As put forth by Moliere “One should examine oneself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.” The hypocrisy we see in our society today is difficult to reconcile. From racism to politics, religion and business hypocrisy seems to go unchecked with an unwillingness to examine oneself or listen to alternative positions or ideas.
Is this born of arrogance? Fear? The desperate need to be heard and acknowledged in some manner? Perhaps all of these contribute in some way, yet to step back from this we must be willing to set aside these self-serving tendencies and begin to see an outcome beyond current problems, one that drives transformation. This is what leadership is about.
Not the leadership that boasts of “success” or “achievement”; but the leadership that embraces purpose above self-service. Not the leadership that is concerned with the next quarter or election, a personal agenda or parachute, but leadership that garners respect and encourages change by being inner directed and other focused. Leadership that consistently models the transformation they seek, understanding that it’s their behavior – their presence, openness, compassion and service that will bring about positive change.
Our current leadership often fails us by responding to our self-interests, increasing the chances that they and theirs will get to continue to meet their own self-interests. We need our leaders to have the courage to do what is right in spite of personal consequences. Those who will seek and listen to wise council, have and share a vision, exhibit humility yet strength of purpose.
Where does this kind of strength come from – how will the leaders of today and tomorrow cultivate the inner strength and direction necessary to lead effectively? While competencies and skills will always play a part in the ability to lead others, its “purpose” that will bring about change and capture the hearts and minds of others. That purpose must be greater that the individual, group or organization – that purpose must be one of service.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Interested in finding out more about “purpose” – your purpose? Start by defining your personal mission statement. A personal mission statement is a short statement that defines your purpose in life. The statement details who you are and who you want to become. It acts as a solid foundation upon which you can build your entire life. The statement will help guide all your actions and helps steer everything you do in the right direction. Download “Authentic Presence” and utilize the guide and template for your mission statement in Chapter 5, along with other resources to help you lead a life of purpose.