The hatred and disrespect surfacing in the debate about health care reform and education and other discussions in recent days has gone wild. Much of it isn't about these topics, but something more disturbing --- a real contempt for others --- an unwillingness to consider anything new and different. I keep wondering how our children will be influenced by watching the adults, serving as their role models, as they invest in passions that result in spewing hate and disrespect. After all, our children do look to all of us for LEADERSHIP, yes?
However, as I worried about these realities on a morning walk, I came across these poppies sprouting from a crack in my driveway. An over-powering cypress tree broke it. As I looked at them and snapped a photo, I had this revelation...
When things are broken, sometimes it makes way for something new and remarkable to emerge. d.k.
Being the CHANGE as Gandhi challenged us to do...
Changing all that's broken isn't easy. We are all witnessing it, experiencing it, and living it. It asks more of us, don't you think? It involves listening more, thinking through, re-evaluating, and starting with an openness that only comes with a "beginner's mind." As I wrote in my book, Putting Our Differences to Work, being asked to fundamentally change the rules in how we think, act, and operate as leaders may seem to be a tall order for many of us. At the same time, there is something familiar about being called to change ourselves in order to lead the way. In times of both crisis and opportunity, leaders are often asked to reinvent themselves; to redirect their attention in some significant way in order for them to champion a transformation of some kind. This is one of those times we’re being called on to put our differences to work to forge a new path.
In my own leadership life, I recall another poignant time in history when I was reminded that it is the role of leadership to pioneer new trails, so others will feel safe to follow. I'm still moved by what a senior leader said to me about why I was one of those being called to lead the way when we were going through a major organizational transformation. “You have been invited here at this time in our history—because of all you’ve enjoyed.”
It seems the needs for change are calling us in a similar way today, because of all we've enjoyed. We are the ones—the leaders, the innovators, the aspiring leaders, and individual contributors that will plant the seeds that will mend the broken places to make way for the remarkable results of change to emerge for the good of all. Hold that thought!
founder, Global Dialogue Center and
Leadership Solutions Companies
author, Putting Our Differences to Work