The first to take the stage on the second day of the World Leadership Forum Mexico, Peter Senge begins by asking the tech team to turn up the lights a little, that the room appeared dark. Little did the audience know this would be a metaphor for his entire speech: an inspirational challenge for leaders to reflect on their reality, their limited perspectives, and to dedicate time to stop and think. From this simple activity will be born better leaders, better teams, better organizations, and better systems… a better world.
Read on to learn his three characteristics of systematic leadership, as well as the three most important numbers leaders should have in mind in every decision they make…all from this morning’s speech at the World Leadership Forum Mexico!
Senge is probably most known for his work in systems thinking. Today he updated this same dynamic understanding of larger systems, announcing a mandate for business leaders to consider the larger, more complex ecosystem that they affect. The following are his three characteristic of systematic leadership:
1. Maintain a vision that constantly considers pulling complex networks into the future
2. Make big picture decisions that consider systems rather than organizations in order to collaborate across boundaries.
3. Leader’s today must be dedicated to seeing the systems they don’t see. Senge made an interesting point in the different perspectives based on cultural and personal histories, and we must look past these boundaries for a better future.
Always a provocative, challenging speaker, Senge ended his speech in a very characteristic way. He presented three numbers for leaders to take away, to be considered in every decision that make from here forward:
Currently, our economic activity is running at an unsustainable rate of 1.5 Earths, and is only increasing.
By 2020 WHO estimates there will be 2 billion people without reliable access to clean water.
Three timesthe number of people in the world commit suicide in comparison to dying in all wars and homicides combined.
A very serious challenge for leadership today, Senge ended on a note that sets the path for leaders today and for years to come psychologically, ecologically, and spiritually.