institutional positioning, the model of Human Complexities, MultiDimensional Entrepreneurship, the Index, etc and finally the new model for society: Sustainocracy. If people had open access to my toolbox they would use it and contribute to the world change, also without my involvement. By letting go of my control I could gain much more than by keeping it all to myself.
  2. I invited people to work together with me on the basis of equality. Since I was the source of the toolbox I had a better understanding of how we could use it. This knowhow I could pass on to partners in the process of addressing the world’s transformation. This would cost me time and I asked the people who joined to also count me in a little bit when I helped them towards successes.

We started to form groups around my initiatives. My idea was to empower people with all my tools and help them to become successful. To my surprise this did not happen.  On the contrary. People who joined me kept looking at me for instructions. When I organized meetings to create team spirit and develop a group attitude I would sit in front of the group and everyone in the group would be looking at me. Every member of the group would ask me for permission to speak or act and try to find a justification of action through my approval.

The initiator is seen as “owner” of the objective he/she defined

How could I get the people to stand up and take responsibility by themselves? It had never been my intention to create a hierarchy but it simply occurred by de facto, even with self-employed people from whom you would expect a degree of entrepreneurship. In the group they acted like sheep in a herd, without the need to think, trusting the sheppard that he would lead the pack to green fields. It was a bit like asking the football trainer if he already had the world cup in his hands for the team even before starting the very first training.

 

My consultancy group eventually fell apart, teaching me important lessons.

  • Even though I defined world change in a consultancy method of my own the partners that joined me saw the innovation as a new way of accessing a financial market for themselves.
  • The purpose of my innovative method still belonged to me, even when giving away my tools. The partners recognized themselves in parts of the execution and expected me to do the convincing of the market of accepting the methods and purpose.
  • None would take group responsibility. They considered their own relationships of their own and my relationships of the group. Group interest was combined with self interest, not the other way around. They had come just “to take” not “to bring”.

So when I started the STIR foundation I needed to put this learning curve into practice again.

At first I tried to get others to take initiative, allowing them to show leadership, and I would help them. I had attributed the falling apart of my consultancy group to the fact that leadership and toolbox were in the same person. So if I stepped aside as a leader I could provide more and more people with my tools and help them forward. This did not work either. People would stand up to take on a leadership role, even shared the idea of value driven objectives, but when a glimps of success started to appear the loyality to me and the paradigm shift would disappear. They would fall back into a money driven venture with a large degree of selfishness at the expense of the relationship with the foundation. This is fine of course when the venture contributes to change. It certainly was not my objective to keep some control over everything. The problem was that when the fundaments of an initiative were shaken by greed the initiative would rapidly fall apart, damaging the hard work that had been put in and delivering no reciprocity to anyone. This tought me another lesson:

  • I had to take responsibility for the purpose and the executionm but in a different way
  • I had to find a way that people would commit with me in taking co-responsibility too for the purpose
  • I had to find a way that people put in effort, create value and share in the value created by defining it themselves
  • In fact I had to become a leader without leadership

When you really want the team to grow and the purpose of the venture is right it is best leadership practice to step back into the pack or outside it all together. By doing so the group of followers become self-leaders again. If they believe in the objective they will go for it. If the objective is complex enough they may even work together.

When the initiator steps aside the pack is eye in eye with the purpose themselves

By stepping into the pack the initiator of the process shows respect for equality of all the talents in the group and allows the group to define the processes themselves. Someone who is good at initiation of processes may not at all be that good in managing them with large groups of people. They are different functions.

Secondly, the definition of the objective, the purpose, defines also the profile of the followers and their desire to commit in one way or another. Giving them freedom to determine the outcome together tends to be an excellent way of improving even the expectations. The leader that steps aside and remains looking at it at a side line or steps right into the group with his/her own talents will then gain by seeing the group grow. The purpose needs to be right though, the role of each person involved also and the interest of the group should be well protected. I had discovered that when the group consists of a single discipline trying to work together on a common purpose the group would always struggle:

  • A group of business people working together for more money always disagree on the sharing of the benefits
  • A group of governments working together want to reduce costs yet increase bureaucracy and become less effective in their territory
  • A group of football players that all play left back never wins a competition.

It is not the commonalities that make the group strong. It is the diversity in differences. That is why I defined the new age, multidisciplinary cooperation. It is purpose driven cooperation in which leadership protects the group’s purpose and interests through result driven activities proposed by the group itself. The purpose of the group is not financial, nor of control, yet human and driven by change. The results obtained can have financial consequences for members in a variety of ways yet the essential purpose is always value driven. So when I start such venture I present myself as initiator, never as director or president. The entire purpose of setting the venture up is to step aside and let the members take authority by themselves. It is interesting to see that members are capable of scaling up the expected results to much higher levels than they would have done under a management structure. Like someone once said in one of my initiatives: “Jean-Paul, here I can blow my mind freely and make it come true”.

