What is Surrendered Leadership?

A reflection on flow, co-creation, effortless action, power, will and individuality.

I think it’s good to be explicit about what is surrendered. And to whom you are surrendering.

In my understanding, it’s a surrendering of my own subtle tendencies to control, which bring me out of alignment with reality.

For example, I often want to skip feeling nervous and be cool and confident. Surrender, here, is letting go of my control to pretend I’m cool, and to really meet what’s real: the nervousness.

There are a few other words and ways to illustrate this: You could say I surrender my will - but this could be mistaken for a collapsed attitude of giving up my sense of individuality and direction.

On a interpersonal level, the surrender of control means you hold no authority over others. It means that everybody is invited to participate in creating and shaping the space. This is the part where we use words such as “shared” and “distributed” to describe the leadership.

Then, we can ask ourselves: To what or whom are we surrendering to?

Perhaps you have experienced or heard about the flow states that artists and athletes describe. They describe an inversion of will, for example: “I was not playing the piano, the piano was playing through me”. So it’s a surrender to something larger than ourselves.

In Surrendered Leadership, the experience can be the same - it can be experienced as a state of collective flow. So, we’re surrendering to a collective intelligence.

Individually, we’re surrendering to presence, our felt sense, our sensations, our thoughts, impulses and sparks of creativity that seem to come out of nowhere. This can be found in the principles of “trust your experience” and “stay at the level of sensations”.

The word surrender resonates with me - it gives me the image of a strong and fierce warrior (leadership), that humble kneels for a mission bigger than his pride or desires. He responds to a calling of the universe.

I’m reminded of the Bhagavad Gita, in which Arjuna is required to have a deep surrender.

Bhagavad Gita