On LEADERSHIP: "We did it ourselves"
Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Good leadership creates space, structures and platforms for others to actualize their potential, it empowers, it connects, it nurtures, it liberates!
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“Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say 'We have done this ourselves.”
Over the years this quote by Lao Tzu has become my grounding leadership principle. Good leadership requires and values collaboration, listening, community and an ability to check that ego! In part because good leadership creates space, structures and platforms for others to actualize their potential; it empowers, it connects, it nurtures, it liberates! In order to do this work we have to be able to "know thyself" which I find to be a completely undervalued aspect of leadership.
A huge part of good leadership requires incredible self awareness. My ongoing exploration of this has made me realize how much ego rears its ugly head in everything.
Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (the book I’m holding) was a huge teacher for me on this one. Who are you? What motivates your thinking and decisions? Are you operating from a need to prove dominance or grandeur or importance?
Whenever I’m comparing myself to others or worried about what the next person is doing or feel the need to peacock, I know I’m operating out of ego, particularly because for me, that space feels small and shaky. My big self (in comparison to my small self) is expansive and feels like solid ground and needs no comparison or showboating to bolster itself. Just having this awareness has been crucial in being able to check my self when I need to. Let’s normalize checking ourselves in 2021!
Just this awareness of self begins the process of leading and moving with greater integrity, with care, true altruism and compassion.