Leadership for Social Change and Development

Leadership for Change. Inspiration and Transformation

The world is at a threshold. We are navigating the limbo between a yesterday that is gone and a tomorrow that has not quite arrived yet. As society arises from the shards left behind by the pandemic, personal leadership is more essential than ever. The past months have lifted the veil that had hidden in plain sight a conundrum of condoned inequality. At the same time, COVID-19 jeopardized aspects of life that we took for granted, such as meeting friends or moving within and beyond national borders. We now face the challenge – which is an immense opportunity to envision and co-create, how ‘we’, individually and collectively, want to live.  

The perspective that underpins this book, Leadership for Change. Inspiration and Transformation, and those that precede it, is that human existence is a composition of two-times 4 dimensions. With soul, heart, mind and body at the individual level; and individuals, communities, countries and ultimately planet Earth together with Nature at the collective level. Nothing happens in a vacuum. This perspective matters, because it translates the utopic statement that ‘We can change the World’ into a concrete undertaking – one that begins at the core of the center: the aspiration of individuals for meaning. This quest for for meaning, which is the essence of our Soul, was central to the journey of those whose stories are shared in the book, as it may become to each reader. 

Leadership for Social Change and Development © Palgrave MacmillanLeadership for Social Change and Development © Palgrave Macmillan

Everything is connected. Change happens from the inside out, and is nurtured from the outside in. Within a continuum of transformation each piece of this organic kaleidoscope is complementary to other.

This book completes a quintet published over the past years with Springer Nature. Whereas the first book presented and detailed the POZE paradigm and the science that underpins it, the second offered my own story and insights in the difference that the proposed shift in perspective makes in humanitarian and development organizations; the third book applied this paradigm to the post-COVID context, and the fourth looked at technology, including aspirational algorithms, to take the ambition of a world worth living for all, to scale. 

The latest book illustrates the universal applicability and relevance of the POZE perspective; it does so through the voices of inspiring individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. Furthermore, it offers additional tools for the reader to start, or accelerate, their own journey of genuine empowerment. 

The books are or everyone – from academics to activists, via adolescents and middle-age adults, to retirees, because directly and indirectly, whether formally or not, we all occupy a leadership position. Within this wide range of potential readers, those whose professional vocation it is to bring about social change are particularly invited to read and join. 

Nothing happens in a vacuum. The influence that exudes from our presence and action can be positive or harmful. Finding and revealing our best self is not about adding more layers; rather it entails removing the existing ones, to uncover what is waiting underneath. POZE offers entry-points to this journey. It is a way to live differently, within a framework that addresses it as an organically evolving journey. 

The book aims to help individuals find, reveal and share their own best self, and thus contribute to a society where everyone has a fair chance to give and receive, to experience and expediate happiness. I hope that readers get an appetizer of this adventure from reading the stories that intrigues them to explore the tools and the magic within. 

To get started here and now, I invite you, the reader of this blog, to jot down your thoughts regarding the following 4 macro-questions (which are also those that frame the stories in the book):  

•    WHY are you here? 

Our aspiration for purpose; placing our journey in the perspective of meaning. 

•    WHO are you? 

How we feel underneath the shield of appearance; our own unfiltered perception of Self.

•    WHERE do you stand in life? 

The state of awareness of that our mind harbors regarding our place in the environment. 

•    WHAT do you do to align your aspirations and actions? 

The thread that links our aspirations, emotions and thoughts to the power of action. 

If you feel challenged by answering these questions, keep on searching. The process is as useful as the result it yields. Once we place these questions on our mental radar, the answers eventually arise; they are likely to evolve organically throughout your life whilst opening a frame of thought and opportunity along the way. Please get in touch with your ideas and feedback.

Cornelia C. Walther, PhD combines praxis and research. She worked for two decades with the United Nations in large-scale emergencies in Africa, Asia and Latin America. As coach, lecturer, and researcher, she collaborates with various universities worldwide.

Author of Development, Humanitarian Aid, and Social Welfare (2020), Humanitarian Work, Social Change, and Human Behavior (2020), Development and Connection in the Time of COVID-19 (2021), Technology, Social Change and Human Behavior (2021), and Leadership for Social Change and Development (2021).