Jun 18, 2024
4 min read

Re-Humanising Leadership


This week saw the launch of a long-held aspiration of mine to bring together the converging ideas, and career trajectories of two like-minds that believe in re-humanising leadership for creative professionals.

I recently launched a partnership where friend Kevin Finn and I will work alongside, in support of, impact-driven, creative professionals of all levels of experience to look at how we might together redefine what it means to be a creative leader.

With a keen interest in bringing kindness, compassion and impact into view in a world that sorely needs it, and industries in flux, we begin with a belief that we can work alongside those that find themselves at a crossroads between the old, the new, the status quo and the emergence of change; and together discover what the new impact-driven creative leader looks like.

Each week since 2016, this journal has provided me with weekly insights from professionals across the globe, their mindsets, aspirations and struggles towards their unique journeys to do meaningful work. It has been a perpetual nine-year study which has shone a light on an old leadership that upholds the misplaced idea that 'we are not leaders until we have paid our dues, and manage people' and goes on to reinforce structures and systems with an ill-informed belief that they cannot, and should not be changed.

And this intersection between the old and the new, the status quo and the emergence of a time of flux and change is one I've personally found fascinating.

See, in some way or another, we're all stuck in an old-leadership, capitalist system — a very linear thinking pattern that asks us to work our way up the ladder, win the pinnacle award and achieve the glorified job title until we have our name on the door. To uphold the status quo, or if at all, only change it in a way that keeps those with power, in power.

To do well, under the guise of doing good.

To hold onto privilege and place those without it into the most powerless places, roles and positions, instead of elevating them into positions of power.

This old leadership puffs its chest out and aims to be the smartest person in the room whereas New Leadership seeks to ask the simplest question and is busy creating brave spaces for others to design the room for themselves.

Old leadership has a pre-determined view of what the world and our industries should look like, whereas New Leadership remains open for a new world to unfold, designed and created by the many, not the privileged few.

New Leadership creates a world where more Black, Indigenous and People (Women) of Colour are in power, whereas old leadership holds on to power for itself.

New Leadership asks whether our industries would be different if we understood intersectionality. Old leadership struggles with the very notion of what this word means in a world filled with 'otherness'.

New Leadership listens to the stories of minority voices without bias or imposition of how this story should be told, elevating them into positions where their story is central to the narrative — in fact, it is the narrative.

This is a world I'd be happy to be a part of.

Old world leadership sees minorities for their traditions, ethnic identities, art and aesthetic — in essence their differences. New Leadership engages communities as leaders, political thinkers, intellectuals and creators of the new.

That's because old leadership sees competition, whereas New Leadership lets them eat themselves and gets on with the work that never ends.

Meaningful work.

Old leadership says "people would kill to be in your shoes" whilst New Leadership ties up your shoe laces. It may hoard ideas as it builds on its seat of power, but old leadership is not bad leadership.

It's just old.



And in some ways, it worked.

For a time.

It got us this far after all.

And so, I'm excited to explore this crossroads of a New Leadership movement towards businesses and individuals that are truly forces for good.

Not simply because it looks good to do good.

I'm excited to work with a diverse range of people, of all experiences, to define and re-humanise leadership for ourselves, our businesses and our communities.

Acknowledging — with humility and courage — our own very personal crossroads and asking the question of how we might be here in this moment to change the world for the better.

See you next week,

This essay was first published for subscribers of The Weekly Journal of Creative Leadership and is copyright © Dimitri Antonopoulos, Tank Pty Ltd and can not be re-published without the express permission of the Author.


MarchFirst, The Creative Pro & Strategy Masterclass are Copyright All Rights Reserved Tank Pty Ltd.

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