Tyson explains hierarchical leadership structures can be useful - but only in periods of homeostasis, of stability.
“[Hierarchy is] only productive when you don't have to pivot, you don't have to move, you don't have to change,” he says. “But if you have a culture that's lasting longer, then that's a culture constantly in flux because you've got to move with the land.”
Tyson says although there are examples of hierarchy in Indigenous leadership models, these are often emergent in context and usually only temporary.
“It’s better to have a broad pool of potential authority or leadership and allow temporary hierarchies to spark and emerge in the right moments. It's more like responsive leadership to shifting context.”
I was also interested to ask Tyson about the concept of collective power and everyone having a voice. He explained that in his culture, the wisdom is in the aggregate and we need to truly understand what it means to have a voice and to listen.
“I think a lot of people feel voiceless and unheard unless their narrative is coming out on top. It's a very different thing to move into a group culture where everybody's voice is part of the aggregate and there isn't a dominant narrative,” he says.
“The trick of leadership is to get people into a situation where there they are satisfied with their contribution to the collective understanding of the group and the direction of the flock.”
You can listen to our whole conversation by clicking on the video above.
Tammy Medard is Managing Director of Institutional Banking, Australia at ANZ
This conversation was filmed as part of ANZ’s Leadership Conference