Some people are looking to our nation’s leaders to get us out of the mess we are in, waiting for them to take action and show us what we need to do. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. (It’s looking increasingly likely that they won’t!)
Either way we can’t wait for them and avoid the responsibility of taking action for ourselves, for changing our own attitudes and behaviours. We need to redefine leadership: What do we want from leaders? What do we want from ourselves?
Leadership can take many different forms. In our homes and work places we can stand strong. We can start our own organisations and projects, writing and speaking in public, or take on responsibilities in our groups. We can be pioneering, breaking new ground. We can expand our circle of influence into our circle of concern. We can look for opportunities, align ourselves with others who share our concerns and take the initiative. We can forge new pathways of influence.
When we take time to look we can see leaders all around us, people who are stepping into their power, people who are willing to speak out against injustices, people taking charge of their own lives; movers and shakers, activists, writers, campaigners, spokespersons, organisers and the people who keep track of the administration that enables things to happen.
By standing for what we believe in, and being willing to push edges and boundaries, we are taking leadership in our own lives. We don’t need to wait until we know everything or even know the right thing to do. We can act now to speak our truth and step into our power, we can shine our light as brightly as possible and attract followers. We can know that we will meet challenges along the way and trust that support and our own inner resources will come through when we are ready and in need. Leaders are ordinary people who become exceptional through their leadership.
- Activity: Reflections on myself as leader
- Look around you at what role models there are in your own workplace, extended family, and community.
- What qualities do they bring?
- What qualities can I bring to a leadership role?
(excerpt from People and Permaculture, Looby Macnamara 2012 – signed copies available here)
If we were to accept the fact that no-one is going to lead us away from the gathering storm but that we have to all of us, each single one, become the leader and walk towards the storm, trusting that others will follow…
If we can do this – and we can if we choose – then this period of human history will be the time that humanity chooses to honour the gift of life and come of age and it will be a time of great celebration.
[i] Finding Earth, Finding Soul –The Invisible Path To Authentic Leadership; Tim Macartney; 2007