Leadership Is About Authenticity Not Technique

BY ED ROBINSON

When you lead people it is important to be true to who you are as a person. Employees will quickly pick up on it if you try to be something you are not. There is no perfect personality profile of a leader despite what many books of the topic would like to portray. I’ve seen all types of individuals thrive under the mantle of leadership. I’ve also seen others who look impressive on paper struggle when they attempt to step up and lead. When you are true to yourself you are more likely to be effective in whatever you do.

Leadership is not about technique. It is about passion, focus, commitment, and persistence.

You can’t fake passion, at least not for not any extended period of time. There needs to be something you tap into that motivates besides personal gratification to accomplish anything important. As the saying goes, if the “Why” is big enough, the “How” doesn’t matter.

Focus is imperative if you want to lead others. You need to know where you are going and the best route to get there. People need a sense of destination and direction. Great leaders don’t make it up as they go along. They follow a clear path to success with a laser like focus.

Commitment is critical if you want to achieve anything of consequence. You can never be partially committed to making a difference or being truly successful. There will be multiple distractions and temptations that will try to derail your progress. You must want it badly enough to stay the course and remain committed to the objective.

Lastly, I’ve seen far too many people give up just before they were about to be successful. Life will inevitably test how bad you want something. Every once in awhile you may get lucky but more often than not you will have to persist in the face of some level of adversity. Everyone stumbles at times. Leaders intuitively now they must pick themselves up and keep moving forward regardless of the obstacles and naysayers.

There is no one personality profile that maximizes a person’s ability to be passionate, focused, committed and persistent. However, I would argue that you can’t fake any one of these things and certainly not the combination of them. When your are true to yourself, genuinely believe in what you are doing, leverage your existing strengths and tap into the natural energy that exists to help you get there, almost anything is possible. Leadership is about authenticity not technique.

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PARENTING— [The cry of a generation].

KIDS AT WORK.

As the twig is bent, so goes the tree. Eighty per cent of your child’s character is formed by the age of five. Ruth Simmons is living proof. As a child she told one of her classmates, ‘Someday I’ll be a college president.’ That was remarkable, coming from the twelfth child of Texas sharecroppers. Little did Ruth Simmons know that it would be the presidency of Smith College in Massachusetts, one of the nation’s finest schools. Actually, she’s the first African-American woman to head a top ranked college. Since female presidents, specifically black ones are rare, let’s take a closer look. Most success stories begin with parents. In this case, the emphasis is on a mother who stressed the importance of hard work.

Ruth says, ‘I worked hard at everything I did – and not necessarily because I was interested in good grades, or looking for praise. No, I worked hard because that’s what I was always taught to do.’
Peter Rose, a member of the college search committee, said, ‘We wanted to cast the widest possible net, for the best possible person. What convinced us that she was right for the job was; her work ethic, her character, her strong academic performance, and the force of her personality.’ Parent, if you’ll take God with one hand and your child with the other, there’s no telling how far they’ll go!

When Pastor Haman Cross’s unmarried daughter told him she was pregnant, he was stunned. He’d written a book called Sanctified Sex and travelled the nation preaching ‘Just Say No!’ Now he was spending his nights listening to his wife sobbing and his days refereeing family feuds. He wrote: ‘I asked investing in her … forgiving her, as you’ve been God, “How do I model sensitivity and strength?” My answer continues to be, “No Lord, with your help we’ll make It.”’ when my family’s falling apart?” God replied, “Will you quit loving your daughter … James Dobson says, ‘Raising children’s like baking a cake – you don’t realise you have a disaster on your hands until it’s too late!’ In Luke 15, there’s a parable about a rebellious kid who left home and a caring dad who ‘left the light on’ for his return.

What can you learn from him?
1) He was a great role model for his kids.
2) He supported them financially and emotionally.
3) He gave them a heritage.
4) He guided them without forcing them to conform.
5) He gave them room to fail and a place to return.
6) He met them more than halfway.
7) He forgave them.
It’s not an indictment of you when your kids struggle, make bad choices or challenge authority. What does reflect on you, however, is your attitude towards them. They may still be ‘a great way off’ but they need to know that you care and that you’re waiting to welcome them back home.

SEARCH FOR KNOWLEDGE AND PROPER USE OF TIME

Information is like any other item, it can be collected and accumulated. To do this, it takes time, effort and money and then a place to store all that is collected. Then it is useless and the effort in its accumulation wasted if it is not shown off. So not only is time spent in its accumulation but also in its presentation and sharing.

Knowledge, and the search for knowledge is often related to ones search for meaning and truth, what is life about and why are we here. That knowledge cannot be found in books or magazines, it can only be found by one developing oneself to a state when inner knowledge comes forth. That is not acquired with more and more information, it can only be directly experienced. And that experience takes preparation. Preparation takes time.

