The Foundation of Outstanding Leadership

It’s been an interesting ten days here in the US. I’ll leave it at that. What I will address, however, are the multitude of opinions on the subject of whether or not, under the leadership of the current president, the US is becoming increasingly divided. Or more to the point: Why is it that some leaders seem to unite people, while others seem to drive a wedge between them? What exactly is the foundation of outstanding leadership?

Here’s my answer; an essential take that you may have overlooked:

No one is born seeing themselves as dissimilar or detached from others (think of the color-blind nature of infants). But as we age, everyone falls for the physical illusion of “the personal” or “the self.” Some call this illusion diversity. Some separateness. Some inequality. Some discrimination or “I am better than you.” Now, certain individuals tend to recognize (within themselves and others) this common human frailty. And because they recognize it, they rise above it more often than most. It is these individuals who become outstanding leaders. In spite of the physical and outside-in illusion of inequality or diversity, they understand that every human being is equal; that the human race is one.

Imagine, if you will, a family, team, organization, community, country, or world that’s guided in this unifying direction. Since the leader rarely sees himself or herself as separate from others, virtually no hierarchy or selfishness could exist. Harmony then flourishes as personal judgments, and thus personal clashes, remain at bay.

A leader’s role, then, is to simply direct the masses away from the alluring and mind-bending illusion of the personal or separate self—and toward the resolute principle that we are all fragments of the same spiritual puzzle. Leaders point others toward equality, oneness, and love. The foundation of outstanding leadership is a deep inner knowing that this direction is true.

Inward and onward,