The central issue of “true” leadership: Becoming Self
I define true leadership as the ability to inspire trust and to sparke people’s intrinsic commitment to achieve the desired results. This ability to inspire others is irreconcilably linked to the leader’s quality of being and alignment, both inner foundations needed to reveal and unfold his natural authority.
To become Self vs to self-develop
In a world where we most value skills and know-how, we have almost lost sight of the importance of the quality of being (human), and especially how to consolidate it.
Certainly in the last two decades, “personal development” has come to the fore in the face of the upsurge of burn-out phenomena, depression, increasing anxiety and even suicides, and their consequences on organizations (turn-over , absenteeism, presenteeism, disengagement). As the very term “development” already indicates, this branch has concentrated above all on a movement towards the outside of oneself, proposing mainly to “change” oneself to become “more” this or “less” that.
However, as many ancestral wisdoms have always said, being fully human does not imply changing, perfecting or modifying oneself; but rather to return to oneself, in an interior movement going “towards” oneself (and not “against” oneself), thus allowing one to discover, know, accept and love oneself in its difference. Thus Socrates citing the motto inscribed on the pediment of the temple of Delphi “Know thyself”, inviting us not to admire our own navel, but to become aware of ourselves, to discover what animates us, our Source, to reconcile and unite ourselves internally and thus grow our quality of being and our capacity of positive impact. In other words: to become Self and find within the inner foundation allowing us to reveal and deploy one’s vision and natural authority.
The consciousness path
How then to engage in a consciousness path? I gladly use the image of an artichoke, whose delicate and full-flavored heart (our being) is protected by a myriad of leaves. These leaves represent everything that temporarily prevents us from being connected to our being: our limiting beliefs and internal patterns, our traumas, our wounds, and all the contained or repressed emotions associated with them. Engaging in a process of consciousness implies a courageous sorting process that allows us to let go – and let ourselves be stripped – of these “leaves” that keep us in exile from ourselves and deprive us of our foresight, our authority, our Source, forcing us to use coercion as a means of persuasion.
Confusion between the consciousness path and egoism
One of the greatest resistances to dare embarking on a consciousness path is the confusion between this path and egoism or selfishness. However their profound intention is radically different: the person who begins to discover Self seeks to put himself at the service of his being, his soul, his Source, in a constructive energy that allows then to better enter in service of all. This is the promise of this commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself“: it is indeed only when one is able to consciously love oneself in full alignment of one’s being that one can truly begin to love others. It is quite different from egoism or selfishness, which seeks to draw everything to himself in an destructive energy, prisoner and slave of his hurt ego that hides his being and prevents him from healthy connection with himself and his Source, and thus with others.
The leadership of the being gives full meaning to life
True leaders take this deep commitment to give up the tutelage of their hurt ego and to serve the accomplishment of their being. And they don’t do it for selfish pleasure, but because they have fundamentally understood that to be and to accomplish oneself is a vital need – and more a deep individual responsibility – that alone makes it possible to give full meaning to their lives and actions. By daring entering the dimension of their being, not only are they accomplishing themselves, but it also how they can make their greatest contribution to our world. Choosing the leadership of the being is therefore the greatest gift that we can give to our world.