Yellow is the colour of the innate leader and yet here’s what I have discovered those that call themselves leaders are still working from the shadow side, which is arrogance. I have tended to say that we are co-creators of our destiny because it helps to get clients out of the first trap, victimhood. In reality this is not the truth. This is because leadership is the preserve of the few not the many. Let me explore why…
What the science shows us
Helen Amery put it well in a recent post on LinkedIn when she wrote about free will. Apparently neuroscience has shown that the part of the brain that lights up when a decision is made happens about 7 seconds before the Default Mode Network lights up and says “I decided”. Think about the implications of that.
Your blind spot
For me this example highlights how the seeds of arrogance are found within leadership. Perhaps you hold the belief that you are in control of how your life pans out. The truth is that forces beyond our lives set the rules. There is a word for this in Buddhism called Dharma which refers to the unique flow of your destiny. At the macro level it’s the rules governing the cosmos. And believe me it’s very difference to see our own arrogance as our ego doesn’t want us to see it
You only experience it when you make a mistake. And each one of us is prone to that. In many respects the sign of a great leader is how they respond to the fall.
What do you get to shape?
And this leads me to what you hold complete responsibility for and that’s your karma. No one knows how their life is going to pan out. What you do get to choose is how you respond to the stuff that happens to you. You can lash out, be cruel, blame others and take the victim stance. All aspects of the shadow side of yellow and the route chosen by the ego.
In other words you get a say in the script but not the storyline. The invitation always is to surrender. All of life is about learning to let go and let God. Acceptance and even welcoming all that shows up is the sign of a true leader.
More than this you have to stop caring what others think; stop checking how many likes your posts have received. Build up your sense of self-belief so that it is strong enough to weather the invariable knocks that you will receive. And lead the way even in the face of extreme criticism.
An example of what I mean
About two months ago I was in a relatively new relationship. One that was providing me with many wonderful gifts. Then one day it came to an end abruptly. I wasn’t at all show what was happening and it was disconcerting.
Then the other person started making the displeasure known to me. It was very uncomfortable and yet there was a part of me that knew it was not personal. It had nothing to do with me. They were lashing out at me because they were in pain. So I held them in love and kept a container of safety open trusting that we would both come through it. It was touch and go a couple of times; and in the end we were able to come together and share what was going on.
I am so grateful for that situation now because I feel that I know that other person better and what matters to them. Ultimately I realise how to be more of service to them so they feel safe and are less likely to be overwhelmed by their own insecurity.
What the true leader does…
They respect tradition because they know that there are things to learn from the past. The art is in knowing what to hold onto and how to graft the new onto the old so that you hold a compelling vision that encourages others to come with you. Leaders are influencers and attract others to their cause. They also have perseverance as they will need to pick themselves up many times, dust themselves off and carry on. That’s why leadership takes so much humility.
Fallibility is the sign of a great leader
Finally true leaders show their humanity and teach by sharing their mistakes. They recognise that their fallibility is what makes them approachable. It also allows them to get up close and personal with others so they can show them another way. Those that hold themselves apart from humanity as if they have escaped the pain and the suffering have really fallen into another trap. One that is all about a kind of spiritual arrogance. It’s one of the reasons I do not hold with the ideas of gurus and am willing to share aspects of my own journey.
To conclude I have shared all this with you because it is very much the essence of the three bottles and three spritzers in the picture. It takes courage to stick you head over the parapet and share your truth even though it will be misunderstood and the meaning will be twisted at time. And for that reason and all the others stated in the article, leadership is the preserve of the few rather than the many.