Sunday, 28 February 2016

Follow the Leader

I did one of those silly quizzes online recently, like what type of shoe are you? (Flip flop) What type of dog are you? (Dalmatian) What is your spirit name? (Sky peace in Chinese. Maybe), and I did a personality one and the result was that I am a natural born leader. Hmmm. I was a little uncomfy with that and that got me thinking.
Why does leadership scare me? Maybe I think I'll mess up, I don't have the skills to do that. Or the confidence. Or the bravery. Maybe the only leaders I have seen have been pushy and I don't want to be like that - I learnt young that people call me bossy when I take charge and in a woman in our culture that is seen as tantamount to being unlovable. Maybe all those things.
Some of those things come down to the way leadership is presented and what is required - to assert yourself, to steam ahead of others, to become top dog, and none of that sounds appealing to me.
Listening to Claire Zammit talk about leadership has been illuminating, she says leadership in the feminine paradigm would be more like Glinda the Good Witch or a fairy godmother - where she waves a wand that will bless and actualise the people around her, here the magic wand is the power of connection and relatedness. Feminine leadership is not about doing it perfectly but doing it wholeheartedly. The only difference between women who lead and women who don't is willingness - not that they have the answers, not that they have more capacity.
Well, that sounds much more up my street, but I still don't really know what leadership means in my own context. I don't have drive or ambition particularly, so where do I begin? Zammit says begin with the places in your life where you feel irritated, victimised or disempowered and transform them - what would it look like for me to generate change there? If it was up to me what would I create? If I saw myself as being that powerful, how might I show up that generates an opening for that?
The thing about all this is that this is about collaborating, this is about making the world better, but it's also about power, and I guess I have to get used to the idea that I am powerful, that is the stumbling block for me. And I also think, well, who am I to change these things around me? I have no expertise, no influence. But actually all of us influence people every day whether we know it or not.
So the question is, if I really thought I had the power to change any situation, what would I change? What do I want to create in the world? In essence, what is it I value? Or maybe put another way, what gives my life meaning? Once I have contemplated that then I can take a stand for that in the world.
So many big questions... I think maybe I'll have to daydream over many cups of tea and see where my mind goes to the most and then I'll have some idea of where to start. After that it's then one step at a time and who knows where we could all end up. Maybe I'll end up a fairy godmother after all.... I've always wanted my own wand 😉

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