Friday, November 20, 2015
I believe we’re on the edge of a revolution.
I believe leadership can be based on genuine presence, which has the good of society as its guiding mission.
1: Cultivate Genuine Presence
The truth is, whether we remember it or not, we live in our whole body. We inhabit this viscera, this sack of bones and blood and muscle, flesh and air and emotions. This is where we reside, yet we often think that we live only in our heads, in a tiny tunnel of sometimes focused, sometimes blurry vision.
Connecting to genuine presence through awareness of the body allows us to remember that we are far vaster than we think we are. We have a much larger capacity than we think we do.
Presence means something is arising and you are right there with it. It means not being so lost in your anger that you can’t feel the sadness underneath. You are right here with the sadness. It means stubbing your toe and being right here, feeling the pain. Being present means we can walk the razor edge quality of nowness.
In order to connect with vastness, we have to connect with the presence point: the undeniably vivid place in which we are genuinely available. We are nowhere else, thoroughly landed in the space of nowness, and approaching this as a path means we are able to come back to that again and again. We can actually practice this, activating our capacity to embody presence.
From this place of presence, our actions and expressions are free to arise, allowing our expression of leadership to be a communication of that presence.
2: Leadership = Expression of Genuineness
I shy away from the term “authentic leadership” because I think our culture often interprets authentic as meaning: “be who you aren’t” “be more, be better.” Genuine leadership, on the other hand, means: “be who you are!”
Genuineness is based on being in this very moment. This presence allows us to show up exactly as who we are right now - in this body, in this environment. But it is a path. We work to keep showing up and be who we are in relationship to others versus trying to be perfect or trying to be “right”. We do not need to be “really fantastic” based on someone else’s idea of what fantastic is. We simply need to be who we are.
Genuine leadership is quite different from leadership based on conditions of material possession. This quality of leadership often looks shiny and attractive because there’s a display of confidence and poise and good clothing. No doubt there’s some genuineness there, but being based on conditional confidence is extremely limiting. We think we need to have the right amount of money, the right car, the right technology or having enough coffee, enough money and a perceived position of power, and there is intelligence in conditionality. But this is missing the larger view of what is possible and how we can manifest that possibility.
Conditionality is, I dare say, missing the boat on embodiment, genuineness and presence. Conditionality says we can’t be effective unless we have ________ (please fill in the blank). The deep reservoir of unconditional confidence, on the other hand, is not based on a prerequisite. It is based simply on presence, on a sense of primordial okayness. Unconditionality just is, like the sky, like the sun that is always shining. The clouds are material and always changing, but behind them the sun never wavers. And we can totally tap into this. It’s there, existing, not coming from anywhere else or anyone else, and it is up to us to tune in.
When a leader is existing, operating, expressing, communicating and acting from this place of genuine presence, now that’s interesting.
Leadership based on genuine presence is effective: responsible instead of reactive, fluid instead of rigid, available in the midst of chaos instead of fighting with it. Genuine presence makes room for others to be who they are.
Genuineness means anything is possible.