What is a Leader?
When I explore ideas and beliefs, I usually start by asking myself a question. For this article, I ask myself, “What is a leader?” I delve through diverse thoughts to find what most resonates with my core, but before I get there, I tend to face a common answer that lies on the surface. In this case, it is “an authority.” I say that this is a superficial answer because I cannot help but see hierarchy and power positions as undeveloped and myopic.
Delving deeper into the answer necessitates involving what provides the foundation for this loaded word “leader.” If a leader is set apart or ahead of a crowd, then this group of people helped provide a foundation for the lone leader to learn prevalent paradigms and discern a potentially healthier way of thinking and behaving. When one person speaks up in a confrontational or contrary manner, the new idea is not completely new; it is a measurable difference that synthesizes what was before and can bring more insight into the previous equation. Therefore, the rest of the group is not outside the new perspective, for this paradigm evaluates and includes a measure of what everyone else has contributed for a more accurate reality.
Change is a constant, even if it is just the experience of a new day. Change can bring us into new awareness and embodiment of our deeper essence that transcends limited beliefs. When we become comfortable with experiencing living, flowing energy that reaches us as we reach each other in a reciprocal manner, we realize that we live in a relatively synergetic universe that should not stop living. Life exists in the present with the momentum of forward motion. We are here to live, not go backward into an unchangeable past.
Although we each contain a measure of separation, no man or entity is an island, meaning that we are not truly alone. If being a leader isolates someone and puts him or her on a pedestal, then the context is lost in the dynamic of the fundamental nature of energy. Therefore, I define “leader” as someone (or more people if they do it hand-in-hand) who puts one foot in front of the other to open up greater awareness than what has existed before. This leader walks out of the funnel into its expanded cup, showing the rest of the group that more exists beyond them. Accordingly, the leader sees more of the beyond and knows that she or he is hardly ahead of anyone.
A leader is self-motivated with the will for connection, internally and externally. This leader does not support division with its static, fragmented energy. This leader strives to be consistent within oneself so that the internal energy will naturally flow toward others and facilitate true community. Those that choose to play the power game are the ones who stay or fall away into exclusive cliques and histrionics at the bottom of the capped funnel.
I see a leader as a temporary concept in which someone acts upon a new direction, and when more people build the momentum, any other person can expedite the next step. Leadership is a collaborative effort, but usually the first person who starts the process may be alone for a period of time. For some reason, people do not like change. This planet’s energies are largely volatile, so people choose to cover their eyes and ears and hold onto past patterns that are looped records played over current reality. People settle for stale crumbs, but nourishing food awaits them after they push past prior boundaries. This food reaches to our very soul, where we know that each of us is important and can contribute in a meaningful way toward a lovingly cooperative society.
This seemingly utopian definition is within reach when we stop the hierarchical ideas and actions and understand that just as we are all part of a greater world and universe, what exists within each of us is a similar microcosm. We cannot exist without our internal family of cells, and these cells cannot exist without atoms, and these atoms cannot exist without subatomic particles, and etcetera.
The first step to becoming an effective leader is to learn what it means to be a multifaceted unit unto oneself. Then, the leader works diligently to self-integrate. Self-awareness produces self-trust, which fortifies the message the leader has to share. Lastly, when we become congruent in our own energies, we stand in balance and strength, which exceeds the disconnection inherent in hierarchy. An effective leader shines as a whole self. May we all be leaders and work together.