Co-elevation in Leadership

Keith Ferrazzi August 20th 2019

Are you experiencing a level of frustration and overwhelm fatigue in the workplace? As I show up to our clients I am finding time and time again that individuals are complaining and suffering from total overwhelm and overburden. I was talking recently to my dear friend Peter Diamandis - The inventor of X Prize the writer of the book Abundance - and he reinforced to me how exponential the change is that's coming upon us today, and how never again in history will the change be so slow. It's only exponentially going to get faster, harder and more difficult to keep up with technological change and competition.

The real frustration is that we are doing business today with work rules that worked for a different time, that worked for an old work world, that worked for a pace of change that was fundamentally different. It's those same work work rules that we're clinging to - The rules of authority of control, the rules that require the need for an individual to carry the burden of leadership.

The reality today is to meet the exponential pressures of change in the workforce. We have to be able to reach more inclusively. We have to be able to co-create solutions that aren't within our own framework of understanding.

We've got to be able to reinvent products from the positions of marketing, sales, technology and of product development. It's a co-creation of all of those functions that will allow us to meet and exceed the expectations of the marketplace, the expectations of our customers and the pressures of our competition. How do you do that?

You don't do that by clinging to the old work rules of asking who has the control and authority. The answer is no one - or the answer is we all do. The leader is not the individual with the authority. The leader is the individual who has the capacity to harness the resources of all of those functions. Leaders should be able to move the strategy forward toward transformation. There's a different form of leadership needed - and that form of leadership is a word that I have felt we needed to create - and so I created it.

I've been working and struggling for five years now on my new book, asking myself what was the angle of this new book. Was it a book about co-creation and collaboration? Was it a book on a new form of leadership? Was it a book about how we can all grow and and expand ourselves personally? To meet the constant pressures for learning and growth that we have to achieve in organizations I realized it was a book that needed to address all of those questions - and therefore it wasn't just a leadership book. It wasn't just about cutting down silos. It wasn't just about coaching, training, growth and development. It needed to be something new. The word I came up with was beyond collaboration. It was code elevation.

The idea is that leadership today is about your ability to reach out to a broad set of individuals that are not under your control and authority and invite them to co-create a solution - inviting them to find an answer. That doesn't exist in any one of those pockets or silos, but as an answer that can only be created with the infusion of all of those inclusive dimensions - and collectively come up with a transformational answer while expanding our growth and development as individuals.

Co-elevation is a commitment to a mission, but also a commitment to each other. It's leading without authority. A commitment to leadership without authority is a commitment to co-create with a group of individuals.

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