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Artful Leadership: Awakening the Commons of the Imagination
By Michael Jones

Michael Jones
creative facilitator,
speaker, writer and

John Huss
business executive


By building bridges across the different disciplines of creative artistry, authentic leadership, generative dialogue and collective wisdom, Michael Jones offers a vision, and sets a tone, for a new leadership story. It is a story that speaks to a renaissance in human awareness and illuminates the vital importance of the aesthetic dimensions of leadership; presence, uniqueness, beauty, grace, voice and wholeness. Together they represent a commons of the imagination - a public space for realizing the full potential for whole - person learning and the renewal of our collective life together.

Artful Leadership; Awakening the Commons of the Imagination features a compelling series of conversations with John Huss, a successful business leader. In their walks and talks in a lakeside park near Michael’s home, they weave together personal stories and deep insights into the creative process as they explore the emerging role and challenges of leading in time of complexity and sudden change. They agree that these changes will require the emergence of a more adaptive and subtle intelligence, one in which we will need to awaken to our inner artistry and an organic centre of being in order to find our way.

Michael traces the interior journey of the leader from one of personal artistry to an emerging public role as generator of collective wisdom through serving as convener and social architect. This leads to us to ask, “Who am I really?” “What are my gifts and hidden strengths?” “ How can I let go?” “ What is already trying to happen naturally?” And “How would my experience change, if I were leading by feeling and grace rather than by force of will?”

To travel this road as a leader is to be guided by a different illumination. The glare of the flashlight is replaced with the flickering light of the candle. As we adjust our sight downward, a once ancient form of meeting space comes more clearly into view. Michael describes it as the commons. In his final chapter, The Social Architecture of Leadership, Michael maps the leader’s emerging role as the social architect of the commons. It is only by bringing the fullness of our individuality into the collective that it, and we, may be further enlarged. It is the possibility of growing into a dimension of Self larger than our personal identities, beliefs and assumptions that is the promise of the commons. Now is the time for us to explore this promise.

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