The German sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies proposed two different visions of how we live and work together. The first (Gesellschaft) has predominated organisations in Western society since the industrial revolution. Relationships are contractual, transactional and dependent on personal success.
However, he also outlined an alternative vision (Gemeinschaft) where relationships are based on shared values and mutual commitments. They are transformational as the "I" increasingly becomes "we". Here common membership leads to a shared sense of identity (who I am), purpose (the value I bring to those around me) and belonging (recognising that my relationships are integral to that identity and purpose).
Great leaders are secure in their own identity, with a clear understanding of the values that drive their behaviours and relationships. They have a clear and immediate sense of their purpose that enables them to empower and inspire those around them to transform the future. Finally, they are first and foremost relational leaders who recognise the importance of belonging, seeking to co-create a strong sense of mutual dependency and service to others.
Those three core values also underpin the vision for Stone Leadership as we seek to create hope in the future, celebrate the inherent transformational capacity of individuals and teams in order to recognise that effective and sustainable change happens through relationships.
We all construct worldviews that give us a sense of meaning. Mostly it is about belonging to a group and having a sense of identity and purpose. Carmen Lawrence