Thoughts on Leadership
(Note: I found these discussions in my files and thought you would enjoy them, especially at these times when we are all stepping up to greater personal power and responsibility.)
Leadership is Not for Everyone
Leadership is not for everyone because you must be a leader 100% of the time.
Here is a useful analogy: I’m a gardener. My garden depends on me to water it, pull weeds and not step on the plants. I can water it well all the time, pull all the weeds, and talk nicely to the shoots. But if I’m having a bad day and I go out and stomp on the plants— even if my tirade only lasts five minutes out of the whole summer— my garden is devastated. Sure, the strongest plants—the ones I didn’t totally destroy, will be able to repair themselves. But even if I keep watering and weeding them, they’ll never, ever be what they could have been. And of course, the weaker plants won’t survive at all.
I can lament, repent, apologize but the living things I hurt will always show signs of damage. When you do something that hurts another, an apology doesn’t cure the damage, it only keeps it from getting worse.
Leaders create leaders. It’s impossible to manage people into being leaders. When you show up in the power of your unique essence energy—that creates a magnetic space in which others lift to their highest essence. Leaders have a resonance and charisma that create leaders in their wake.
Power and Authority
Some organizations—organized religion, large companies, governments— hold their authority because they make the house rules. However, they lose their authority when they don’t listen to the people. By not listening, such organizations also lose the next higher lever of power—that of influence. What is sad is that many of our large organizations appear to be incapable of responding differently.
When authority doesn’t respond to the people, the people will eventually pull back their power, and leave the game altogether. For example, I was visiting a friend in St. Petersburg, Russia, I learned that nearly all educated and successful Russians keep their savings in U.S. dollars locked in cupboards. They’ll only put up with currency devaluations and unfair taxation so long before they completely pull out of the legal money markets. Something else will fill the void and there is no going back.
Here is another example. In England Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles have authoritative power. Princess Diana had influence. People give the power to the influencer to influence them. There is nothing authoritative power can do in the face of true influence.
There can be incredible change when authority and influence reside together. We want our authorities to have the vision and human connection of an influencer. Martin Luther King, Gandhi… were influencers.
Authoritative power is based on fear. It lasts as long as people transfer their power to what they fear. No matter what, power comes from the people. Authoritative power can also be based on the culture or tradition—it is a habit to give power to the king, the boss, the chief.
Fear is the transfer of power to what you fear.
Darkness: The darkness and shadows we see in the world only seem darker because the overall light is brighter. On a cloudy day the shadows don’t seem as dark as on a bright day.
The personal quality of honor—honoring another— is the key to ending conflict and war. It is more effective than the idea of peace, because honor is experienced personally—one-to-one, while peace generally isn’t experienced as individuals.
We must not only have a clear vision of the future, we must cut the past, so we don’t drag it into the future.