When you are in a crowd and you stand out from the crowd, it’s usually because you are being carried on the shoulders of others”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
This is part 4 People in my series of being an Leadership Thinking & The Art of Being Authentic!
Leadership thinking and the art of being authentic involves ‘people’ whom I prefer to refer to as your ‘tribe’. I use the word tribe because according to definition: it encompasses a social division consisting of family, friends, community linked by social, economic, religion or blood ties with a common culture similar values or interests. This translates into anyone you impact, mobilise and influence.
Humans are ‘tribal’ we are ‘pack’ animals. We just function better when we are inside groups rather than outside.
According to Judith E.Glaser the author of “Conversation Intelligence’ there is no switch we can turn off and stop wanting to be included, appreciated and to have a status in our tribe it impacts our mental well-being!
For example: when we communicate with others and the communication feels ‘good’ this is when we have a sense of cooperation, fairness and open expression. Such feelings tend to buffer against stress and produce pleasure. On the other hand if our communication causes us to ‘feel sad, fearful, and anxious, we experience a fight or flight response and guess what? Our stress hormone increases and can linger in the body for days, months or years (not good).
IS THERE STRENGTH IN NUMBERS?
Only, if you can be open to co-creating partnerships, where members of your tribe are on the same or similar wavelengths as you. If not negative influence can result in diminished strength.
So how do we navigate the complexities of relationships whilst keeping our vision clear, focused and true?
Firstly, by mastering the Art of Being Authentic (see my previous blogs on the subject ) it involves being consciously aware of your ‘state’ , mind and emotions, check in and ask yourself
What impact are my words having on others? What body language am I communicating?
This links nicely with the essential premise of emotional intelligence which requires the effective awareness, control, management of your own emotions, behaviours, and intentions whilst honouring those of others appreciating their capabilities and knowing that everyone has value.
Bringing in the energies of the tribe to accomplish the vision and goals requires decision making, this is a process. Power is often used in one way or another directing the energies of others to action.
Leadership thinking is a special form of power according to Nannerl O Keohane,’ special’ because the linkage of power to leadership is intimate and complex. This can be a dilemma when power is abused.
Effective leaders need members of the tribe to share the vision and support the leaders in pursuing them
“A leader. . .is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Know your Presence and align your vision which is borne out of your Purpose, your values, your life stories beliefs and convictions. Passion mobilizes energies to pursue your purpose, your interaction with your People ‘your tribe’ . How you tie these strands together will affect the outcome.
Our final P in this series is PERMISSION ‘”To thine own self be true,” says Polonius in Hamlet. the subject of my next blog
Let’s talk if this makes sense to you, feedback and comments are welcomed.