This in particular is interesting in sustainocracy when also institutions take a seat at the cooperative table. Particularly government can gain power by releasing it.

Government in society

Government in society wants to have a dominant territorial role by establishing economies of growth and establishing rules of conduct. In a monye driven, consumer oriented society government is consequence driven and has no leadership role anymore for the same reasons as mentioned above. People stick with government if they get what they want, else they drop it. In times of a paradigm shift there is no garantee that people get what they want because the old world is in crisis. In order to fake a leadership position politicians tend to do the following things:

  • Negate publically that there is a problem
  • Promise improvements in the future
  • Try to gain a position of elected power to be able to do what they can’t say during the elections.

Their leadership today is not based on any reality anymore but they are very good at making promises that they cannot keep. The lawfull dominance of politicians in a democracy in times of crisis is a type of leadership similar of a capitan that negates that his ship is sinking while his feet are already under water.

The problem a territorial government faces in an open, globalized market is that all people and institution come to take and bring nothing. In order to take they have to pay taxes but these taxes should come from value driven processes. When a crisis occurs the value driven processes on which the taxation was based have become unstable. A government can raise the taxes or reduce the securities that people get. In the Netherlands the government developed into a dominant care taking organization. The community is one that sees the wellness of such care taking as a right and claims it continuously. As a consequence the central government has fallen every 2 years, new political parties stand up claiming that they can do it better and the old dominant parties manipulate to remain in power where no power can be exercised properly. This is not an issue just in Holland, it is a problem all over the world. I call it the power of the powerless because the capitan is running around his ship trying to fix each hole while the sailors and passengers just try to keep their own feet dry or strip the pieces of value of the ship for themselves. Meanwhile the capitan would keep shouting “full steam ahead”, trying to keep up the appearance that everything was alright, meanwhile causing the ship to make more water still.

So when I found out the hard way that I had to take responsibility for my own life, it was not me who was to step aside but the dominant government, pictured as the foolish capitan in the metaphore. I found that I had the democratic right to take responsibility but the government would try to convince me to step back into the pack. My claims that the ship was sinking would be silenced by the political desire to keep up the appearances. Giving the territorial power back to the people was against the reigning paradigm and in a multiple party political system there were many capitans waiting for their chance to run around the sinking ship.

I could not dismiss the entire government as a single person but I could ask government to help me build a solid ship alongside, respecting even the territorial authority of governance. In fact, what I did was to invite people to a purpose that I had defined and that was within the desired situation of governance yet could not be achieved by their own leadership. I was not relating to politics but to the practical reality of providing sustainable human progress in a region. Governance in a day to day activity is not far from the crude reality. Even though the structure is highly bureaucratic and risk avoiding by common nature of fighting a crisis by turning back instead of going forward, operational people inside are often blessed with common sense. They do not see my invitation as an attack on their authority but a way to make proper use of it.

So in Sustainocracy local territorial government was asked to step into the pack by releasing their overall dominance and concentrating on their key responsibility: facilitating progress. They had to let go to receive more authority. After what I had learned in my foundation I could also deal with this process on such a large scale. The purpose became leading, I became the initiator of the process and invited institutions to take full responsibility within their own true powers of control and authority. My own role was that of initiator, connector and protector of interests. My role was also to break through that unjust hierarchy of unproductive control over anarchy. It took some time to make the very first venture happen but when people recognised that releasing power would give them back full authority, the first multidisciplinary cooperation (AiREAS) saw the light. Key in the process is that I always step aside, never asume a leadership role nor establish a new hierarchy. It is the group that puts in all its power and energy to make it happen, not me, making me the leader without leadership, a facilitator of powerful instruments to tool up together for sustainable human progress.

Every one in a sustainocratic venture is empowered with authority by adhering to the purpose without hierarchical dominance

With sustainable human progress as  leading factor priorities can be choosen democratically that form multidisciplinary, purpose driven communities that work together on the line of progress. This is most affective when the territory is clearly defined. Multiple ventures can act at the same time in a self steering process of progress. Institutions, people and professionals can interact in different ventures freely as long as they contribute to the purpose driven goal.

The only reason that I had to initiate the process was that no one else could. They all adhere to the old paradigm and cannot start a new one by themselves. They are instrumental to society but society itself is leading. So all I had to do was to ask the instruments to populate my toolbox, represented by the sustainocratic society that I had defined. I defined a new paradigm and allowed powerful instruments to reconnect in a new way. We were all showing leadership by doing so, releasing a piece of control to gain authroity in the new value driven communities. All people felt that they gained in authority by letting go. A true win-win-win…..

We have still a long way to go because in a fragmented, money driven society, most institutions and people hold on to their financial position to remain in control of their dependencies. They block progress by keeping their hierarchies tightly under control. To get them to understand that this is counter productive and eventually gets them into trouble is difficult. Many executives receive bonusses to keep control, not to introduce change. It takes courage to let go in order to receive authority back. As sustainocracy shows its effects by giving th example there where people unite that take the daring step, the rest will follow.