Theory U – The 4th Proposition

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment


Click here to see The 1st Proposition

Click here to see The 2nd Proposition

Click here to see The 3rd Proposition

The 4th Proposition of Theory U is:

The most important tool in that leadership technology is the emerging Self – the leader’s highest future possibility. Theory U is based on the assumption that each human being and each human community is not one but two: one is the current self, the person that exists as the result of a past journey; the other is the Self, the self that we could become as the result of our future journey.  Presencing is the process of the (current) self and the (emerging) Self listening to each other.

Scharmer had to make a choice, select a specific way of naming the unnamable.  Traditions, both philosophical and spiritual, have grappled with this naming and come up with different answers.  These different ways of naming the unnamable often hold a lot in common, but there also are important differences among them.  Your own take on this question of “Self,” will significantly determine your perception of reality, and it will have this effect whether you are conscious of it or not.

While I would use different language, and probably refer to a “nondual Self,” I can definitely work with Otto’s take on Self.  I can see how shifting paradigms – engaging leadership in a radically different ways – becomes possible when we act from this sense of “presence.”  If we can recognize that both – the self that we currently are, and the Self that we could become – coexist at this very moment, then perhaps we would get better at connecting to the power of that Self we could become.

What does it mean to step into leadership with this level of awareness?  What are the implications of more actively accessing the future?  Of leading from the field of possibility?

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  • Oscar Perez says:


    I think this is a fascinating commentary, and the awareness of the ‘nondual’ Self brings things to an entirely different level. It takes immense energy to create and maintain a cohesive sense of self that is connected to our past, just as it takes energy to project ourselves ahead to attempt to envision an emergent self. Ultimately, both of these selves hinder our effectiveness as leaders and as human beings because they diminish the amount of presence with which we act now. It is in being present that our true emergence occurs, as it is an unhindered expression of Self. Personally, I think that being in this state of presence opens the path to limitless possibility. Embodying (or striving for) this level of presence is in itself an act of leadership.

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