Leadership Agility and the post-heroic leader

I was talking to my good friend Stephen Josephs yesterday about the metaphor of host as leader and leader as host.  Stephen is one of the most experienced leadership coaches I know, and has a huge amount of accumulated wisdom in many traditions.  His book (with Bill Joiner) ‘Leadership Agility: Five levels of mastery for anticipating and initiating ( sets out a great agenda for post-heroic leadership. 

Joiner and Josephs’ five levels are: Expert (solve key problems), Achiever (accomplish desired outcomes), Catalyst (mobilize breakout endeavours), Co-creator (realize shared purpose and Synergist (evoke unexpected possibilities).  The key distinction is between the first two levels, which are about somewhat heroic achievement, and the last three levels, which are post-heroic.

It seems to be as if the further up their scale you move, the most hostly you might become.  The highest level, Synergist, is about playing a part in sparking and creating unexpected possibilities – moving well beyond the known and into embracing the emerging potential.  That sounds like a great host to me!  Check out the Leadership Agility website at

By the way, an inside tip.  Stephen is working on a new project about bringing this kind of leadership wisdom within the reach of a much greater audience.  More news here as it happens.

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