Ideas & Insights Emancipatory Leadership

Emancipatory Leadership

Working Paper

Feb 21st 2021

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Emancipation Paradox

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Conditions for Emancipatory Leadership

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Pathways of Emancipatory Leadership

  • Release of need to be loved. Many times power and how others experience authority can be seductive; emancipatory leadership is one that understands that love is to be focused towards the community and building right conditions for liberation, not tied to ego or self or the need for admiration or love.
  • Relinquishing of power and privilege. Power and privilege are complex processes that are implicitly and explicitly made evident in many different aspects of who we are. Emancipatory leadership discerns structural advantages borne of social and historical systems of dominance to identify power structures that need to be dismantled. Such action includes understanding and releasing hold of unearned and earned privilege that do not serve the aims of liberation.
  • Recognition that there is no other. In emancipatory leadership we hold our humanity and our collective as one. We understand that we are all interconnected. We also, at the same time, acknowledge the lived experiences of oppression that “othering” creates and place priority on the eradication of such practices in the pursuit of liberation.
  • Reflection on inner experience of enslavement. Emancipatory leadership requires deep understanding of self. As a practice, it entails safeguarding against the potential projection of un metabolized and unexamined shadow propensities onto vulnerable communities.
  • Reduction of participation in the power paradox. Many times the “politics” of an organization have unspoken rules of engagement, emancipatory leadership forsakes the power paradox in service of the community and truth.
  • Release of self and ego in service of sustained substance. Understanding there is no other and letting go of power, privilege and admiration are all encompassed in the self and the ego. The ability to do this for longer periods of time are necessary in emancipatory leadership.
  • Readiness to move from performative to transformative action. Ultimately, emancipatory leadership seeks to transform communities by creating conditions for communities themselves to become the voice of their own authority, knowledge, leadership, action, and liberation.

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Final Note:

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