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28 May 2013
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Leadership: Beyond the Final Frontier

We ask a lot from our leaders! They present themselves, are selected, and are identified to step up to the plate. They come for many reasons and they are vital to the future Health and Wellbeing of our planet.

We ask them to learn how the world works, how it fits together, we inform them that if they develop their leadership competencies and skills they will be able to take their teams, practices and populations to a better place. We immerse them in challenges and innovation, in psychometric tests. We show them great practice, to learn from the very best. We talk about their styles of leadership and ask them for, ever more. We support, nurture and develop them. They are as ready as they will ever be and eager to make a difference.

We then watch as they work their way through their world, the pace is intense and they look up and see the planets and they reach up and move them gently to where they should be. They look beyond the planets and see the stars, and again they stretch themselves to go further and realise that they can make a difference. Yet the world is still not as expected, so lifting their gaze again they see the galaxies and realise that they are within reach and they stretch out and move the galaxies. They then stop, pause and look beyond…into darkness.

Beyond lies an uncertainty that they have not experienced, that is alien and disconcerting. They have done all that was expected from them yet the world is not what they expected, it has changed, and the planets have moved, as have the stars. The galaxies are shifting even as they watch.  They feel that they can go no further.

The exceptional levels of uncertainty that we expect leaders to deal with in the future will be our greatest challenge. At this frontier two things are challenged, our power and our safety. How we deal with these challenges is to look beyond this dark uncertainty and realise that the darkness is of our own creation. This is termed our ‘Action Logic’. Torbert described leadership up to the frontier conventional and beyond post-conventional. How we develop post-conventional leadership will be fundamental to the success in the face of exceptional uncertainty.

Einstein once said that ‘Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them’. Let us raise that level of awareness and go beyond the final frontier.

I will be at this year's FMLM Conference in Edinburgh and facilitating the conversation beyond the frontier. Please join me in that conversation or contact me to discuss further.

Tariq Siddique MBChB

tariq.siddique [at] 

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About the author

Tariq Siddique's picture

Tariq Siddique

Tariq Siddique is a GP at Verney Close Surgery in Buckingham. He has been a partner at the Practice for the past 13 years and has led on System Wide Urgent Care reforms for Buckinghamshire, chairing and creating the ImPACT programme. At grassroots level Tariq developed a 'patient centred' community initiative called the Buckingham Way.

As a Post-Conventional leader and facilitator he runs Action Learning Sets, passionately supporting next generational leaders.


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