All inclusive Means to Conflict Resolution
A Systems Theory approach allows civic leaders & mediators alike to engage in effective, mutually-accountable consensus building. A vital initial step is to develop a framework to promote a unified vision in such a manner where all parties are allowed to offer creative solutions. When all participants contribute towards a community’s vision or solving a conflict, commitment is at a maximum and both individual and group transform each other.
Mediators, business leaders and those in the Judicial, Administrative and Executive branches of government who operate from a systemic or holistic mindset are more effective when they consider the values and morals that followers hold in common. By appealing to these values, civic administrators, mediators, business leaders or legal advocates thus able to articulate a vision that summons the mutually held beliefs of their constituents.
Successful politicians realize that morals and values are core influences within an individual, for this reason, they are extremely potent motivators.
Historian and Political Scientist, James
MacGregor Burns, defines the style of leading which appeals to the ethical beliefs and needs of followers as moral leadership. In his Pulitzer Prize winning book, Leadership (1978), Burns
“Moral leadership emerges from, and returns to, the fundamental wants and needs,
aspirations, and values of the followers. I mean the kind of leadership that can produce social
change that will satisfy followers' authentic needs" (p. 4)
Currently, the traditional ideals of present day leaders are being questioned. What has worked in the past is often unable to overcome present day social conflicts. As Einstein often stated: No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. A point that certainly deserves merit, but is rarely tried. Many of the problems facing humanity are so ingrained that a complete new vision; one less self-seeking and more collectively beneficial, needs to purge our cultures previous bankrupt notion of the good life. The original American dream has been assaulted by today’s' culture of consumption.
Americans have altered the ideals of our forefathers to resemble "life, liberty and the purchase of happiness." This thirst for more and more is unquenchable, addictive and destructive. It is becoming more and more clear that our culture needs to restructure its self-serving values. Instead of merely addressing the poisons of society, leaders need to envision, share and direct us towards a more mutually-beneficial "pursuit of happiness."
National, legislative, municipal and community, leaders need to evaluate today's current social problems and focus on systemic processes. They must be able to shift perspectives from the traditional linear focus of cause/ effect relationships to realize the cyclic nature of continuous feedback among subsystems within the whole.
Effective leadership that encompasses the entire mutuality of humanity (and the organic community, for that matter) is urgently needed. The old dogmas are blindly leading us towards continuous calamity. The traditional ways, by no means need to be eliminated, leaders just need to broaden their vision and context of tried concepts.
The old practices need to be either accented by or set in paradox to the vanguard of progressive scientific and systemic theories.
Those who seek to improve communities need to be aware of the continuum of thought
which defines how the world is viewed. One side of the spectrum represents the contextual
frame of Newtonian mechanics and objective science.
On the paradoxical side of the spectrum
lie processes that fall beyond the immediate senses unfolding in the unseen orchestra of
quantum physics, mystical wisdom and organic relationships. In order to possess holistic vision, leaders need to rationalize systemically, and be aware of the entire continuum of ancient and progressive thought processes. Thomas Merton (1964) exclaimed the necessity of both spheres of thought:
It is true that neither ancient wisdoms nor the modem sciences are complete in themselves. They do not stand alone. They call for one another. Wisdom without science is unable to penetrate the full spatial meaning
of the material cosmos. Science without wisdom leaves man enslaved to a world of unrelated objects in which there is no way of discovering [or creating] order and deep significance in man's own pointless existence. (p. 1)