We have been blessed to work alongside of truly great leadership. These thoughts come from the experience of co-creating with our Leaders. As one has often said, “Our customers vote with their legs and their wallets.” It is our constant “opportunity” to deliver the WOW in all our services. This requires great leadership that focuses on action over position. Our greatest success comes as “exceeding expectations” becomes a way of life.
For all of us, this is a time of great accountability and consequences for our actions. I have been seized and shaken by the ways our leaders weave together ancient wisdom with corporate modernity. These are some of the things I have learned.
No greater or lesser thing stands in our trail unprovoked. We must have the courage to face our jobs and accept responsibility for the variables that create our everyday conditions. We must solve our current problems without creating new ones. We must learn to relate to one another with respect and dignity. We must rely on the power inherent in the flow of great forces rather than on personal dominion over others. We must turn our focus toward nurturing rather than fighting, and toward supporting rather than destroying. Gentler forms cannot be held down. They are re-emerging like grass growing through concrete. Our most wonderful gifts must be brought forward as we lead others.
As leaders, we can no longer sit around tables with our mouths full of talk and our hands empty. We can no longer fail to respect each person for their talents and their differences. We must see clearly that each of us face a slightly different direction for our protection and for our amusement and joy. We must come to see that all of life is to be treated with the kind of respect one customarily accords to high ranking officials. We must see that life is a circle and everything in it has a sacred place.
We must re-remember that the heart of us is made to champion and power the dreams of our children and our children’s children. We must again see that the welfare of our young and our elders are of paramount importance, for therein is held all wisdom for our future. We must again lift each other high and revere the ways of peacefulness, harmony, cooperation, and general prosperity. We must learn to understand with our hearts rather than our heads. We must come to value genuine courtesy, willingness to share, egalitarianism, acceptance of all lifestyles, optimism, and equal rights for all. We must learn to act in order that we might see, not that we might be seen. We must learn to be the type of warriors who regard nothing in our lodge too sacred for the giving for the good of the whole. And we must aspire to a leadership style where that which remains in our hearts is the joy of true service and of giving.
We must stop our rationalizing about how unbalancing occurs, and focus on how the balance can again be achieved. We must learn that the recipient of our attention grows in profusion. We must learn to spend our total attention investing in the beauty and talent in all around us.
As leaders in our 21st-Century businesses, we must have a respect so intense for others that it becomes open reverence. This respect extends to ALL. The key to the ninety-nine is in how we treat the ONE. How we treat the one is how we regard the ninety-nine. We must seek to liberate the best in others. We must “follow our own hearts” so that others will rise to great heights as well. Great leaders have a “doer attitude.” It is GO, not WHOA! It’s not fiddling around with blueprints and plans. It’s rolling up our sleeves and actually building the dream. This happens when leadership listens, and others feel heard. In this place of listening, of respect, we all arrive at a deeper appreciation of each other and begin to share in the truth of our common circumstances. This kind of mutual respect and reverence infuses “oomph” into our jobs and our lives.
When you hold a candle close to reverence, you see fondness, deep appreciation, and gratitude. Together we must develop reverence for our mission, our products, our customers, our children, our elders, our family, our teams, and each other. Great organizations have such reverence. The task of this “Now ” style of leadership is to uncover... not to discover talent in the individual. We must not set goals as carrots on a stick in front of us. We must become the goal.
The old style of leadership reveled in performance problems. The leader in our 21st-Century businesses is a scout and a tracker capable of noticing WHAT IS WORKING and being very specific about GROWING IT! We create ways to appreciate and acknowledge others. Our appreciation is sincere. We are excited and fired up with enthusiasm, which takes us farther than talent or skill. We praise freely, publicly, and on the spot.
We master the art of “communication,” a term now too complex to understand without details. Simply stated, "communication is the ebb and flow of information." The quality of communication is always obvious in the result that it gets. If we did not get the result that we were seeking, we must learn to accept the onus of responsibility as the "communicator." It is our responsibility to tap every avenue possible to get the desired result. To this end, we can erase the word "communication" and replace it with RELATIONSHIP! The specifics of sharing information happens best INSIDE QUALITY RELATIONSHIPS. Thus, our greatest opportunity for modeling effective communications is in GROWING QUALITY RELATIONSHIPS. Into these varied relationships we can diversify our style of sharing information to exactly fit the relationship. As leaders, we focus on doing just this: Growing quality relationships with all.
As leaders we have the courage and self-discipline to live by our inner truth. We know our own values and live by them impeccably... and do so openly so that others will emulate us. We endow others with HEART. We literally in-courage others by living with integrity.
True leaders take responsibility for the creation of oneness in the group. We encourage, partake in, and invent new ways to bring people together. We know that “contentment” is the highest form of leadership. We know that our own “state of mind” is more important than all other strategies. We model equanimity; a quality of poise, perspective, peace of mind, discipline, and patience. The great leader is a true optimist. All true leaders are optimists. No exceptions! Optimism is pure power.
Our leaders of the 21st-Century are truly “strong-hearted” and certain. Each has a sureness beyond fact or proof. In order to be certain, each knows to live only their own best lives, and to encourage all others to do the same. We are concerned with vision more than “goals and objectives." We are concerned with integrity. We are stewards of basic values, more than “priorities.” We are givers, not “getters.” We deal in culture and a sense of community, not “organizational form.” We acknowledge and appreciate contributions, more than “evaluate and correct performance.” We establish a presence that makes our influence, guidance, and values felt throughout our facilities and Nation. We work with energy, heart, and spirit, rather than “effort”. Above all else, great leaders follow Spirit and lead as far as they can. Then, when they vanish, they leave a footprint and legacy of love. Yes! I said LOVE. It’s time to bring the “L” word into the very center of our businesses.
May God richly bless each one of our leaders who labor daily to uplift us all. May we all know the Power that is Peace from a job well done. May we bravely, lovingly, pass it on!