I was looking for something in particular. I was searching for the face or the body language, or the combination that signaled leadership. What are those attributes? Frankly I don’t really know for sure. Have you played this game? Attempting to make some sort of guess as to who might lead the group under difficult circumstance?
Having my mind occupied with a scenario parallel to ‘Lost” I went up and down the aisle wondering which one of us would really be capable of leading this waiting room full of people in a life and death crisis. For the record I settled on three individuals. They just gave me the right vibe.
Those are the wanderings of a mind temporarily fuzzed off focus in an airline terminal. It did cause me to search under other stones of thought that might be more productive to our realities. I thought about the quality of leadership. Because that subject is so broad it naturally reduced itself easily to a more specific thought of “What type leadership do I offer in a non-crisis?" I have been praised in the past for my leadership in difficult circumstances, including a Medal of Valor in police work. But in many ways such awards reward us for behaving correctly and swiftly in circumstances where it might be required for another’s survival.
It seems to me it is harder to illustrate leadership under a more consistent observation, the constancy of everyday life for example. Maybe we can all be a hero when heroism is required and our life or another’s is at risk. But can we be a hero without the threat? Can we show leadership on a daily basis? The obvious answer to this question is yes, or we would not be consistently offering awards and crowns for leadership, nor would we speak about this person or that person’s leadership abilities. Still, we reduce our notion of leadership to sports, business, government and other institutionalized bodies. On second thought I should say I do this, perhaps you do not.
So what is my point? I’m contemplating that it is far harder to show personal leadership to others on an hour by hour basis. In the context of my thought I hold leadership to mean something turned from the conventional. I mean leadership that illustrates our happiness, joy and love of life. Do you know the phrase “If Momma aint happy, aint nobody happy?” This would be the evil twin to my thought. We spend so much energy expecting others to absorb and listen to our pain. This is plentiful in the blogsphere let me assure you. If instead of pain we offered brightness, are we a better leader than the one that offers pain and sadness at every turn? This is why it is hard. It is hard because what sounds like preaching on my part is nothing more than common sense that is easily rejected as silly or unsophisticated. Maybe we find a truth that is so innocent yet powerful in its simplicity that we decide to kick it on down the road because we are just too damned pretend sophisticated for such tough work?
Is the crutch of another’s attention what causes us to lean so hard on others? Is it a cruel fate that a happier countenance and leadership in the form of hopeful optimism gathers no attention from those around us? Is this inattention an enemy to our own happiness? Do we fail to lead on an hour by hour basis in the face of normal affairs because we simply cannot gather enough personal attention?