Thursday, October 30, 2008

Life-Affirming Leadership: Three Contributing World-Views

My interest in Life-Affirming Leadership is grounded in the following three worldviews: Seventh Generation Thinking, environmental sustainability, and the Seventh Fire Prophesy. Today, my work continues to be influenced by other paradigms that deepen, support, and even challenge the initial foundation of this work. It is an intentional decision to remain open to how other ways of experiencing the world of leadership might influence my work.

There are three world views that are prominent in this inquiry and were really a guide for how I approached interpretation of the inquiry data. These world views are woven into my being through the many people who have come before and those who currently stand beside me in working for social justice.

The first worldview is the concept of
Seventh Generation Thinking shared by the Iroquois people. Simply put, Seventh Generation Thinking advocates making decisions through considering the impact of those decisions for seven generations. Seventh Generation Thinking recognizes that there is an interconnectedness between all things and that decisions made today have an impact on future generations. In this line of thinking, environmental sustainability is the second contributing worldview.

Within my work
environmental sustainability refers to the connection between leadership decisions and the environment in which those decisions are acted upon. I mean environments to be nature and also include environments such as environments of organizations.

Seventh Fire Prophesy comes from the Ojibwa people and is one part of a larger set of prophesies that informs the Ojibwa about their nation’s past, future, and present. The Seventh Fire Prophesy specifically states that the young people who will create the needed social changes are in the communities, right now. They are already present. This belief that leadership for positive social change is already being present in communities is a keystone.

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