Collective Leadership and Arthurian Mythology

“Today, many people are beginning to touch the potential of a new kind of collective leadership – a way of leading together that is collaborative, intelligent, and generative.”

This is part of the framing that Diana Durham and I offered last Saturday at a pilot workshop in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the town in which Diana lives. Diana is a writer and author of a book about how Arthurian mythology gives us a set of “operating instructions” to find our way back to the deeper aspects of collective leadership. She knows a bunch. And she is lovely to work with / think out loud with. I offered some structure on the social architecture for meeting to help create a container in which we could interact with this place of passion for Diana.

I’m quite drawn into what Diana shares at many levels.

One level is the simple power of story. The Arthurian Quest and Grail Quest stories are compelling. They contain what have become archetypes in contemporary life.

That’s the second level — the way that such archetype is embedded like DNA in many societies. “When we hear it, we aren’t learning it. We are remembering it.” This is what Diana and I have talked about often.

And a third level is the invitation that the myth creates for collective leadership today. I can’t translate the mythology — I count on Diana for the beginnings of this. But the contemporary narrative is something like this. “These times are complex. We can’t quite sort it out. Our best way of sorting it is with attention to wholeness in ourselves and our teams. These are fundamental challenges for leaders of today. When we can reclaim a sense of the whole, or re-integrate a sense of the whole, we can lead much more capably.” Well, that’s a beginning anyway.

Quite enjoying and welcoming the next creations with Diana that could grow into a workshop or two.

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