As we are making ourselves
at home in the third millennium, the “Industrial Age” that has been
with us since the 1700s is coming to an end. The quest for “conquering
the earth” and separating ourselves from nature has been an important
evolutionary step. However, it has also brought with it the possibility of us
following in the footsteps of the dinosaurs, and becoming extinct.
Hopefully, we are now transitioning into a true “New Aeon”,
one of reconnection and creating healthy interdependence. Certainly, the
emergence of the Internet, and increased global awareness may indicate
that we’re ready to reconnect.
“all hands” leadership – not just a few visionaries in charge, but
the fostering of “executive skills” in each individual, no matter
what our intelligence, educational level, or upbringing.
After all, each one of is responsible for our own life – and
building a sustainable future as a common goal is no longer a luxury.
There is both “inner”
and “outer” leadership. Taking
the lead with our inner world is about focusing on what we want,
rather than staying stuck in the problem (what we don’t want).
We look at our results as feedback – rather than as failure.
This also means taking charge of our internal dialogue, and transforming
self-criticism into supporting ourselves to succeed.
“Outer” leadership is
about taking charge of our lives, building our communities and
stewarding the environment. This
starts with acknowledging where we are now.
Then, we can begin to lead in the direction we want to go.
As leaders, we are
committed to bringing forth our potential as individuals, and as a
species. Whether this means
improving the quality of our life and performance, the success and
atmosphere of our company or workplace, or the state of our environment,
true leadership shows a desire for constant improvement, rather than
saying “I just work here…”
Leadership today also
refers to collaborating with and coaching others – rather than leading
the troops into battle as did the kings of the past, or pushing for our
way at all cost and giving orders.
A framework of working together opens up the abundance of each
other as potential resources.
Tao leaders live close to nature.
Their actions flow from the heart.
It has been said that
happiness results from being in harmony with ourselves, and the world
around us. In terms of developing executive skills, this means closing
the gap between our values, principles and goals and our actions
– as well as being in alignment with the bigger picture of the
world around us.
Both modern science and
spiritual traditions such as Taoism teach us about the great
interconnected web of life, and universal energy patterns. And, as we
increase our awareness, rather than acting out of impulse, we can begin
to notice a flow of energy through the day, with events, and in
exchanges between people. We
can harmonize with that current – or we can try to swim against it.
Going “with the flow” in this instance does not equate with
being passive. Rather it refers to being able to assess a situation, and
using the currents to move toward a desired direction.
A great tool in this process is intuition, the practical wisdom
of gut knowledge.