Leadership is obvious and elusive, simple and complex, easy and tough. It is something we all need in our lives whether we lead mega-companies, are entrepreneurs, stay at home moms or dads, kids in school, prisoners or parole agents.
Question: what if we took the concepts of leadership so seriously that leadership development for everyone became the core of educational curricula starting from kindergarten through the workplace? Would it make a difference? Would the changes lead to a more caring, more creative environment?
The next question is what are the essential aspects that make great leaders great? There are the dark side leaders who enslave and intimidate large segments of the population. There are the light bringers who free and encourage the spark of genius in each of us.
This is a vital dialogue for all of us as we hurl ourselves into a new decade. We need forums to discuss and dissect the essence of what we can do to go beyond the patterns of the past and stand on the shoulders of history rather than repeat it.
Redefining leadership: it is time to go beyond veneration of the individual and the unilateral construct of power upon which society now operates. It is time to dig down into relationships, the realm of inter-individual commitment. Sadly, how we connect with and impact each other has been reduced to second level significance in the quest for “self”, underlined by the fifteen minutes of fame that the present media encourages.
The ever-increasing deterioration of the trustworthiness of relationships is evident in the violence, vandalism, child abuse, drug abuse, and above all the chronic pervading fear of individual and societal exploitation.
Leadership redefined means taking into consideration, first and foremost the the patterns of behavior that have been handed from generation to generation. These patterns become knee-jerk reactions. We respond from behaviors that favor fight, flight, and freeze. This may have been necessary eons ago, yet, it is killing us both physically and emotionally.Continued on the next page