November 26, 2004
Vol. 1, No. 47

Published Weekly on Fridays
By Leadership University

A Message from the Founder

Identities, Boundaries and Attractors in

One of the most exciting things I like to talk to
leaders about is the design of leadership systems.
When I discuss these design parameters, I consider
identities, boundaries and attractors. Let me see
if I can frame those in a way that makes some
sense and adds some value to your understanding of
leadership design.


Identities can be described as the elements of
leadership which forge our assumptions and beliefs
about how the world, life, or our business works,
the vision we have that utilized the models; the
values involved in the identity and the principles
we invoke to decide about things as situations
constantly call us to action.

These identities are always in play and what's
more, they are in flux across context and that's
where boundaries come in.


Boundaries are the edges of chaos that are not
definable by one identity and cause leadership
great consternation. For instance, if in one
context, I have a particular identity, say working
with my executive leadership team and then I
switch context and work with my largest customer
group, the boundary between representing my
executive leadership team and working with a
customer becomes often chaotic. It seeks to
actually "emerge" a new identity. In this boundary
emergence, I find myself not really working from
the identity of my team, nor from the identity of
a customer service representative, but forming a
new identity that takes into consideration a new
set of rules, a new way of working, a new set of
values, that may contain some of the original
identities that merged, but distinctly a different

Boundaries often keep us working from a set of
mental models that make it difficult for us to be
resilient. In other words, we may find it
difficult to either be a representative of the
customer or of the team, we feel like we're in no
person's land because neither identity works when
you cross the boundary of the identity. This
brings us to the value of attractors.


Before I jump into attractors, let me borrow
something from Sheldrake which has at its topic
morphic fields, which in most cases I believe to
be a meta-attractor of sorts:

[Morphic fields] are probabilistic in the way they
work, they're within and around the systems they
organize. They have attractors in them. You can
model many of their properties in terms of
attractors, things which draw the system towards a
particular form or goal or end state or end cycle
or end structure. The morphic resonance is
non-local in the sense that I'm suggesting that
some of their systems come in from another one's
cross-space or turn. The fields organize systems
in a nested hierarchical way...

Sometimes watching flocks of birds flying in the
sky and seeing the way they all turn together, it
was almost as if I could see a field around

It's interesting to read Sheldrake for sure, but
let's take it back to attractors:

Attractors are things which draw the system
towards a particular form or goal or end state or
end cycle or end structure.

The reason attractors are important to leadership
is because we can't always lead out of a single
identity, no matter how strategic it is and how
much clarity we have. In fact, or what I that leadership itself is a
morphic field or meta-attractor and what we create
through a combinatorial approach, or what I call a
concilient approach is a way to operate in
ambiguity, yet be clear about what we are there
for and what is it that attracts us and guides our
decision making as a leader.

>From this standpoint, the attractor in my example
might be "top-line growth" or "quality" or perhaps
"sustainability." I could create these as values
in my identity, in the identity of the company,
even write these on cards for employees to carry
around. However, unless these attractors were
present in everything that I did, all the
decisions I made, all the people we hired, etc.,
we would sub-optimize the leadership. The
attractors are those issues which draw on the
identity to keep it stable over time, across
boundaries and even more so, to give it appeal for

Here's my final example and then I'll let you
think about it some.

Attractors often exist independent of an identity
and are without boundaries first of all. That's
why they are so important to leadership. That's
why as an outsider with your "attractor lens" on,
you can spot them in an organization, a client or
even a community. Something that provides a
gravitational field, so to speak, or creates a
morphic field as Sheldrake suggests, that compels
an end state, but not the end.

In other words, an attractor keeps on attracting,
versus a goal that is satisfied, updated and
replaced by yet another goal. It's great to have
goals, but noticing the attractors are what allow
the work to be done across identities, across
boundaries and in concert with the "field." No,
this is not a "build it and they will come type of
field"; this may represent either the best in us
or the worst in us...thinking makes it so, as
Shakespeare would explain.

So, what do you do with this "stuff?"

Discover the identities and their differences,
disclose them, accept them and then identify where
the boundaries reach chaos or the edge of
identity. Then look for attractors that can span
those forces to compel others to participate, no
matter how differently or diverse their identity
seems to be, no matter what boundaries seem to be
in place.

This ties in with Jack Welch's concept of
boundarylessness on a more practical plane, and
opens the door in my view to understanding how
leadership itself becomes a morphic field…like the
flock of birds, all seeming to turn at once, to
meet the challenges presented by conditions that

This form of leadership engagement is key to
reaching enhanced levels of resilience and
hopefully, identities, boundaries and attractors
that can become part of that equation for your
leadership over time.

To comment on this and other articles on
leadership, please visit my blog at

Mike R Jay, Founder

PS: Mike has a new book: "CPR for the Soul:
Creating Personal Resilience By Design" being
published soon. A pre-publishing offer for the
digital version is available here:

LeadU Classes
Register today to reserve your place

**LeadU Lifers, please go to to register for
classes.  Use the username and password you
received when you registered.

If you have not joined LeadU and wish to attend
classes a la carte, click on the link to submit
your payment.


