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What might Naomi Klein’s shadows be?

Referring to Caroline Kish’s thesis The Dark Side of Leadership Applied Change Project, (Columbia University, Teachers College, Masters in Change Leadership 2018) where she looks at positive Leadership qualities which may be derailed, with this lens in mind I will look at possible derailment which Klein might suffer from.

Klein is a newly appointed professor of Climate Justice at the University of British Columbia (last year), along with her partner. She is an award-winning author with eight critically acclaimed books. She is the senior correspondent at Intercept, a filmmaker, partner to Avi Lewis (filmmaker) co-founders of leap manifesto, and mother.

With so much going on she must work hard, be dedicated, be motivated. What are the possible dark sides of these strengths? Could she be spreading herself thin, not looking at her own health or her family’s health? Could she be doing everything without sharing tasks or delegating? If she is that way for work might she be that way at home as well? When raising a child, do we need to allow them to learn to do things on their own? These might be some drawbacks Klein and her family might need to overcome. I watched a video of her with Greta Thunberg, she spoke well but seemed a little flustered, thinking she had too many things going on that made it hard to keep juggling life. Keeping motivated is not easy especially when you are doing many things at once. A clear goal can be helpful.

I see Klein as a visionary. She is not afraid to tell it like it is as she illustrates in her book Shock Doctrine, which revealed secrets of corruption and how systems work to their advantage. As a research journalist, her motivation must have changed when she discovered climate change evidence. As a visionary, I feel she has softened her story. This vision is not hers to tell when she is looking to the Indigenous people for direction. This looks like the big picture perspective but If collaboration is needed, this may be difficult as the trust does not exist anymore and it may be a long time before it is recovered or better yet earned. I am not against this vision, everyone should have a voice, everyone should be invited to the table. What are the dark sides of these strengths? Her motivation is connected with her vision, when the vision goes soft so might the motivation. The Leap Manifesto was launched in 2015, written by over 200 people, demanding 15 changes be made for a sustainable future, 50,000 people have signed it. Klein wrote about the process in two of her books. Articles and responses from politicians and others were reported over that next year. I guess things went quiet. They closed this initiative in 2021, no reason is explained. Have we met our goals? Did Klein and Lewis become overwhelmed with new ideas or stress? Are they trying to do it all on their own?

It is hard to think someone you admire might be human. Yes, I am an admirer.


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