Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"The only way around is through." Robert Frost

"It's one thing to sit tight and see what happens out there. Quite another to be the one making things happen." Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, Aresty Institute of Executive Education

That someone who steps up is often the steward of a vision, a leader able to manage their own anxiety enough to point people in the right direction, even when those around them are falling apart.

The late Rabbi Ed Friedman reminds us that a leaders primary challenge is to fire the groups imaginative capacities while stimulating their resources.

In stepping up, true leaders:
  • function with integrity
  • promoting responsibility in others
  • when clearly defining themselves to others while regulating their own anxiety
  • and staying connected in the process
  • which stimulates the groups strengths and resources
  • while staying the course
Effective leaders live life to the max, acting on what they believe to be in the best interest of themselves and the group to which they are responsible. They are focused on their own functioning, their own integrity and their own responsibility.

Effective leaders help people grow by discerning between content and process, giving time to situations, and staying goal oriented.

Effective leaders focus on strength and empower people, stirring the groups resources, enlarging everyone's options.

Effective leaders focus on challenge and not comfort, without shaming or scolding, instead they ask questions, pointing everyone to the imaginative capacities of the thinking brain, inviting more light.

Effective leaders focus on integrity and not unity, looking through the window of their soul, not on pleasing or being nice - not on mechanical maneuvering of people, or a need for others love and approval.

Comforters and appeasers, along with know it all advisors are not helpful in anxious relationship systems. Love is only possible when we speak through the window of our own soul and speak the truth as we experience it.

There can be no true unity if integrity is compromised and being committed to the truth is far more powerful than any technique.

Effective leaders focus on the system and not the symptoms, noticing what is happening, but more importantly recognizing the structures, patterns and processes behind the symptoms.

Effective leaders function with open integrity - soundness, completeness, unity, purity, honesty - because secrecy promotes anxious reactivity generating triangles and secrecy itself is more harmful than the actual secret.

Secret meetings (a closed process) neglects the counsel to speak the truth in love.

Cheers, to those of you in leadership who are staying the course and stepping up to the challenge on being an effective leader. Remember that the only way around is through and you probably have what it takes to get where you are going.

Adapted from Generation to Generation and A Failure of Nerve by Rabbi Ed Friedman

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