Being A Social Artist
--by Jean Houston (Aug 23, 2005)
Let us explore the nature and development of our call to service in ways that link inner and outer realities, universal plans and passionate commitment. Let us ask what to do, where to go, how to take initiative and how to understand our role as leader and social artist in this most compelling moment of human history. Let us reflect on the need for a new kind of leader, a social artist who is also artful of the ways of the inner landscape.
Too many of the problems in societies today stem from leadership that is ill prepared to deal with the chaos and complexity of todayís world where too much is happening too quickly. This is not just a matter of inadequate training in the realities of global change, but even more tragically, a lack of human resourcefulness, leaders living out of a field of awareness that is both limited and limiting in their abilities to deal with the world as it is today. Worldwide, societies are crying for assistance in the transformation of their citizens, organizations, and institutions. But sadly leaders who can rise to the challenge are hampered by training that leaves the greatest of the studentís natural resources unexplored and insufficient. The leader, like most of society, emerges as a highly compromised version of what he or she could be. And the state of the world reflects this in a most dangerous way.
The density and intimacy of the global village and the staggering consequences of our new knowledge and technologies make us directors of a world that has, up to now, mostly directed us. What is alarming is the absence of social artists (i.e., skilled facilitators, entrepreneurs and leaders) to advise and lead the shift to new values and practices. The usual formulas and stopgap solutions born of an earlier era will not help us.
Let us consider then the art and science of transformation leadership, leadership that is one of the mysteries of the human as he or she lives a life of alignment, refinement and contact to the divine purposes and patterns of evolutionary possibilities. This is the art of world making, spirit catching, mind growing, soul quaking leadership.