Organizational Consultation XXXI: The Appreciative Leader: From A Traditional Perspective

Organizational Consultation XXXI: The Appreciative Leader: From A Traditional Perspective

Leader As Lover and Partner

Love is a key word for Teilhard in examining this synthesizing relationship between the individual and collective: “considered in its full biological reality, love—that is to say, the affinity of being with being—is not peculiar to man. It is a general property of all life and as such it embraces, in its varieties and degrees, all the forms successively adopted by organised matter.”i In emphasizing the role of leader as lover, Teilhard states that:ii

. . . love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves. This is a fact of daily experience. At what moment do lovers come into the most complete possession of themselves if not when they say they are lost in each other? In truth, does not love every instant achieve all around us, in the couple or the team, the magic feat, the feat reputed to be contradictory, of ‘personalising’ by totalising? And if that is what it can achieve daily on a small scale, why should it not repeat this one day on world-wide dimensions?

Riane Eisler offers an appreciative emphasis on relationship and leader as partner that aligns with that offered by Teilhard.iii Eisler proposes that seeds have already been sown for the movement of our society from a highly individualistic and competitive dominator model to a collaborative and more feminine model of partnership.iv

She comments extensively on the reexamination of cultural history that is now occurring. This history, according to Eisler, shows that our world has known many eras when highly advanced civilizations have existed successfully with partnerships rather than domination. Eisler dramatically documents the destructive consequences of a world that fails to value the feminine characteristics of collaboration and colleagueship.

War, poverty, and ecological dislocation arises from an indiscriminate valuing and rewarding of more masculine characteristics: hierarchy and the use of force to establish status:v

Drawing upon a wide range of relatively neglected old as well as recent social scientific studies—in particular, recent and potentially revolutionary findings by archaeologists in Anatolia, Crete, and Old Europe . . . Eisler proposes two primary models of social organization characterized by widely differing social guidance or values systems. The first, designated the partnership or gylanic model . . . is characterized by “soft” or stereotypically feminine values such as mutual accommodation, cooperation, and nonviolence. The second model is the dominator or androcratic model . . . with a characterizing value and social guidance system idealizing “hard” or so-called masculine values such as conquest, mastery, and force.


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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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