I am reading a couple books on leadership right now: The Zen Leader (by Ginny Whitelaw)and The Leadership Dojo (by Richard Strozzi-Heckler). These books speak my language. They talk about embodiment of values, integrity, presence,stillness, etc. These books talk about the Being (as opposed to Doing and Having) aspect that I am so interested in.
These books are helping me to become a leader. I still don’t know what I will end up doing when Barry passes, but I am working (and probably always will be) at making myself a value-added product. It’s not about what I do so much as what I am. With half of his Social Security and half of his pension, I will not need much income, but getting an MBA was never about earning six figures. It’s about being taken seriously and being someone I respect.
Part of me is a little wary of focusing on how I appear. It feels phony and superficial. Many people are good at looking slick. Politicians master the art of acting sincere, some better than others.
Part of what I like is the emphasis of awareness of how behaviors come off to others. I’m sure I come off stiff. Many people have no awareness of how they come off to others. I have certainly worked for a few.
Business school never teaches about physical/emotional/mental integrity. You might learn about Sarbanes/Oxley and Generally Accepted Accounting Practices, but not about physical presence and how to develop it. Learning how to Do various skills so I can Have this or that is working downstream. It’s a lot easier to teach the right technical skills to a person with the right personality for the job than it is to try to change the personality of someone with all the right skills.
The challenge of today is to keep changing. There is no stasis. Economic stability is a thing of the past. Change is continuous and there is no hope of keeping up with it. How does one stay sane in such an environment? This is where stillness, physical/emotional stability, and equanimity enter the picture. Wish me luck.