An Introduction to Dreambounded Leadership

Bright Pink Sky with Adventure QuoteA New Kind of Leadership for Naturally Creative Individuals and Groups.

Welcome to my new blog site! It seems that people today are eager for new ideas and new ways of engaging in their lives. And in line with that is a desire for new and different kinds of leadership.

Dreambounded Leadership is a way of thinking about how individuals and groups are naturally guided and evolve, and how you can best support and optimize that rich and rewarding experience for yourself and the groups you lead. I developed this approach to leadership over many years as a way to align the essence of who people are with the things that they choose to do, rather than with who they think they should be. In doing so, the intention of leadership is to engage in rich and rewarding experiences created by unique individuals and groups in their own unique circumstances.

To get a sense of what is different about Dreambounded Leadership, think of the shift that occurred many years ago when people thought that the stars and planets revolved around Earth and that we were the center of the universe. Then along came Nicolaus Copernicus in the 1500s, who said the sun (rather than Earth) is at the center of the universe. That shift from Earth as center to Earth as one of a number of planets revolving around the sun is a shift in thinking about how things work, specifically about what guides and what is guided.

Using that same idea of a shift in where the center or guide lies can be applied to a contemporary belief system but with a different kind of center. The current view of man (and other potentially intelligent life forms) is often that knowledge is the key to advanced evolution and purpose, aka the center or reason for nature’s growth and development. To a great extent we believe that our lives revolve around that knowledge and therefore, that more accurate knowledge can guide us to better life experience.

We typically reveal that perspective in things like people’s titles, such as president or doctor, as an indicator of what should guide us. Those titles essentially are an agreement that their holders have expert knowledge (they know the truth) in some field, and engagement in that field revolves around that expert knowledge. In other words, we should follow them and their leadership, meaning orbit around their knowledge.

How Dreambounded Leadership Is Different

Dreambounded Leadership differs from much of today’s leadership training in its intention. It primarily has to do with the natural unfolding of rich experiences rather than in the achievement of goals designed to provide those rich experiences. As a result, Dreambounded Leadership is built on a foundation of energy and experience rather than knowledge and systems.

In no way is Dreambounded Leadership a perspective or process that suggests that presidents and doctors, or education and the knowledge it imparts, are not useful and potentially wonderful, life-changing resources. In every way, however, it does suggest that knowledge is not the center and therefore guide to a better experience; knowledge is most usefully thought of as a resource in a person’s naturally guided experience, including the experience of leading oneself and others.

Dreambounded Leadership is founded on the idea that knowledge is naturally created and that which created it is the center or guide. And that which created it from the perspective offered here is a person’s unique energy, which has the naturally creative quality of resonance. My approach to leadership further suggests that resonance manifests itself to us in an intuitively guided experience, and, therefore, our center and guide is energetic intuition and its natural unfolding in rich and rewarding experiences.

One of the most fundamental implications of Dreambounded Leadership is that positioning knowledge, structures, or systems as the key or guide to better experience is to misguide both oneself and others. The experience that accompanies that choice in guidance is typically one of growing frustration, anxiety, and often depression as those knowledge-based guides create repetitive, often conflict oriented and ever duller experiences—experiences that just don’t feel right.

Dreambounded Leadership is both self and group leadership founded on intuition as guide and knowledge as a resource that is naturally developed and used in a person’s transformative process. This relationship between energy and knowledge is represented in the model that I have created and use in my coaching of leadership, called the Natural Cycle of Experience. More will be provided on that model in my next blog.

Human Intuition Is a More Effective Guide than Perfect Knowledge

With so much emphasis today on things like education as key to success, critical thinking, and the search for knowledge that will provide us with “truth,” you might ask if intuition is really a reliable guide for leaders.

