Are You an Evolutionary Leader?

Susan S Freeman Blog

What’s the one thing of which we can be certain?  Change is happening and is a constant.  The question is: “How are you leading in relationship to the rapid rate of change?”.  Are you evolving faster than the environment around you?  If you answered negatively or are unsure, you may want to learn more about the Darwinian Law of Organizational Survival.Evolution

I recently heard a talk by Peter Hawkins, Professor of Leadership at the University of Reading, U.K. He stated that there are three aspects of systemic change that determine an organization’s ability to survive (and thrive).

  1. Organizational learning must be equal to or greater than the speed of environmental change.
  2. Culture, strategy and leadership must be developed systemically.
  3. Leaders must manage the “unholy trinity:” doing more, at higher quality, at less cost.

Communicating Your Vision

Leaders who avail themselves of external support often gain value in having an objective, curious professional to assist in clarifying their vision, communicating that vision, and then helping the team align with the vision.

In the work I do with leaders and teams, one of the most common challenges I encounter is that the vision is in the leader’s head, but not in the heads and hearts of the team. Until this happens, the team will underperform or perhaps be resistant to embrace the future and the change it brings.

I am passionate about co-creating experiences where leaders and teams develop and embrace visions; where they learn to communicate that vision within and outside of the organization, and lastly, where the team aligns and that alignment cascades throughout the organizational ranks. When these take root and are fertilized and watered, engagement, trust and collaboration follow at a rate that was previously unimagined.

Developing one’s ability to lead in today’s complex environment requires skills that were likely never formally taught. This creates opportunity for those who are open and ready to explore.

Ask yourself if you are committed to having a clear and well-communicated vision, internally and externally. If so, check in with others through informal research. If what you think isn’t what’s being reflected in the feedback, I invite you to consider what’s next.

Can you commit to investing in creating a learning organization? What is the payoff if you do? What might be the price if you don’t?

Sometimes the next, best step is simply taking that first step in a different direction. As you evolve yourself, so can your team and organization evolve and thrive.

I invite you to post your comments here.

If you want to learn more about how to evolve as a leader so your team and organization can thrive, contact me at

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