Our ego and personality and want to improve ourselves is behind the perpetual acquisition of things, information being one of them. One thing is certain, with all the people out there, and all the time in the past spent creating and writing, there is no way that one person could absorb it all. That means that for one who wants to know everything that is going on in any particular field, or variety of fields their life will be spent accumulating information and there will be little or no time left to develop knowledge. This will lead to a life of being a walking encyclopaedia, which in the end of its days will be set aside for a new edition or used as a door stop or accumulate dust or sold for pennies at a garage sale. Of course there are those who have been born with a great mind and skill that no matter what they read or learn, they become a master of yet another art. Those are exceptions to the rule. Let’s deal with the rule for now.

The human with information, even immense information will at the end of his days, be nothing more than a few cents of carbon and water, with enough iron to make a 2 inch nail, a corpse, an empty dead vessel. Not only that, but it will cost a great amount of money to dispose of this lump of decaying flesh. But knowledge will take the soul to consciousness beyond the end of the body and propel it, stay with it, and be useful.

It is a personal choice, what do you believe. Is life simply being born, living and dyeing, with your achievements hopefully being great enough that your name continues and thereby you become immortal, even for a brief time. Or that you are perpetuated in your offspring generation after generation, until you are forgotten, or is there something that continues regardless of all that is material and human.

Obviously, the only choice that is relevant to the point of this writing is the latter. The next question if that was your first answer is, what continues. Is it information, or is the information wiped out and what has been done with whatever it is that continues that counts. Knowing by reading books on how to fight, or fly an airplane is of no use unless you have the skill. Knowing from reading how to run and remove a cancer without ever having trained by doing is not good enough to insure success. However, some experience, regardless of an immense amount of information will be more useful to keep one alive.

There is a story of two men on a ship. One was a scholar and the other a simple sailor. The whole journey the scholar was putting down the sailor because he did not devote his life to study and only spent his days on a boat. Then the boat hit something and was sinking. Sadly there where no lifeboats, as this was long before. The sailor turned to the scholar and asked if he ever learned to swim. The scholar replied that he did not waste his precious time with such activities. Such a shame said the sailor, because your whole life is about to be wasted.

You will never acquire all the information, and whatever you do get will be outdated within a month because someone else has to come with some new invention to make their mark in the world. One day you may look at all you have learnt and believed to be the greatest discovery, only to find in a short time after that it was replaced by yet a further great discovery. But look into your mind, think of what you have trained it to be, and then decide what you will do today and the rest of your life. What is more important to have or be, thinking from the perspective of what you believe you really are.

Information is only valuable if you use it to improve yourself or the world around you.Train your mind and be creative, be the innovator and not the regurgitator.

JORDAN AND ROBERTTA

LETTING GO HOW AND WHEN?

How do you know when to let go, in business or personal situations in life. This is a very difficult question, but one that is vital to living a life that continuously moves forward. Afterall this planet is moving through space at 1,350,000 miles an hour, so we may as well keep moving also, it is just logical. Besides that, everything is always moving either forward or back. If something stands still it will have its appropriate equal to a stagnant pond, smelling and slimy, with no vibrant life at all.

Hanging on to regrets or to what happened in the past with bitterness and a desire to set things straight for your own personal or any other reasons, will only destroy your future by preventing you from living in the present, since you are stuck in the past. Christ said to turn the other cheek. I don’t think he meant to give them the other side to hit, but rather to turn and move on without looking back.

How do you get out of this trap of a downward spiral of boiling in your own juices about what has been done? While you think about getting even or getting justice, in the course of it all you continue to lose time, energy and money living a life of distasteful experiences. Isn’t that normally how life turns out for those that are always thinking of the past? Funny how people who have much to complain about from the past seem to get more new troubles each day. Better to accept all loses and move on with the experience gained.

I have had business loses in the past and If I had stayed bitter about being cheated, I probably would not have been in the positive frame of mind to approach the new deals that came my way. I may have taken a bitter attitude that all businessmen are rotten and so never taken another chance in business for myself.

What good does it do to fight about the past? I met dishonest people in my walk of life,those who have ripped me off in business transactions.a friendly advice from a colleague was handy for me.He pointed out that I could fight and may win, but I would be better off walking away and accepting the loss on this one deal and make so much money on the other projects that I created, and just enjoy the profits.Perhaps he was possessed by God for half an hour. Whether it was him or the gods, he reminded me of what I used to do years earlier. I ended up making so getting many projects that the total losses where not more than 10% of the gains. If I had fought for what was rightfully mine, it would have created so much frustration in my life that I would not have enjoyed the success I did make then.

In using Archery as a meditative practice, when the arrow misses the bullseye, the archer does not look at the bow, the arrow, or any other reason for the miss, he looks at himself. What was wrong in his posture, breathing, or mental focus. It is his fault, not the person who made the bow or the string or the wind. Such is the same in our difficulties in this world. If you have a business or personal difficulty, then first you must look at where you made an error which gave someone the opportunity to cheat you, or in the case of no fault of your own, to look inwards at your mental and emotional response. Did you convince yourself to avoid seeing the obvious, not accepting the situation? Perhaps the fault is yours for not acknowledging the signs.

