Meditation on Leadership

MeditationsJun 2021

We’re all desperate to be recognized for the things we have to offer. Everyone around you is looking for the invitation you are making to them. Quite often, we’re existentially disappointed because there is no invitation. The greatest invitation is for you to say to them that they have gifts that you do not have; and therefore you need their help. That is the most powerful leadership invitation you can make. — David Whyte in the last 5 minutes of a 2 hour long conversation with Sam Harris on the Making Sense podcast.

The 7-year-old child in me recognizes that opening line; the need for recognition in what we have to offer. The primordial desire to be seen.

How easy to go about my day being the center of my world. The recognition I innately crave, and the feelings that come with it, transferred to the coworker, the boss, the partner, who at times fall short of recognizing what I'm wanting to offer.

How beautifully paradoxical, then, that good leadership is the ability to recognize the humanity in the other to the same extent that I recognize my own. To step out of my own need for recognition and allow others to come forth with their own gifts. To gift them, in return, the recognition they, too, seek.

Mr. Whyte’s words echo in my mind. Every moment, an opportunity to invite as much as I want to be invited; to recognize as much as I want to be recognized, to lead even though at times it's easier to let myself be led.

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