“What is the critical element that is needed in our leaders to guide us through our world challenges?” That was the question posed to me while sharing with friends and family over dinner. I thought for a moment and answered “the most critical element is the ability to see through a crisis.
That may sound simplistic, perhaps easy, but it’s not. A leader can have charisma, be decisive, creative and purposeful. They can surround themselves with exceptional talent, be self-reliant, set and achieve goals, be fair and open-minded. But if they cannot see through a crisis, they cannot effectively lead through one.
“To see through a crisis” is not defined as “having a vision.” A vision is a result of imagination. It is often formulated from our intellect and feelings – head and heart. It’s a valuable tool in that it can inspire us to achieve our goals.
The ability “to see through a crisis” runs deeper. Leaders who possess this ability, know how to listen carefully to themselves and others. They can detect subtle clues that lay low under the radar that the majority of people miss.
How can they do this? Through their inner stillness, which is acquired by acknowledging their emotions but not being ruled by them. These leaders have had the courage to explore their inner terrain, face their demons and put them to rest.
This allows them to assess the entire situation from its core, which reveals all sides. This allows them to consider the emotional state of the collective as well as individuals. This ability to remain calm and clear-headed when confronted with a crisis – especially one that ignites an emotional storm is the hallmark of 21st century leadership.
Their inner vision in a crisis proves to be a laser beam that cuts through the thick fog of human drama. Their calm state of mind clears away the debris strewn on the path of discontent. It allows them to “see through the crisis.” Their trust in their developed intuition guides them through the dark.
The road ahead…
Leaders facing a crisis ultimately have the responsibility of deciding should they turn right or left? When they seek the answer outside of themselves, falling under the influence of the external world, they risk losing sight of their internal guidance.
They can research, study history, charts, methodologies and formulas as they seek the “right answer.” They can call upon the experts for their professional opinions. But as the leader, the ultimate decision is theirs.
If their intuition is evolved they will “know” the direction to move in and will be able to express it confidently with strong conviction. This centered approach, which is not easily earned, will lead us to a more humanitarian world.