“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
“Be the hero you’ve been waiting for.”
“Find the courage within!”
“Be the change you wish to see in the world…”
How many ways have we heard that sentiment expressed?
And what can that possibly mean at times like this?
We are housebound and socially distant;
wrapped up in an experience we haven’t even begun to fully grasp.
We look eagerly to our “leaders,” hoping for solutions, feeling helpless, and for some, hopeless, and for most, powerless, as we isolate and protect.
But how we respond now — how we, how you and I and our communities, respond — matters now more than ever.
It’s not uncommon for COVID-type experiences to cause bitterness, fear, and a desire to isolate and protect, to turn inward with bitterness instead of outward with compassion. Let us not do that now or especially when this is over. We see the devastation, and these are unprecedented times for sure, with unpredictable outcomes. We all see the fear, the isolation, the illness and the dying. But still — still — let us not fall into bitterness and fear. Let us learn from this how we have also come together.
Let us remember that we belong to one another.
Let us remember the health and wellness of each of us depends upon all of us.
What if COVID is the event that finally gets through to us, and from it we take compassion back into the world and realize that we are globally in this together?
In our companies and organizations, in our communities and families, we are all being called to lead; to step into that human vision of collaboration and compassion. Despite some rhetoric out there, we ARE stronger together. All of us in all nations. And it is time for us to lead.
We are being called to lead; collaboratively, compassionately and collectively. And in doing so, we must help those in positions of leadership to foster the courage to yield power and control so we can achieve a greater success that lasts longer and benefits everyone.
Every audience I ask to define leadership says leadership is everything from inspiration to vision, from collaboration to pulling out the best in us, and none of those attributes are being effectively demonstrated by our global and national leaders. The list of leadership attributes is endless, but things never named by audiences include: position, title, or power. Instead, leadership is always people-focused and largely about connection. Plus, usually before the list is complete someone always gets to their version of: “You know, I don’t know if I can wholly describe leadership, but I can tell you this — when I’m around a real leader, I believe in myself more. I feel more capable, and more things seem possible.” Those things don’t come from position, or titles, or power. They come from people. And here’s the good news:
We are all people.
Can we learn and apply that knowledge?