December is here. Santa Barbara has been an interesting place to be this year with a theme of ash falling. The Zaca fire that burned to the north of us for the summer months put a lot of powdery white ash over the countryside. It was everywhere, in the trees, on the ground, on every building. Every time the wind blew you would get what looked like a little snow flurry.
Kung Hei Fat Choi for those of you who follow the Chinese calendar (as do my extended family in Hong Kong). We have just entered the year of the Rat, which is a time of hard work, activity, and renewal. It is said to be a good year to launch new ventures, and is an opportune time to launch new products. Speaking of new ventures, the year of the Rat brought in my next book project.
During a recent conversation, the subject of the U.S presidential election became the focused topic. While discussing the different candidates is interesting, discussing some of the issues posed to the nation is fascinating. One place that we all agreed was that we all wanted opportunities for choice. All people deserve to have to opportunity to have choice in the direction of their lives, and ideally, in the direction their country takes. If there is anything that is common in my writing, it is the theme of choice.
What we choose to know...Mark Twain is credited with saying "it ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble, but what you think you know that just ain't so". I look at the world today, and find so many examples of things that we think we know that probably don't stand up to examination. These really tend to stand out when they are in the realms of stereotypes or prejudices, but also show up in many more subtle ways throughout our lives. One area of current interest is the economy.
June is moving to a close, and as I write this, I am working through the last revisions and additions to Inspirational Presence. It is a great learning experience to sit down and express what is deeply important to me, and take the time to really focus on a key message. At this point, it is getting increasingly about details and integration. I am rereading things for the 3rd or 4th times, each time looking for something different, like proper references or style issues, or flow issues. We go to the publisher on July 3rd, so it is coming to the end of the line.
Transformational Leadership: Finding Your Unique Contribution
Sunday, February 13, 2011 - 09:31
There are two aspects of personal leadership required in order to maximize your contribution. The first of these is to be fully present in each of your endeavors. I used to hear an old adage to "Bloom where you are planted". I greatly admire and respect the ability of people to make the most of any situation they engage. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it like this.
This site is for ideas and tips for leaders who want to better understand how to create leadership that supports transformation among groups of people. My book on this subject, Inspirational Presence, covers the overall concepts and my approach to helping people develop the required skills.
I've been flying general aviation airplanes much of my adult life. Although no longer active, I still maintain my flight instructor certificate as one of those treasured accomplishments that has tremendous meaning for me. You learn things flying that are hard lessons to duplicate in other places. One of these has to do with flying in the clouds, or solely by reference to your instruments. You wind up in the clouds usually as a result of flying through weather systems, and sometimes they can be fairly peaceful, but at other times the clouds can be just downright ugly on the inside.
One of the key challenges we face today is the need for leaders who understand how to engage across cultural and political boundaries. One thing is very clear to anyone who has done this work. The bigger implications of global leadership lie in the cross-cultural nature of the work. We deal with people who have significantly different filters of the world.
What an historic occasion! Through the electoral process, we have elected the first person of color to the highest office in the United States. That, however, is only part of the story. While I am truly ecstatic about this, I am also excited for some other reasons. These relate to the possibilities that I see on the horizon. Barack is, above all else, an outstanding inspirational leader. He has tremendous presence, clarity, conviction, and superb skills.