Leading in the Field of Change

and Its Worthy Invitation

Kathryn Maloney M.A. ABS

A consulting advisor and organisation designer to leaders, founders, and teams for 25 years, Kathryn weaves systems change vision and initiatives into strategy, priorities, and operating from outcomes. From her wheelhouse, she taps into how you communicate, relate, operate, work, lead, and group think; infuses presence, power, and self-awareness onto broad, prioritised organisation strategy; and designs tangible change to elevate your system's potential and expand its human value.

more about Kathryn
, New York City

Debating whether you have the energy and bandwidth to do change work is not going to work. As a seasoned or emerging leader, you hold in your hands the ability to positively influence people, systems and ideas toward their highest good. Embodying and working within the inexorable Field of Change is a worthy invitation, an invitation having arrived in your inbox — holding a foghorn. 

Most awake leaders staring down the future — intuitively, if not objectively — understand the alarming necessity to learn to work deftly within the Field of Change.

You would not constantly hear the cacophony around AI, innovation, transformation, modernisation, digitalisation — or even the racket around wokeness. Each refresh on vision, every attempt to craft tangible purpose and meaning, each considerate hiring loop, every cycle of strategic outcomes to steer deftly and directionally, safety and inclusion norms transmuted into operating practices are all not easy adoptions. Yet, all are a continual and active nod to the evolutionary demand for more intuitive and natural operating models.

The reinforcement of control and fear-based structures, be them parentified, autocratic, or the continual arising of aggression and conflict, are evidently lurking around all corners. If you are breathing with any sense of awareness, you can feel the weight of responsibility to depart from control over and instead create the mechanics of cooperation with. This alternative future coming is both your responsibility and your stark reality. Playing with and for the future means you heed the call.

To participate with awareness in this of-the-moment evolution of humanity, you must care about working with the Field of Change in a far more daring, creative, and uncompromising way. You must give an active damn about actually changing this world for surviving and thriving into a better reality. Your leadership means you change yourself, your way of thinking, and your way of being.

The Field

Being remarkably passionate, yet behaviorally apathetic won’t do. The clamor around purpose, meaning, doing good, and solving messes without disrupting the algorithm of performative, control, or savior leadership archetypes reads an anathema. Those ways cause more harm and further collective pain in the direction of serious systemic, global – and organisational problems. 

Here are a few principle guideposts to reflect upon:

  • Fearless intention (not rhetoric) 

  • Abiding meta awareness (not indulgent ego) 

  • An open mind (not wishful, fantastical thinking) 

  • A courageous heart (fortitude to stand on the interactive battlefield)

  • A microdose or two of faith (practicing, not preaching) 

These are muscles necessary to dance with change.

To do uncomfortable things that yield progress, deliver artistry and land meaningful impact, the Field of Change must be able to meet you from your spaces of vulnerable, exposed and allowing. Only in your spaces of vulnerable, exposed, and allowing can shape, form and creative intelligence become.

This is transformation.

The ever-repeating known (resistance) that you want to grip to is simply your antique, outdated (reptilian) brain whose origin story from 5 billion years ago speaks to you in the language of fear and survival. That brain continues to live in the recesses of your ego mind and still battles to overwrite the more evolutionary brain's (limbic) emerging since the last ~100 million years to serve you and humanity better in the now. This reptilian brain has crafted what you consider “normal” organizational life and leadership.

Yet, anything imagined from your reptilian brain will get you nowhere except extinction on the go forward. What you want to do is liberate your grip of fear, and instead build faith on designing active and mindful risk. You want to trust that worthy inquiry (your beingness individually and collectively under healthy self-examination) will always intersect with creative intelligence (the Change Field’s unending, abundant, flowing capacity) to emerge, produce, and generate potential.

To uproot all the resoundingly entrenched norms to control, complain, deny, and annihilate the Field of Change, you must orient differently. Rather than embracing your feelings and frustrations of being inconvenienced in the face of change (while ironically tasked with leading it) you make conscious, collaborative, and intentional effort. All while practicing rigorous patience. Here, you learn to feel vulnerable and expectant in the Field of Change. 

  • You will be required to create actual space.

  • You will need to reserve personal bandwidth to consider new awarenesses, fresh paradigms, and broader sets of potentials.

  • You have to engage operating models that flex and bend versus ones that crack and screech.

  • You need to rise above your aging belief systems that you exist to oversee and manage coordination and provide permission for people to take action.

  • You are going to need to interrogate your unknown proclivities within that you exist to be a shaper and judger of personalities.

  • Your comfort with being a rainmaker and your co-existing imagination that you are a good manager are going to get challenged.

  • You will be tasked with nurturing your fierce spirit within to hold regularly steady in the forcefield.

  • You will also be asked to stare down and dismantle those outdated and limiting beliefs couched in your systems’ (individual and collective) default habits, lazy narratives, low vibe language choices, and outworn patterns. 

  • You will need to stop shielding yourself with your Title as your free pass for all decisioning, directing, and delivering.

Disintegrating old belief structures and swaying with alternative anchors that will enable your grace and composure amidst the Field of Change are key and fundamental evolutionary requirements.

The future requests a more balanced emotional, energetic, and thought form landscape. And from that landscape you choreograph and advance constructs, breakthroughs, innovations, hope, and joy as active players on
the Field of Change.

This landscape, where you loosen the grip, interact inquisitively with the unknown, navigate by means of best guessing versus ego flexing, and stand willing to prove yourself wrong in service of an ever better vision, strategy, or operating design is the future. Its arrival is now fully and completely upon you. The will and choice is forever available to you.   

