"At no time in my military and business life has the entire world experienced such a critical thirst for leadership. From the terrorist attacks of 9-11, to the Middle East, to declaring war on the "Axis of Evil," to the need for increased integrity in the corporate world, every day represents a great leadership need and opportunity. Coalition building, consensus agreement and individual leadership become more important every day. Although we so often think of the public and private sectors, Dick Cheshire addresses these leadership requirements from the standpoint of the nonprofit or civic sector, as he calls it. Everyone working in the nonprofit world, and more importantly, anyone interested in the entire subject of leadership, must read his book, Leading by Heart.”
—Major General Mitchell J. Waters, United States Marine Corps Reserve (Retired)

In a pioneering book, Leading by Heart: Through the World of Quantum Civics, published by Fithian Press, a new ethic of leadership for the private enterprise of business, the public enterprise of government, and the civic enterprise of nonprofits, has been found in the scientific roots of human creativity and social organization that links them to the basic energy dynamics or “leading force” of the universe.

This is the finding of its author, Dr. Richard D. “Dick” Cheshire, former president and CEO of the University of Tampa, now director of the Institute for Voluntary Leadership, who headed a recently completed five-year study of nonprofit organizational leadership undertaken at Chapman University in Orange, California between 1996 and 2000. His findings show that an adaptation of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 formula can explain the transformation of creative energy into critical mass in human organizations by aligning the chemical components of human DNA with proposed organizational DNA or ODNA counterparts.

These findings indicate that pursuit of the greatest good, for the largest number of people, over the longest period of time, and at the lowest cost, can most effectively lead to prosperity and cooperation among diverse people in most circumstances. These qualities naturally arise when released by the interactions of people working together in strongly supportive environments. They are characterized by the presence of creative information, collaborative participation, a visionary cause, concerted strategy, and connecting resources, which are the leading properties of a proposed new organizational discipline that he refers to as leadership science, or “quantum civics.”

These properties constitute the ODNA of an active working group of people and correspond to the cellular life stream of human DNA and its four chemical bases. Just as DNA is the energizing blueprint of human growth, so is ODNA the energizing blueprint of organizational development since organizations are driven by human choices, Cheshire says.

The five properties of ODNA, he explains, interact with one another according to the E=mc2 formula of energy-mass creativity that applies to all physical systems. These, of course, include human beings at the top of nature’s chain of intelligence. In order to be activated, the E=mc2 energy-mass formula must be adapted to human applications that also take into account the nonphysical influences—such as compassion—that produce emotional responses. This can be done through the use of an equation of leadership, I=am2, in which the impetus of leadership “I” (corresponding to E) is that which transforms the actions of individual people “a” (corresponding to m) into the momentum of a unified group “m2” (corresponding to c2).

Impetus consists of the creative energy of motivated people. Action includes their collaborative participation applied to a concerted strategy they have adopted. Momentum is produced by the interaction of the visionary cause they have embraced and the connecting resources it attracts. In the right conditions, these interactions produce spontaneous responses, for example, from crowds in a stadium to the performance of athletes, or from crowds in a theater to performances by actors. They are also what produce massive global response to such events as the terrorist attacks of 9-11 or mobilize grassroots movements such as for human rights.

Measurement of the ODNA interactions through the I=am2 equation can provide useful assessments of leadership effectiveness in organizations. These leadership assessments reflect ethical conditions that color the conduct of people in groups whether they are employees, voters, or citizen volunteers. Awareness of ethical parameters enables increased focus on the actions necessary to produce momentum.

People are more likely, Cheshire says, to take the ethically appropriate voluntary action if they can see it leading to mutual success. In this context, success is more likely to be seen in terms of the greater good it can do for more people as it strives to do so over longer periods of time using more efficient ways of getting things done.

Such ethical behavior of people who are members of active groups leads to what Cheshire calls “moral pragmatism” in that the focus becomes what works for the people involved as well as for the people who are affected but who may not be involved. Strategic thinking works more effectively through competitive impulses that are facilitated by ethical values.

The resulting payoffs reflect closer relationships with better connections to the desired resources whether these are funds to be raised, profits to be made, or votes to be counted. Widespread use of the proposed new ethic, Cheshire believes, will help resolve what could be the major problem of the 21st century: how to get the diverse people of our increasingly interdependent world to work together on the pressing issues facing all humanity both globally and locally.

There are two broadly surprising implications of these findings, Cheshire indicates. One is that the so-called nonprofit third sector becomes the first or civic sector of our society as the source of human energy and intelligence upon which business draws all its customers and government finds all its constituents. It no longer makes sense to see it as the third or last sector that gets the leftovers of profit or power, he reasons.

The other is that leading the voluntary action of nonprofit supporters can now be seen as leadership in its highest form, the model to be emulated in business and political affairs. Ethical conduct in each sector and all levels of society can be practiced by using the same principles and references. In this way, a path can be seen that leads toward, rather than away from, a global unity of economic, political, and ethical values.

Richard D. "Dick" Cheshire, Ph.D. is director of the Institute for Voluntary Leadership, a group of his former students who are dedicated to the education and training of aspiring leaders able to grow dynamic organizations. He has served as president of the University of Tampa, executive director of the Shakespeare Globe Centre of North America, president of the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, and chief development officer of the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Chapman University, Colgate University, Dickinson College, and Drew University. He has served as a consultant or board member with international, national, state, and local nonprofits. When he retired in 2000, he had helped lead campaigns that raised the equivalent of a half billion dollars for the institutions he served.

Leading By Heart
Through the World of Quantum Civics
Richard D. Cheshire, Ph.D.
ISBN 1-56474-411-6
264 pages, paperback, $15.95

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