author: Moneshia zu Eltz
Rethinking how we can bring about positive change in our environments at work, our teams, or neighborhood or society involves the same pattern of acting, thinking, believing, understanding. These patterns work on us from the outside, from our interactions at work, home, with friends and family and as a result of our chosen- and unchosen- life experiences. Lets call these “opportunities”.
However far more interesting, as it is within our control and volition, is this same pattern working inside of us. It starts with two, well, personal questions. What is my growth plan as a person? And what is the means to increase my awareness of my strengths, capacities and then capability to bring value to others?
Accompaniment as a method for leading is a paradigm shift in being and doing. It is markedly from that of materialism in that it puts the persons potential and means to grow at the heart of material growth, versus the other way around.
For example, when youth are asked why they want to be in business- as an engineer, lawyer, business professional, the answer usually is “To make a lot of money(?)”. I denote an uptick of the tone at the end because they aren’t really sure, as they don’t have direct experience, but they probably picked up the association from the environment around them.
Acccompaniment addresses this orientation towards materialistic pursuits by counterbalancing our interactions with another force- awareness of skills and abilities to contribute. It develops these powers, and reorients them towards those we want to serve. In the intention and practice of contributing, we create value. That value, when recognized, further inspires us to be more, grow more, contribute more. Naturally, when putting 100% of ones focus and attention in this direction, material success is a manifestation of that creation.
BUT…we cannot do it alone.
By coming together to walk this “path” in accompaniment side by side, we are supported and encouraged to consistently follow through on our growth and pursuit of giving our best selves. It makes us resilient to outside voices, and beckons us towards new ways of working together. We cast and eye on each other not in terms of the work that will be done, but first in terms of who the person is and what is their purpose. They better they can articulate this, the more help they will attract- from people but also from the creative energy that inspires all things.
The path of accompaniment is one of deep listening, non judgement (at first), stepping into the shoes of another, justice and unity. Underpinning these faculties is acting accordance with truth, trustworthiness and kindness. A path we can create for our youth through mentorship, and with each other through our work and study. From our experience with running the accompaniment program for ebbf, when self interest is trumped by the interest of the other all boats rise. People share their withes for a better world, their interest in serving it, and receive hope that their contribution matters, and is in fact, essential.
As a form of leadership, accompaniment is powerful. By engendering these qualities we build teams with a moral compass, solidarity and the ability to self manage. They are agile, resilient and capable of making decisions with consensus. They consult to raise awareness of understanding of reality and the solutions that can address the unknown. They are bonded based on ties of trust and reciprocity.
The Time is Now
By shifting the relationship paradigm to accompaniment we increase our capacity to collaborate over competing, and bring that experience of a new way of working to our workplace, university or school. It is diverse and includes every race, background, experience, age and gender. It builds unity and diversity. It builds confidence and community. It raises the bar for inner excellence and integrity.
In a world where 87% of employees feel unengaged at work, and the majority of managers are not as inspiring as they think they are (Potential Project Research). Accompaniment can shift the balance from top down to bottom up leadership. As cited by another ebbf speaker Roya Akhavan, “the very important characteristic required of a true leader is having the moral courage to articulate, uphold, and consistently behave according to core leadership values even when difficult decisions are involved. Thus, it is the moral courage to uphold justice, for example, that is of paramount importance in this leadership profile, not “toughness” per se.” Embodiement of these qualities goes hand in hand with accompaniment.
Join us and others in our upcoming in person interactive discussions and gain an experience of new leadership and accompaniment in Geneva at ebbf’s annual conference #RethinkMaterialism
Learn more and register online at www.toaccompany.com