I recently awoke from a dream at 4:00 am with the word, “emergence” in mind. I immediately began writing about why this word resonated so deeply. The following definition made emergence even more significant in the context of Invitational Leadership™. Emergence: the process of coming into view or becoming exposed after being concealed; the process of coming into being or of becoming important or prominent.
Synonyms included advent, appearance, arrival, birth, coming, dawn, inception, origination, rise and – most striking to me – “the emergence of a new generation.” Naturally, the first thought that came to mind was the emergence of a new generation of leaders and the concept of Invitational Leadership™. Emergence is inspired by invitation and reflects the action part of innovation, beyond inertia and status quo, as the application of creativity.
The origin of emergence dates back to the mid-17th century and meant in the sense unforeseen; from Medieval Latin emergentia; from Latin emergere ‘bring to light.’ I envision a linkage between bring to light and the concept of invitation and emergence as coming into the light or enlightenment. Aren’t we all aspiring to emerge to a higher potential? Aren’t we all seeking greater enlightenment in the areas that matter most in our lives? Are we emerging or remaining in inertia? What, if anything, is holding us back? Do we experience anxiety, sadness, or even shame* that we have not yet achieved our goals?
In a world where speed, technology and the next news cycle consumes so much of our time, perhaps there is a space that we can choose to create and reflect. Perhaps in this space we can engage both head and heart and consider the opportunity and gift to ourselves of emergence. Perhaps we can engage others in meaningful conversations that serve to reveal both our emergence and encourage others to do the same.
About the inspiration and image accompanying this blog post: Soon after my Dad passed away, I began – and continue to this day – to experience frequent encounters with butterflies. These butterflies have appeared at the oddest of times including while kayaking off Vieques, a small island off Puerto Rico’s eastern coast. Uniquely, the island is home to a Bioluminescent Bay where microorganisms give the water a blue-green glow when kayaking through or swimming in the bay waters at night. The image of the butterfly, “coming into the light” and the “glow” all inspired the image.
The invitation to emerge, when extended and accepted by each of us, and shared with us all, may be the beginning of more luminescent leadership in the future. It seems to sync perfectly with the concept of Invitational Leadership™. It is the call we each receive in our fullest dreams, and hopefully live out in our more meaningful lives. As you sense the invitation to emerge from where you are now to who you want to become, do you choose that more enriched and meaningful future? It may not be the road more or less travelled, but it is your path and destination.
“Surround yourself with the dreamers and doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it in yourself. – Edmund Jennings Lee
Edmund Jennings Lee (1772-1843) was a prominent legal and political figure in Alexandria, Virginia.
*A word about SHAME: Should Have Already Mastered Everything. I’ve been listening to Brene’ Brown’s talk on Men, Women & Worthiness: The Experience of Shame and the Power of Being Enough. If you are interested in exploring how shame may be hindering your emergence, I highly recommend this CD.
Tips and Practical Applications:
- How are you emerging today?
- What are you emerging to become?
- Is your emergence leading you to your destination?
Power of Invitational Leadership,
Impact of Emergent Innovations™
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