Master Leadership Coaching System
2 Sections
Tuesdays at 7:45 p.m. ET
Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. ET

This program is open to graduates of COACH2 who
have entered Leadership University. It is a
program based on the accumulation of points over a
period of 1 year. Points are earned through
attending classes, working as a coach, person
being coached and observer in demonstrations,
leading breakout sessions as a facilitator and
leading COACH2 classes. A retreat is required to
graduate form this program. Participants work
directly with the founder of B\Coach and
Leadership University, Mike R Jay, a Master
Business Coach with more than 10,000 coaching

NOTE:  This class is only open to participants who
have graduated from the Coach2 program.  LeadU
members please register at

If you are a Coach2 Graduate and not a member of
LeadU you can join here:

CoachMBA 5-1
Lead by Mike Jay
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
3:00 p.m. ET, 13 weeks

COACHMBA consists of a 13 week program of 1 hour
class meetings over the phone with a needs analysis, 
a developmental map and the completion of 10
modules in our Management & Leadership Training
System. The modules available in this system as well 
as an overview of the system are located here: 

The required retreat experience can be combined with 
COACH2 or MLCS. The goal of this program is to train
and provide for sale a 35 module system of
elearning and face to face training for graduates 
to both experience and provide to clients. The
program when provided to clients is commissionable
and generates additional revenue for training and 
development coaching.

There is no prerequisite for this program.

Register Here:

C L A S S E S : November 29 – December 5

In Business
Lead By Ben Botes with Lynne Hunt
Monday, November 29, 2004
10:00 AM EST 1 hour

Starting and running your own business is an
exciting challenge and can be financially and
professionally rewarding.  The most successful
businesses are those run by people who have taken
the time to plan their business, rationalize their
reasons for starting it and who have conducted
research and sought advice.  There are very few
legal 'get rich quick' schemes and the success of
a business correlates directly to the efforts put
in by the small business owner.  Time spent
planning and learning at pre-start up stage can
maximize your effectiveness once your business is
up and running.



Lead By Ben Botes with Lynne Hunt
Monday, November 29, 2004
12:00 PM EST 1 hour

Research shows that Small Business owners and
managers who undertake a comprehensive, planned
approach to starting and building a business are
more than twice as likely to succeed as those who
don't.  This step by step 'how to' will guide you
through the major stages to enable you to start
your business professionally and grow your
business successfully.  The following points will
be covered:

1.  How to adopt a planned approach to starting
out in business
2.  How to know if you have the skills and
knowledge to make it work - and where can you get
3.  How to know if your business is set up legally
4.  How to plan the money
5.  How to get the customers - and keep them!



Importance of Doing So
Lead By Lynne Hunt and Ben Botes
Monday, November 29, 2004
2:00 PM EST 1 hour

You've had a great idea and want to turn it into a
business.  You've conducted research that says
that your idea is viable.  Now you need to bring
it all together in a clear and ordered plan that
you can use as a working
guide to the start up and future success of your
business.  Key points this class will offer

1.  What are the most important reasons for
writing a business plan
2.  Is one plan enough?
3.  Who should do the Plan?
4.  What should be in the plan?
5.  How should it be presented?



C L A S S E S : December 6 – 12, 2004

USING THE SIX Most Important Internet Marketing
Tools (free)
Lead by Jinger Jarrett and Ben Botes
Monday, December 6, 2004
4:00 PM EST 1 hour

Although there are many methods for promoting your
business online, some
techniques are much more effective than others.

There are six techniques that are highly
effective, not only in building your
content and link strategies for the search
engines, but also as a way to
promote your business. By implementing these six
strategies, you can get more
traffic to your business, as well as raising your
standings in the search
engines. The class will cover:

Using Blogs
Using Forums
Using Articles
Using Ebooks
Using Special Reports
Using Newsletters

Plus other useful resources.



($29)  NEW DATE!
Lead by Richard Freis
Monday December 6, 2004
7:30 PM EST 1.5 hours

Alexander the Great is again at the center of
attention, with Oliver Stone's blockbuster film
due to be released for the Thanksgiving weekend.
This vivid slide-lecture is your chance to learn
the truth about the man behind the movie. It will
examine Alexander's reshaping of civilization on
three continents before his death at 33 and his
remarkably accelerated and many-sided development
into a rarely equaled array of model leadership



We are planning our 2005 schedule and we want you. 
If you have something to teach, now's the time to
get it on the schedule for the 2005.  LeadU
members get free listings in LeadU News.  For even
more exposure, list your class on
as well.


If you are not a member and wish to take these
classes you may purchase them independently or pay
$1,497 to purchase the "Leadership Development
System" which includes all these and future
classes developed through the LeadU Undergraduate
Program. The $1,497 fee will be for undergraduate
courses ONLY.  The development of the curriculum
is ongoing and loaded with classes in several of
the schools.  Payment plans available.

Leadership University is open for enrollment to
the public at this time. Information is located at

We look forward to your participation in LeadU!

The LeadU Team


Payment plan available.

B\Coaches join here:

All others:

Only those who have joined LeadU will be able to
make referrals and earn $250 in commission for
each one.

 Copyright 2004. Leadership University, All
Rights Reserved.  This information may not be
distributed, stored, reproduced, copied or
referenced without specific written permission of
Leadership University.


Leadership University makes no claims to the
efficacy of this product, assumes no
responsibility for its use and reserves the right
to change, modify, adapt or remove anything from
the program for future sales.

Join our mailing list here.