There are many individuals of influence walking the streets, sitting in boardrooms, enacting legislation, teaching our children or interacting within culture in a multitude of ways. Many of these leaders are wearing masks hiding various types of prejudice.
Every leader has survived seasons of life when they have invested large amounts of energy with small rates of return. It is in those seasons that many grow discouraged and believe “this is just the way it is” or they give up completely. There is another group of leaders, however, who continue to invest unwaveringly as they move into a momentum that generates a large rate of return with much less effort. This is often referred to as the tipping point.
My life was negatively affected for many years because of a shame-filled false identity. I could not see my own value or any meaningful contribution that I could offer to the world. These thoughts and beliefs produced corresponding actions which sabotaged my potential and restricted my ability to advance.
I would love to be four inches taller! I mean, my seven-year-old grandson is almost as tall as me! I would be so happy to have the beauty and body I enjoyed when I was 21 so I wouldn’t have to “spackle, prime and paint” my face and cover the gray in my chemically-dependent hair. Oh, how I would love to time-travel to my past with my present understanding, go through the doors that my shame and fears kept me from, and refuse to do the things that were seeded from the pressure of people
Leadership is conceived from intrinsic vision and purpose-driven motivation that influences others to partner together. I have never lacked in inspired vision or the willingness to pay the price to accomplish it. However, I have never embarked on a journey that was absent of conflict, surprises or setbacks. Growth and change inevitably bring conflict. Conflict invites emotional responses that could either sabotage or empower any worthwhile endeavor.
As much as we try to escape it, conflict is a part of life. It is connected to every journey we undertake and every relationship that we will have. The beautiful flipside is that we can actually profit from conflict if we utilize it as a resource to catapult us forward for personal, relational and corporate growth. I personally have learned so much from seasons of conflict because my decision was to become better instead of bitter and build positive memory out of negative circumstances.
Every leader recognizes the necessity to maintain a focused determination and an intrinsic motivation to reach, maintain, and advance their goals. In a picture-perfect world we would move forward unhindered always growing and succeeding. The fact is, however, that the world is not perfect and neither are we. It’s often hard to reconcile this internally knowing that there are doors waiting to open, opportunities to explore and people and societies to impact for good.
Every pure-hearted leader wants to make a difference and bring societal change. When your leadership is courageously sourced by a higher purpose to make a difference, your central core finds an unparalleled expression. When you’re an eyewitness to positive change, small or large, you become aware that your life example and daily investments make an honest difference.
The age old question of “Who am I?” continues to be uncharted territory even to the most cognizant. The depth of intelligence and the untapped treasure within continues to amaze and delight the most self-aware explorer. Discovering your internal beauty is a lifelong journey bringing courage to the heart to continue to sail amidst the stormy seas of leadership.
Success is not defined by the amount of money we make, where we live or the power to skillfully manipulate the circumstances of life. Success cannot be quantified for it touches the depth of who we are through our highest and best contributions. The boundaries of success reach beyond self-satisfaction as we leave our mark on humanity. Success provides genuine wealth that affords us the liberty to accelerate justice on the earth—just by being who we are!
“Action and speech conceived from inflated emotion will result in actions and speech that you’ll undoubtedly regret.”
Every person faces thoughts and emotions that are fearful or hurtful. In these difficult moments, self-governance will set you apart as a leader. In a world where many decisions are made out of emotions, you can model the way as you lead with wisdom.