Authentic Leadership in Action

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A successful leader is not expected to do it all on his own. He is expected to delegate responsibility and to be able to take counsel. Indeed, success is often achieved as a result of the leader’s ability and willingness to take advice.

The responsible exercising of leadership then includes the ability to take counsel, discern which counsel is appropriate to the issue and which is not, to construct a choice, and then to make a decision on the issue.

Good leaders may have an array of advisors of varying knowledge, experience and capacity who are able to advise on the many different parameters involved in the choice the leader has to make. It does not serve the leader to be surrounded by a group of “yes-men.” It will serve the leader and the community he is leading to have within the group of advisors people who may argue against his ideas, as well as those who are generally supportive of those ideas. The advisors respect the fact that it is the person in the role of leader who ultimately makes the final choice.

The Cuban missile crisis was an example of such leadership in action.

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We Are All Born for Leadership

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All of us are born with inherent leadership ability. This does not mean that every single one of us is born to be president, prime minister or monarch, but that we each possess the ability for self-government. Leadership is the ability to make the choices and decisions necessary for the welfare and well-being of the community leadership governs.

To make such choices assumes the leader is able to be present to the needs of the community, which means being caring, having compassion, as well as the curiosity and interest to know, learn and understand more about the individual and collective members, to hear their needs, and to be prepared to respond to those needs. Continue reading

How to Invite Deep, Satisfying Moments of Intimacy into Your Relationships

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The intimacy I have towards myself creates an intimacy with the person, object or event I am present to.

Being singularly present to someone or something is to enter through the door of intimacy. If I am present to you and only you, I am also aware of all that is taking place around me, but I am not invested in it. The intimacy born out of Singular Attention opens the heart to the person, the situation, or event we are present to, creating a deep feeling of appreciation of the external experience. (Read: What is Singular Attention?)

I recall my brother Gary watching his eight year-old son running around the garden chasing a soccer ball. There was a serene, contented smile on Gary’s face, a slight tearing in his eyes, an air of pride about him. You could see that in that moment he was in full appreciation of the gift of having a son. Singular Attention only lasted a few minutes for Gary because his wife called for him in the next room and he had to give his attention over to her. But in those short moments of intimacy with his son, though nothing was being said – Gary’s heart opened. Continue reading

Being Present – As Within, So Without

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Singular Attention produces deeper states of presence than Divided Attention. (Read: What is Singular Attention and Divided Attention?)

Singular Attention can lead to the satisfying experiences of inhabiting your body and feeling grounded, feeling comfortable in your own skin, that you are in charge of your life, of moments of profound stillness, to times of intimacy.

Singular Attention is being present and aware of internal and external experience. It is being present and aware of ourselves, while, at the same time, being aware of what is taking place around us. Being present to ourselves generates the awareness of the world outside of us. Awareness of me generates awareness of you. In fact, the extent of awareness within is matched by the awareness without. Continue reading