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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Leadership for the whole in the mythic field of C. G. Jung's unconscious processes
by Koenig, William E., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2010, 382; 3500723
Abstract (Summary)

To date, studies of leadership and the unconscious have not connected. Nor did C. G. Jung directly address leadership. This theoretical study demonstrates that contemporary approaches to leadership development can be linked directly to Jung's core processes to access the unconscious as a means to connect with what is trying to emerge and become within individuals, groups, organizations, communities, and nations.

Field theory offers a framework to comprehend the energetic forces at play in the dynamics between individuals and the collective, between the collective conscious and unconscious, and between leaders and followers that are communicated via the psyche's language of myth. Leaders need to be mythically literate to engage the unconscious and in the process reframe tension and conflict in service of creativity and possibility for the larger whole.

Three contemporary leadership theories or "stances" are complementary components of leadership for the whole. Servant leadership, championed by Robert Greenleaf, stresses the ethical imperative of foresight, which is aligned with Jung's concept of intuition—listening to the wisdom of the unconscious in order to sense what is emerging and trying to become. Complexity leadership, first recognized by Margaret Wheatley, makes metaphorical inferences about leadership based on complexity science and through pattern recognition connects with Jung's unconscious by perceiving symbols and archetypes. Adaptive leadership, as taught by Ronald Heifetz, involves a process of orchestrating tension that corresponds with what Jung called the "transcendent function," to address adaptive challenges that are only resolved with new beliefs, values, and learning.

Leadership on behalf of the whole integrates these three theories into a way of being and doing that is greater than the sum of their component parts. This conception of leadership for the whole is sourced in the collective unconscious and can be integrated through the process Jung described as active imagination. The discipline of seeing, "mything," and serving the whole is illustrated by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's view of nature. This study concludes with a series of disciplines to increase the capacity to be a Leader for the Whole as well as to develop this capacity for higher consciousness in those being led.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Slater, Glen
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 73/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Jung, Carl, Leadership development, Unconscious
Publication Number: 3500723
ISBN: 978-1-267-22035-6
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