To lead and operate effectively in the Field, you must work consciously with 

  • receptivity 

  • chaos 

  • curiosity 

  • courage 

  • fluidity

  • sensing

  • engaging

  • interactivity 

  • imperfection

  • openness

  • ferocity (not meanness)

  • breathing

  • surrendering

  • humbleness

  • individuation


  • truth

  • focus

  • logic 

  • support

  • structure

  • objectivity

  • boundaries 

  • protection

  • conscious action 

  • diplomacy

  • power

  • individuation

  • heart

This Future is a strict departure from the dominant, heroic, aggressive, all-knowing pretense. This Future is decidedly more balanced across feminine and masculine energetics. The signature of this Future is presence. With that comes chaos, emergence, pattern, and multi-dimensionality, facilitated with grace. For remaining relevant, you want to leave behind your one-dimensional approaches, rescue efforts, and sheer muscle. The unfolding Future won't wait so patiently on your cogitation, flattery, and oration. 

The Field of Change requires that you fire up your abilities to work with what you cannot yet see. The Field of Change demands your humility and your allowing. It leverages and rewards holding space for deep and unconditional love (which is altogether different than tolerance or simplistic emotion as you’ve come to know it) grounded in strength, will, and ferocity – intended for good

You activate working within the Field by releasing old habits and building new ones.

You write and repeat new narratives.

You craft alternate words to ensure you remind yourselves continually of the paradigm shift you are steering into.

You adopt timely tools.

You design purposeful rituals and rhythms. 

You master measurable strategic and prioritisation practices.

These applications apply healthy pressure. They root you in future facing versus default, outdated, old ways. They commit and compel you to work with conscious awareness in the Field of Change — and the as of yet known.

They orient you in service of

  • acting authentically,

  • learning constantly,

  • including and belonging consciously,

  • thinking strategically, and

  • strategising dynamically.

When you build into the foundation of this alternative algorithm more effective anchors and awarenesses, they quite conveniently also become the activators of the change to move a system of distributed leadership, cooperation, strategic outcomes, joy, and safety into its future.

They wake you up.

They demand your presence.

They require your skin be in the game.

They change you — and they do the work of steadying you in the field at the same time.

You and they become the means and the change itself. Together, a symbiotic and co-creative toehold. 

When you get into the true work of embodying and learning to work within and lead from the Field of Change, you begin to flow more willingly with its tides. Its tides can feel disorienting, messy, and frustrating at first. Good. Those sensations are simply you learning and evolving in real time.

Getting more used to feeling exposed and vulnerable, being in your agency while together in a collective is this new world paradigm. Leave behind performing and perfectionism — they are of the previous paradigm. The Future demands authentic, real, imperfect, and allowing.

Holding lightly while engaging resonantly are the field's activators and power.

Standing in that realness, imperfection, authenticity, and the exhilaration of learning to be different, yet true, in your same contexts feels. When you crack open your feeling brain and do that as many other feeling brains are cracking open in your various settings, you actually break through a sound barrier. That sound barrier is millennia of disembodied humans prioritizing head over heart, attempting to separate work and life, who you are being versus who you truly are, and overvaluing proof and performance over good sense, grounded intelligence, and emergent design.

This is the bright future of possibility we stand in.

The truth is that you dance around the edges of change to avoid the inevitability and reality that the Field of Change simply is. If breathing, your higher self is fully aware that change is happening. It is just a matter of whether you are surrendering, leveraging, or resisting. The implications, consequences, and loss that come along within the Field of Change are scary to the reptilian brain. That may be a very real sensation, but rarely plays out as a truthful storyline or actual result. The competing incentives for and against change are also very provocative to the reptile’s mind.

Delaying effort or designing change to look wildly complicated takes lots of time. Moving deck chairs around feels like you’re doing something, but is akin to sitting on your sofa scrolling left or right for hours. Believing meaningful change lives anywhere besides that deep abiding well of wisdom inside and from the potential in the Field is denying your and its power.

Learning to master graceful leadership within the Field of Change deserves and often needs a guide and a collective, however the fodder must come from honesty and integrity within you and the multitude of interlocking systems moving about you. They and you prompt and tempt one another all day long to get in there and dance authentically in the Field. Your power to choose high or low, big or small, meaningful or inconsequential, seen or unseen, giving or consuming rings your bell at every turn. You are always choosing whether you respond to its resonance – or not. 

If you believe (or teach others) solutions will come about simply with money, directives, platitudes, scare tactics, overly architected planning, or body count plays, consider yourself called to rewire your leadership for this Future. The way the Field of Change works is that the advancements will manifest and emerge through an elevation and expansion in multiplicity of the micro, intentional, creative, and collaborative moments. Those moments fundamentally surface out of the work of grafting clear visions, dynamic structures, intentional cultures, disciplined practices and committed, flow-based horizontal functioning. 

You are privileged to be in a position to help imagine, solve, advance, and evolve the world’s greatest challenges. You can help realize breakthroughs, and yet imagined innovations. You can model balanced and integrated wholeness. You aren’t where you are coincidentally.

Your personal willing and awake interactivity within the Field makes change manifest in the Field without. Your individual aptitude to muck about in the messiness of creation cultivates your own yellow brick road to your organization’s infinite potential and possibility.

Becoming human artistry, instruments of creation, and wells of innovation as an intentional operating model is the correct reply to this worthy invitation. 

Heed the foghorn.

Do the hard work of choosing the Future.

Learn to lead in the Field of Change.

You’ve got this. x
Editing Credits

Thank you to my friend and collaborator Tim Casasola for his steady and smart red pen on my words.

by Kathryn Maloney M.A. ABS
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