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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

Are you a CROP? [Wise Wednesdays]

So it’s been an intense week at the unconference. Believe it or not, it’s easier to go to a structured conference and consume than to an unconference where you also have to co-create and improvise.

I offered 3 things including a Reflective Circle on ‘What kind of leaders do we want to be?’ and a ‘Lightening Talk’ on a model of leadership that dropped into my mind last month.

It comes from a frustration with leadership models based on industrial, capitalist, patriarchal paradigms that rely on linear thinking and the illusion of readymade answers - as if a leader is a parent who knows what’s needed all the time.

Here are 5 principles I think are much more useful than any specific quality like ‘compassion’ or ‘courage’ or ‘decisiveness’ though the principles allow for them.

#1 Self-Leadership = an unconscious leader is simply projecting their beliefs and limitations and acting out their subconscious patterns onto others. Self-awareness is the foundation

#2 Ethical sensibility = it’s puzzling how few models of leadership include an ethical dimension. Without some kind of moral compass, we simply default to the culture.

#3 Ambiguity tolerance = deep emotional intelligence in the face of uncertainty and societal hyperstimuli (e.g. media)

#4 Sensemaking amid complexity = intuitive intelligence in facing, reconciling and navigating paradox, polarities, environmental ‘hyperobjects’ (e.g. climate or ecological systems), and multiple theoretical frameworks and knowledge paradigms, etc.

#5 Leadership = the communication and relational skills required once the other 4 are in place (pick your favourite model, framework or skills based on your needs - it doesn’t matter as much as the foundation).

I call this kind of leader a CROP: a Cross-Paradigmatic, (R)Evolutionary Sensemaker and Changemaker. They don’t direct people, they liberate their minds. If you’re reading this, I suspect you are one. If there is interest in the idea I’ll develop it further.

How does this land with you?

It’s good to be back home with time to digest the breadth and depth of information from mingling with eco-activists, justice-driven doctors, and AI technologists working on new forms of governance and finance.

After complexity, clarity.

Have a great week,



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