Leadership is about following The Golden Rule. Each of us has a responsibility to lead. The good news? It’s not as complicated as we think.
Be good to each other, and do not look beyond yourself for the leader.
Hopi elder Thomas Banyaca, Universal Human by Gary Zukav, p. 232
Be Good to Each Other
The Hopi saying perfectly describes the world I want to build, one based on kindness and love. Be good to each other is another way of expressing The Golden Rule, that is, treat others the way you want to be treated. Clear-cut, I know, and yet how often do we get caught up in day-to-day activities and forget it? Not because we’re bad people. More because we get focused on fulfilling our own needs instead of others’.
The other day I sent emails to a bunch of people about something for which I was very excited. I only got one response and felt disappointed. I moved on to other tasks and then, in the quiet of the evening, I saw photos online of what had happened that day involving all the people I emailed. Now it made sense! Of course, in my excitement to share my news, I focused only on fulfilling my own ego-based needs and didn’t consider other perspectives. They were simply busy with other activities that had nothing to do with me.
The lesson I learned? Be good to each other isn’t just an action, it’s also a thought process. It means thinking loving thoughts is just as important as behaving in a loving manner.
Do not look beyond yourself as the leader
This powerful call-to-action reminds us of our individual responsibility to lead. We can’t wait for “someone else” to direct us. We are that “someone.” The message is straightforward and direct. There’s no discussion of leadership styles or how to accomplish X or Y as a leader. We are simply being called to lead.
What does that mean? What I interpret from that statement is, don’t make it complicated. It isn’t. We often feel we can’t or shouldn’t lead (do you hear the saboteur here?) because we lack the qualifications, the charisma, or the know-how to do so. Like there’s an invisible leadership bar and we remain below it. That until we reach the level necessary to lead, we don’t have to do anything.
Imagine if each of us led something, small or big, and what a difference we’d make in this world. How can you lead? What calling do you need to heed?
The same Hopi elder, Thomas Banyaca, beckons us forth with this closing comment: “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” To which I respond, I’m in.