Shapeshifter Leadership

I haven’t been blogging but I’ve been teaching, researching and writing — and I’m back with a new take on the spirit of leadership!

This May, my newest research on leadership with spirit came out in a Fetzer Institute supported volume, The Transforming Leader. Edited by Carol Pearson, Ph.D. (President of Pacifica Graduate Institute)

It was an exciting affirmation that leadership with spirit, irreverent and playful, has a place in leadership studies. My article, “Shapeshifter Leadership” argues that we need to make room for the highest functions of the trickster archetype — the shapeshifter, who can find a flexible authenticity to stay strong when we face the complexity and challenge we struggle with every day!

“In archetypal terms, the shapeshifter is able to move effectively in many worlds and see farther than most, an almost shamanic figure. The word shaman may seem strange in a business context, but the role is about mastery of many worlds for the higher good of a community or organization. The shamanic trickster is a master in the dance of change, mature and flexible, a positive if sometimes irreverent force on any team.

Activating the higher values of the trickster’s playfulness, flexibility and appetite for change, the shapeshifter leader acts out of curiosity, not greed, and therefore finds solutions that benefit the common good rather than his own shortsighted pockets.”

It’s about embracing the surprising transformations of spirited leadership. I’m proud to be included with the other researchers and practitioners in the book, which marks new territory in leadership studies!


One comment

  1. […] changing our relationships and expanding our abilities. We all move onto a new path in these times. We must become shapeshifters in order to respond with every part of ourselves, not simply the parts we understand as who we […]


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