Some thoughts on inspiration... and I suppose leadership.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. You playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”.
Marianne Williamson see video
Success does seem to frighten some of us; even to the point that we will very expertly sabotage ourselves to ensure we never quite find it (as so eloquently pointed out by Dr Brene Brown with her own experience*) — Whereas with others, they will avoid success because they believe it will come with a feeling that somehow they are fraudulent and at any moment be discovered, while others still will avoid it because of a feeling of unworthiness.
Aside from consideration to the above, what really struck me about this quote was that it evoked a strong emotional feeling of inspiration... much more than any intellectual interpretation of the words.
There is a great social complexity with the human condition; our social structures; our interactions; and our desire as individuals to be understood, and to understand. The emotion that comes with the quote above, at least for me, speaks directly to this desire to be understood and to understand. I will be so bold to suggest that it is not just me because if you look at the social media streams they are full of inspirational quotes and videos that speak to —
- Personal growth
- Struggle, success and failure
- Love and heartbreak
- Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...
I think it is fair to say, more than ever, that the "collective" inspires and feeds our need to be understood and to understand — With that I probably should offer a definition for the word "inspire", and it goes something like this,"To fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something". Inspiration by extension is the act to inspire.
How neatly my thoughts are coming together don't you think? This aspect of inspiration feeds the feelings and emotions of our desire to be understood and to understand; it helps us find our way. If the collective is feeding this desire to be inspired, what about when we look to the individual?
And this I suppose, brings us to leadership.
My intention here is to offer a perspective on leadership as it pertains to what we have been discussing (and yes, I know it's mostly been a monolog so far, but a dialogue is just a comment button away). I have found that people, and by extension leadership can be defined in two ways—
Selfless Leaders tend to see their people as more valuable than themselves, participate with and understand them, and strive to develop an environment of trust; all with mutual success. They more often than not, through their words and actions, evoking that emotion which leads to that connection and trust needed to be successful in our social structure.
Selfish Leaders tend to see people as a resource for their personal needs and agenda, focus only their agenda, and display little interest in people or any mutual success (other than any required operational function). I have found selfish leaders tend to offer little in the way of emotion that drives this feeling of being understood and understanding — Never creating a connection or trust.
And why should you care about any of this?
Well, if you are involved with a team, couldn't it be said a team is really just a micro reflection of the great social complexity of the human condition; our social structures; our interactions; and our desire as individuals to be understood and to understand? And if this is true then you need to ensure you build a great team.
Because you know what they say about how "Great Teams Doing Great Things".
PS: Just think, all of this just because I read a quote by Marianne Williamson and was inspired.
* Dr Brene Brown alludes to sabotaging her success by flying just under the radar in one of her TED talks, as well as discusses much, much more (I have attached the talk). If you are not familiar with Brene I encourage you to check out her two TED talks and even her books. She is a qualitative researcher by training and has explored the areas of shame and vulnerability. It is interesting, thought provoking, enlightening and very entertaining.A link to her video
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