Are you a spontaneous leader?

July 18th

Spontaneous leadership describes that human quality of being able to respond in the moment in an unplanned manner. Spontaneous leadership arises in environments where everyone is acknowledged for his/her capacity to contribute, and encouraged to take personal responsibility to express their wisdom, creating a ‘leaderful’ organisation or society.

Why unplanned?

This acknowledges the intuitive insights that arise in the moment to be received and expressed. Leadership is having the courage to communicate those insights into the field, without attachment, without ownership and without expectations of necessarily impacting the outcome – only a willingness to unleash that idea into the context and allow for its contribution to the creativity of the process.

Spontaneous leaders live in the powerful point of the present moment, open to receive and willing to hold the space for infinite possibilities to arise.

They acknowledge the contributions of all people in every moment. Spontaneous leaders are conscious co-creators, knowing that everyone holds a piece of the jigsaw, and they create contexts where each person is supported to contribute his/her gifts into the field.

They revel in ambiguity and diversity, and creative, spontaneous synergy.

We are treated to outstanding examples of spontaneous leadership when we witness an exciting football or basketball game. Just like an organisation, these teams have coaches, captains, vice captains and players who hold set positions. Before the game, they will develop their shills and strategies, and rehearse set plays.

However, when they take their place on the field, interacting with their team and the competitors, there will be unpredictable moves in every moment – every single player is aware, following the play, alert to that moment when they can seize the opportunity to forward the play and contribute to a winning outcome – to step into spontaneous leadership.


Carolina Bouten-Pinto has over 25 years combined experience as a manager and diversity consultant in the private, not for profit, government and health sectors, in Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. Her work is based on personal and professional experiences and an ongoing curiosity about what precipitates exclusion. Visit Carolina at