I’ve been thinking a lot lately about leadership...... and power..... and how all the components of being a great leader can synergize within us to shape our impact in the world. For more than 15 years, I’ve found the world of innovation, human rights policy, and social impact to be full of leaders with ambitious goals, grand achievements, the best of intentions, and yet...... incredibly frustrating beliefs about their right to power and authority and the blind spots that emerge from leading within that belief system. The belief is: “my power comes from what *I* do, how well *I* do it, and how many people follow *my* lead. It is easy to get trapped in our ego when we rise to the top and feel compelled to fulfill expectations and provide total direction for others. Leaders often get there and believe their power is primarily derived from personal identity and achievement, a carefully cultivated presence, and total control over decisions. And, our society is largely built on this very belief system. (So, they aren’t entirely wrong). However, for those leaders who are emerging as impact entrepreneurs, creative leaders, organizers of social movements, world changers, or simply GREAT parents, you HAVE to subvert this belief system and lead differently. What the world really needs are leaders who SEE and value the voices and the greatness of the people they lead. A truly great leader is one who sees the greatness in others, inspiring and empowering more leaders to emerge rather than requiring compliance and enforcing obedience✨We truly are what we see ✨Our identity, our presence, our power in all of our life roles - are a reflection of what we see, or what we allow and empower ourselves to see in others 🌈
2317 minutes ago
We need leaders who SEE with their eyes and their ears 👂🏻listening deeply with empathy 🖤and humility 🙏🏼who lead their organizations, communities, families, states, and nations with open minds 🧠 and hearts 💕 we need leaders who SEE the value of sustainability ☀️ peace ✌🏼 and justice 🌈over profit 💵 and individual power 👊🏼 We need leaders who SEE the value of those they lead and empower us to put our own unique greatness to use in our respective spheres of influence ✨But, it goes both ways. No matter your social status or work position, we are ALL called to be leaders of something. Whether you are a parent, a neighbor, a CEO, a President, a mid-level manager, an assistant, a teacher, a minister, a tween or teen, a coder, a college student, a prostitute, a handyman, the Pope, or the guys choosing to live in a tent a few blocks from my house, you need to step up and see your own value and then offer your best self to the world around you...... in your home, your school, your community, your company, your country, your kids’ activities... whatever and wherever you are connected. It is true that we need leaders who are open-minded, creative, courageous, smart, and compassionate, but that won’t happen until ‘we the people’ care enough about cultivating a better world that we put ourselves on the line and take responsibility for ourselves and each other. What do you see when you look into the eyes of an ‘other’ - into the world around you as well as beyond your physical boundaries? What do you see in your children, the people you lead, or those who lead you? In yourself? We are what we see 👀
This last one is for parents, educators, and the politicians who make decisions about education systems. What do you SEE in the children around you? How does that influence your parenting, teaching, or policy making? The leader we become for our children is largely based on what we see when we look into them - into their hearts, their souls, their minds, their dreams, and their talents. I look into my kids and your kids and the kids I meet all over the world and I see hope and potential. My friends, WE NEED TO RAISE GREAT LEADERS. We need to raise and educate this generation of youth to SEE their own value - respecting themselves and the world enough to know when to peacefully resist and question authority AND equip and empower them with the knowledge and skills to do it well. We need to raise them to be their best selves, to cultivate their talents, to embrace failure, to chase their dreams, and to live their truth. We need to raise: global citizens 🌍 🌎 🌏 cultural creatives 🎭 critical thinkers 🧠 who are kind, compassionate, courageous, resilient, and ambitious men and women with integrity and confidence. Transform education from the ground up in a way that raises GREAT LEADERS and none of these world-changing conversations will even be necessary anymore.