The idea behind much current thinking is that knowledge has the potential to be absolutely true and therefore, if true, can be the foundation for a system that can effectively guide us; for example, a system of religion or government or education, a scientific theory of everything, or the perfect business plan. In the book The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, a man named Frederick Winslow Taylor is used as an example of this sort of thinking:

The goal, as Taylor defined it in his celebrated 1922 treatise The Principles of Scientific Management, was to identify and adopt, for every job, the “one best method” of work and thereby to effect “the gradual substitution of science for rule of thumb throughout the mechanic arts.” Once his system was applied to all acts of manual labor, Taylor assured his many followers, it would bring about a restructuring not only of industry but of society, creating a utopia of perfect efficiency. “In the past the man has been first,” he declared; “in the future the system must be first.”

Dreambounded Leadership is founded on a model that defines knowledge, structures, and systems as potentially useful resources but never as guides – never first.  Dreambounded Leadership is leadership by the natural evolving energy of a human being or group of humans rather than by the repetitive control of a system. It unfolds not based on creating a system that perfectly delivers something, but on what currently resonates with people naturally guiding them in creating ever-new adventures.

Examples of Dreambounded Leadership

Others have had thoughts on this approach to personal and group guidance, and I have provided a few examples of their perspectives below.

“When I went to Pixar, I became aware of a great divide. Tech companies don’t understand creativity. They don’t appreciate intuitive thinking, like the ability of an A&R guy at a music label to listen to a hundred artists and have a feel for which five might be successful.”  

—Steve Jobs, in the book Steve Jobs, by Walter Iaacson

“Indeed, the very liveliness of a culture is determined not by how frequently these thinkers discover new continents of knowledge but by how frequently they depart to seek them.”

James Carse, Finite and Infinite Games

“If you want to know the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

 —Nikola Tesla

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gifts.”

—Albert Einstein

“Basically I go on an impulse with the first line, I think the first line has got to be, has got to have a kind of a thrust and I don’t want to know where its going, but it has to have, in my mind, it’s kind of this shape” [here Simon demonstrates with his hands what I interpreted as a widening of possibility] “so that it means it can go in a lot of different places, it’s not going to force me into a conclusion.”

Paul Simon, interview about how he composes music

“The only source of knowledge is experience.” 

—Albert Einstein

“What resounds most deeply in the life of Copernicus is the journey that made knowledge possible and not the knowledge that made the journey successful.

—James Carse, Finite and Infinite Games

The implication of Dreambounded Leadership is that guidance and therefore, leadership, does not arise out of the discovery of knowledge that is “true,” but rather out of the discovery of what works today and what works tomorrow as guided by energetic intuition. That discovery does not finally provide us with a truth to be guided by, but rather it points to the truth that guides us in the experiential creation of ever-new knowledge in each moment of its transformative process. That truth guides us in rich and rewarding experiences, not as a means to those rich rewarding experiences.

So, as a Dreambounded Leader, let go of any idea of searching for success through the gathering of knowledge that is true (including the knowledge in my blogs). Instead simply engage in the life that resonates with you and your group, knowing that the knowledge that is useful on your journey will be created in that journey. Discover its unlimited nature as you enjoy this adventure in leadership, and discover the resonant life for (and in) yourself and your fellow men and women.

In my next blog, I will give you an overview of my model called the Natural Cycle of Experience. In the same way that Copernicus described a bigger context with the Sun as center and Earth as a planet orbiting that new center, my model repositions knowledge in a bigger context with your energy as center and guide. This model will give you a new way to think about the part that intuition plays in the unfolding of rich and rewarding experiences as you lead yourself and your groups in ever-new adventures.

  1. ChrisChris10-25-2016

    Great blog post, Ted!! Thanks!

  2. Juliet KaplanJuliet Kaplan10-25-2016

    Really interesting way to look at leadership – looking forward to your next blog!

  3. ChadChad10-25-2016

    Inspiring dream. That kind of place would make it a lot easier to get up and go to work!

  4. Ronda WilliamsRonda Williams10-26-2016

    Congrats on getting your blog up and running. Looking forward to following along the journey! Great post!

  5. Kristin LortieKristin Lortie10-26-2016

    Great read on dreambounded leadership Ted. A new and wonderful phrase. Looking forward to more blogs!

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