Leadership; probably the queen of all buzzwords. There is so much literature around leadership; thousands of books, research, articles, talks and so on. If you want to be a leader and develop this strength, you are spoilt for choice.
Yet, you know what? Despite all this knowledge available on leadership, I feel a lack of leaders in the world right now.
Where are they?
The world is going through a rough time, and I’m not talking only about this pandemic. Humanity is facing massive issues and challenges from climate change to human rights and many others.
Where are our leaders?
I can see a few inspiring examples here and there, but globally I feel a huge void in leadership. It looks like we have engineered all aspect of leadership, we know what a leader should be and not be, do and not do, say and not say. However, when it comes to reality, we struggle to transform that knowledge in wisdom. And I say we and not them deliberately, because we are all in this, me first. Leaders don’t come from another planet, they are not cut from a different cloth.
They are us.
So, if I want different leaders, I need to change first.
And maybe, this is what leadership is all about.
Feeling 100% responsible for creating the future I want.
I wasn’t expecting to see “improvement” among the strengths that a person can have. In the cards I’m using, a person with such strength is described as someone who expects everything to meet high standards. Someone who does not tend to accept the way things are usually done, but instead get thrilled from seeing how you can make things better or more effective. To me, it looks more like a curse than a gift. I guess that means this strength is not in my toolbox. However, I can see how this can be an invaluable attitude to have. I know a few people who are continually seeking ways to improve things, and they are precious because they keep moving the needle forward. It’s thanks to people who are not content with the status quo that we make progress at all levels, from our organizations to humanity as a whole. Yet, I feel that this strength, if left unchecked, can lead to a lot of stress and burn someone down. That’s why I think that improvement can unleash all its potential when combined with gratitude.
This an extraordinary virtue; one through which the human being recognizes his own limits, escaping from any form of arrogance or oppression. To me, humility is the ability to acknowledge and embrace my own humanness, with all its imperfections and beauty. When I do that, I release the judgment on my self and others, I am more open to learning and less stressed by my own mistakes. However, as many strengths, also humility can become a hinder if left unchecked. Many times I used humility as a way to hide, fearful of my own potential. As if shining of my own light was a fault. But I know we can shine and be humble at the same time. We can recognize that we are a speck of dust in the universe, and at the same time, each human being holds the whole universe within.
To be honest, I never thought of harmony as a strength someone can have. I’ve always seen it as something that ensues when different parts combine in a way that creates beauty.
Parts that can be musical notes played by many instruments, various ideas and feelings shared among people, visual elements and colours in a painting or different parts of my self.
When those parts combine creating something pleasing and peaceful, I experience harmony.
However, I can see also harmony as being a strength.
Sure, separate parts can fit together by themselves to create harmony, but most of the time you need someone who can see it before it exists and find a way to combine all those pieces to create beauty.
So, I would say that for me, harmony is the ability to perceive everything you heard, see or sense as a piece of something beautiful.
“Music is all around us, all you have to do is listen.”
What a beautiful and powerful word. I already wrote about the difference between blame and responsibility and how the later is a crucial ingredient of freedom. For many years I perceived responsibility as something heavy; a weight placed on my shoulders by others or myself. Then I’ve learned that it is an expression of love. When I love something or someone, I make myself available to help. In this morning meditation, however, I realised that for me, it is a lot easier to feel responsible for others or for the external world than for my inner one. It may well be an ego thing; a way to show the world that I am a responsible guy. But what about my own feelings, needs, dreams and ideas? Who, if not me, should be responsible for them? Too often, I shy away from my responsibilities towards myself. It is time to look inward and take full responsibility for what’s going in there.