This is a difficult time with many crushing things happening to people. Yet, a new world begins with each of us. We have to lift ourselves up to revitalize and renew what we know is good. It is up to us to change the standards for leadership that will shape a new era. Even with all the problems we face in so many directions, there continues to be many signs of NEW HOPE emerging --- a new sense of OPTIMISM taking over little by little. Some days it seems we've stepped backwards and then another glimpse emerges to prove we are on our way.
We are realizing on many fronts how much we can do together to reshape the businesses, communities,and the world we long to have. It will ask more from us. We will have to change our ways. Cure our hatefulness toward others in a big way. Doing this isn't complex --- not really. Behavior and personal conduct at its root is individual, yes? It takes a simple conviction to a new mindset and a resolute belief that we can in fact recast our value and intentions as the final "yardstick" of all we do. How do we do this?
As I mention in my book and as its pages reflect, I have always received strength, knowledge and know-how from those who traveled before. The leaders, innovators, and sages seem to be whispering the answers to us from their lessons learned, if we stop long enough to listen. Gandhi, for example, helped us remember that each one of us has a responsibility to use our lives of a beacon of all we want for our world to be by our actions and behavior in day-to-day life. I re-read a passage from another timeless and beautiful book: A Higher Standard of Leadership: Lessons from the Life of Gandhi by Keshavan Nair (Berrett-Koehler 1997) that offered Gandhi's sage advice in these words:
"We are all leaders. Each one of us is setting an example for someone else, and each one of us has a responsibility to shape the future as we wish it to be. But we must have ideals to guide our conduct if we are to make a positive difference."
The five distinctive qualities of leadership introduced in Putting Our Differences to Work reflect Gandhi's wisdom and offer a current day roadmap for leadership behavior and actions. Together, the five QUALITIES are a timely "yardstick" to help all of us --- leaders and innovators everywhere as we work to make our important contributions to a new kind of CHANGE, INNOVATION and prosperity based on reversing the human perils Gandhi warned us about. Here is the affirmative new vision that I think Gandhi believed for us all:
Wealth with Hard Work | Pleasure withConscience | Science with Humanity
Knowledge with Character | Politics with Principle | Commerce with Morality
Worship with Sacrifice .
QUESTIONS to PONDER...
How can we multiply that same kind of reality in our day-to-day living and working? What does it mean to put our differences to work?
What does it mean to you? What advice would you share with others to make it possible?
founder, Global Dialogue Center
and Leadership Solutions Companies
author, Putting Our Differences to Work (Berrett-Koehler)
The Fastest Way to Innovation, Leadership, and High Performance
**2010 Axiom Business Book Award Winner**
YouTube Book Review by futurist Joel A. Barker
Twitter @onlinedialogues and @debbekennedy