I believe that Leadership, or the lack thereof, underlies many if not all of the challenges that we are experiencing in today’s world. But what is Leadership?
Leadership – A 21st Century Concept
According to the dictionary, Leadership is the position or function of a leader. (I hate when dictionaries define a word with the word itself, don’t you?) The definition of a leader: a guiding or directing head, as of an army, movement, or political group.
And I think that is exactly the mistake we are making in our world. Who am I to call myself a leader – I’m not a directing head of anything but my own life!
We are waiting for someone else to lead, someone else to take responsibility for our lives, someone else to judge what’s right or wrong, someone else to fix what’s wrong in the world. While on the one hand, I think that having a centralized government is generally a good thing. Our world is really too complex to work without that, I certainly don’t want to be dealing with paving that big pothole or providing electricity to the city!
On the other hand, I believe that giving over the responsibility for my own judgment, my own authority to someone who lives far away and over whom I have no influence is a mistake.
It fosters corruption. And it gives me a convenient scapegoat for all that doesn’t work in my life. It sets up an environment of shame and blame and empowers a victim mentality. It creates a society that is OK with corporations that steal from the individual as long as the stockholders are making money; with a health care system that takes your money but doesn’t take care of your health; with waste and a pollution which may yet make our planet uninhabitable; with a government that undermines our human rights in the name of security.
All because we’ve given away our leadership.
On an individual level, we don’t learn to trust ourselves. We are taught to trust the authorities in our lives over our own internal guidance from early infancy, whether it’s our parents, our teachers, our religious leaders or our peers. This can create tremendous stress, self-esteem issues, and challenges with addiction and depression, because we feel helpless, a piece of flotsam in a vast sea of conflicting and violent currents. And because we’ve forgotten how truly powerful each and every one of us is.
And it fosters an inability or unwillingness to take responsibility for our own actions, our own outcomes, even our own feelings. But the truth is, taking ownership of our action and our outcomes, being responsible for our feelings – these are skills we can learn. And so I’ve created my mantra, in order to create myself as an authentic leader in each moment, in each day:
I have the opportunity TODAY
To live my life how I intend my life to be
In balance and with consistency
I’ve become passionate about the challenge of personal leadership. How do I create authentic leadership from within myself and how can I empower you, my clients, and my readers to do the same? I believe that we co-create our world in each moment of every day. Join with me on this journey of exploration, personal growth, creation and expansion. So that we can co-create a world that truly works, that empowers life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that gives equal opportunity to each and every one of us.