Are you boiling in your own juices and therefore stuck in one pot, or are you being a good chef and just dumping the food that got burnt and making a new batch, freely moving around the kitchen, and when your job there is done, to go anywhere in the house and beyond. This is the lesson from the Islamic teaching, “Trust in God, but tie your camel.” Or perhaps the Latin saying written before Christ was born, “Caveat Emptor” Buyer beware. If it has been this way for thousands of years, why are you upset as if it should not be this way now?

Taking a recent example from a friend, a friend was following him into town, they each had their own cars and she didn’t know the way to their destination. She was following him in heavy traffic and as they approached their destination, they got separated, but fortunately she very intelligently went to a nearby coffee shop that they frequent, which was what John hoped for, and they met there. She was rather upset with him that he had turned and she did not have the chance to follow, a perfect situation for a fight. Instead of reacting to her, He just calmly explained that there was nothing he could do in traffic and that since they met up there, it all worked out OK in the end. No fight. The point of the story is to say that we often engage in a fight when we feel guilty and know we made a mistake. She was right that he should have indicated he was going to turn far earlier than he did so she would have had the chance to stay with him, and he admitted he was wrong, but limited due to traffic. By being objective about the situation and not engaging in a fight, the subject vanished before it became a problem. Life is like that, there are many situations that we get into either by our own actions or by circumstance, and it is our own doing that builds a battle. If you could accept all things in this world as perfectly right, then you would not get upset or feel attacked. This is not a perfect world, it has its own way of functioning which is not in alignment with our hopes and dreams of the perfect world and perfect people. Accept that you do not know what is always ultimately right.

A great part of our pains in life come from living in our own illusion that things should be different. It would be nice, but being practical calls for being realistic which means dealing with things as they are and not as you want them to be. With acceptance, you will not get upset, you may not like what happens to you, but you will not boil in your own juices and waste your life. You win some, you lose some. There is no such thing as your truth and my truth. In all things there is only one truth. Rather, there is your illusion and my illusion, but still only one final truth.

Here is the key to freedom from your limitations in progressing by being tied to the past with regret and bitterness. Acceptance. If you think you know what is right and wrong and what everything is being done for, then you are so arrogant that of course you will be stuck in the past. Only humility will free you from a nasty life. When a building is torn down, to regret its loss is only to say that you would rather the entire world stayed the same and evolution would come to a halt. You do not know what new structure will be built. We can only hope that it will be better than the last, but even if it was a beautiful castle that was destroyed, would you like to live in a stone or wood building with no indoor plumbing, heating, windows or electricity?

When you lose a possession, a job, almost anything, and not see it as a loss and keeping your head stuck in the past, try to look to the future with an open heart knowing that now there is room for a new opportunity which may lead to something far better. Change for any reason brings growth. Do you live to accumulate more and more money and power and possessions, which one day you will have to say goodbye to anyway, or are you more interested in accumulating knowledge and wisdom which you carry with you from life to life. There is only one thing that cannot be taken from you, and that is your experience. Experience brings wisdom if it is taken positively no matter what the experience is. The glass is always full, part with water and part with air. Just because your eyes cannot see the air does not mean it isn’t there, you just have to look with your mind.

In allowing the events of this messed up world to run their course, and devoting yourself to following your course, which is the evolution of your own spirit and mind, then you may become the one who brings the newest and most beneficial gifts to the world. Lao Tzu taught thousands of years ago to follow a gentle guiding path allowing the river to run its course without fighting it. Once you have attained a high state of consciousness, you will be fulfilling your destiny, which may be to change the world, or it may be to drive a garbage truck. The point is that you will put the energy that is given to you for this life to the best use it can be, for its own cultivation.

So much of our time is spent reading letters or news and getting riled up about what we read, without being able to, or even thinking to, verify the information. Humans have a foolish tendency to believe what they read or hear without any verification or discrimination. This is why one of the exercises I teach is to fast from the media for one month. That means no TV, radio, newspapers, nothing of the media and news broadcasts. If people talk about the current events, try not to get involved with the conversation, but sometimes that cannot be avoided. Just try not to read a paper or magazine or any news media for 2 weeks and then see what your mental state is. So far the results have been unanimous, a much calmer state of mind yet still informed of what is relevant in the world to their personal life.I have found that whatever is truly necessary is a matter of conversation and I get to know about. But the majority of what hits the news is of a subject matter much closer to gossip, and what good is that for your personal development? I do not have to be the first to hear the news, if it matters, I will get it eventually.

You must decide your goals in life. Is it to be David against Goliath but with no Divine support, or would you choose to develop the Divine connection with your own self and become a strong person before you go attack Goliath. If you blame others for the problems of the world, then you are not working on yourself. If you do not work on yourself, what would be the point of changing the world? Nobody would be worthy of living in this great world. Instead of all this pointing outwards to the unjust, just devote your time to looking inwards and polishing your own heart.

There is no easy way to change, it is only through logical reasoning and repeated effort when you catch yourself. The reason logic is the tool is because hanging on to the past is a trait of the lower ego through the intellect. The only way to effect change in the intellect is through its own vehicle of logic