by Adam Zack — April 1, 2020
These days the heroes are medical personnel and first responders, sanitation workers, transportation workers and the teams that keep our grocery stores running. Forget celebrities, athletes, politicians, and business titans. We are down to the necessities to get through Covid-19 and you are the leaders who will get your communities through this. But being a leader who is also a hero comes with great responsibility. You have to provide wise answers and direction to your customers and especially your staff. You need to think of the “what ifs” and have a contingency plan for every scenario. Like I said, it is a great responsibility. The best, most impactful words about leadership I have ever had were given to me a couple years ago at a course called Heart of Leadership by the always thoughtful and wise Amba Gale. I think it’s just the right time to share it with you all.
“For A Leader” by John O’Donohue
May you have the grace and wisdom
to act kindly, learning
to distinguish between what is
personal and what is not.
May you be hospitable to criticism.
May you never put yourself at the center of things.
May you act not from arrogance but out of service.
May you work on yourself,
building up and refining the ways of your mind.
May those who work for you know
you see and respect them.
May you learn to cultivate the art of presence
in order to engage with those who meet you.
When someone fails or disappoints you,
may the graciousness with which you engage
be their stairway to renewal and refinement.
May you treasure the gifts of the mind
through reading and creative thinking
so that you continue as a servant of the frontier
where the new will draw its enrichment from the
old, and may you never become a functionary.
May you know the wisdom of deep listening,
the healing of wholesome words,
the encouragement of the appreciative gaze,
the decorum of held dignity,
the springtime edge of the bleak question.
May you have a mind that loves frontiers
so that you can evoke the bright fields
that lie beyond the view of the regular eye.
May you have good friends
to mirror your blind spots.
May leadership be for you
a true adventure of growth.
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