Leading into the Future III: From the Pendulum to the Fire

Leading into the Future III: From the Pendulum to the Fire

A second challenge concerns the values inherent in leadership. Leaders are often considered much more successful, in terms of both fortunes and fame, if they can “solve problems”—often by approaching them as puzzles. Novice leaders feel a great deal of satisfaction when they successfully analyze a situation, look at optional solutions and successfully implement a chosen set of actions. Even very experienced and highly competent leaders will be tempted if their organization is highly focused on return on investment: can the leader “guarantee” certain outcomes in exchange for an attractive fee, as if a “puzzle” just needed to be put together correctly. So, here we are: the challenges are leaking (or leaping) out of the postmodern box and we discover that they are irreversible, problem-based and ruggedly-dancing. Welcome to the postmodern world and to the prospect of leading into the future!


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Miller, J. and S. Page (2007) Complex Adaptive Systems. Princeton, N.J;: Princeton University Press.

Prigogine, I and I. Stengers .(1984 Order Out of Chaos. New York:Bantum Books.

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About the Author

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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