I’ve discovered that leadership has nothing to do with getting other people to behave a certain way or telling anyone else what to do. For me, leadership is about living in alignment with my values even when the world presents convincing reasons why I should diminish my values so that I can fit in.
This whole life, people have been trying to teach me that I’m way too carefree, and that having more fear is necessary to keep me safe. I have heard about all the bad things that can happen to me, from going to Hell, to losing my job, to living in poverty, to being left alone with nobody to love me. Many times people would say something like “what’s up with you, why do you always look like the cat that swallowed the mouse, what do you know that I don’t know?”.
Up until recently I wasn’t even sure what it was, but now I can see that I was simply not afraid of what would happen if I lived according to my values.
For instance, I value harmony in all of my relationships, and I’m not afraid to go for it.
When I worked at a law firm back in the 90’s, we had a lawyer/boss with a huge temper. He could get set off at the slightest thing and start yelling at employees. I was 22 when I started working there, and most of my fellow employees seemed scared shitless of getting a loud rebuke from this man.
They seemed to walk on egg shells around him, doing their best to avoid communications with him.
After a few weeks working there, I noticed that he didn’t make eye contact with me as we passed each other in the hall, and when I said Hello, he ignored me. So I walked into his office and asked if he had a moment, he said “real quick” seeming disinterested. I asked him if he wanted me to quit. He said “what? why?”
I explained how I experienced him and said that I didn’t feel comfortable working for someone who doesn’t even smile at me, and I was wondering if it had to do with my job performance. He explained that he just concentrates on whatever work he has to do, that he knew nothing of my job performance so far, and that he would try to be more courteous when we passed each other in the hall.
After that, he treated me very different from the other employees…some in the office even made comments that we must be having an affair. I moved up quickly in my job especially when my boss found out about my sharp mind and ability to write correspondence and legal motions with ease.
Since we worked so closely, he would get heated about cases we were working on. He would try to get loud and angry with me at times, but I would just remind him in my own way that whatever case we were working on and keeping my job weren’t more important than my value for harmony in my relations.
This would always bring him back to taking deep breaths and getting himself to a place where he could relate without fear.
Love & Blessings!