What Would A Leader Do? (WWLD)

Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013

No more war!

Stop the fighting!

End gun violence!

Stop Child Abuse!

And in the words of Martin Richard—the 8 year old boy who was killed in Boston this week by a bomb: 

"No more hurting people: Peace"

Beautiful messages and sentiments that I and literally everyone I have spoken to support. But we are leaders, we need more! Something deeper. Something better.

When everyone is up in arms about another tragedy—the response is almost always about capturing the perpetrators and bringing them to justice. It is about fighting back against the forces of evil. It is about creating laws that may end the violence or somehow slow the "bad guys." It's about stopping the senseless violence. I judge these reactions as helpful but not creative, not leadership. They don't get to the heart of the issue.

Forgive my metaphor, but we need to do more than disarm the bomb. 

Bombs are built to explode and no matter how many bombs we disarm, it is a losing battle. Yes, we need Jack Bauer (famously from 24) but more importantly, we need leaders to make Jack Bauer obsolete.

The bomb that most of us seem to be trying to disarm is our culture, our hearts, our way of being with each other.  We are creating angry, vengeful, hate-filled people at every turn. I don't think I need to convince you but if you need convincing—turn on the TV—the news, sitcoms, magazines—or just walk around and see how individuals interact. Read any (and I mean ANY) comment section in any controversial online news article. The vitriol that we dispense at each other over guns, politics, religion, race, and sexuality is shameful. It's definitely not leadership.

I had a "duh" moments the other day about the idea of peace. You know, one of those moments when you see things in a new way—and you feel like you are late to the understanding. 

Peace has always been a passive idea for me. For me, it meant the absence of war or violence. War protesters are called "passivists " and this made sense to me. When I thought about peace, I of course supported it but in my mind it was like saying I was against violence.  My "duh" moment came when I realized that peace is not defined by something I am against. Peace is defined by something I create. Something I build. It has its own power. Like love, peace is a verb. It is action. It requires something of us.

Humans are a creative species. We come up with solutions. We make change. We build something instead. We are leaders.

We need to create the opposite of fear. We need to create love. We need to create peace. We need to create it in each other. We need to create it in our families. We need to create peace and love in our society. We need to create it in our government. We can't make people do it either. We have to do it. We have to practice it. We have to react with love to each other and to ourselves. We have to lead by example.

This is no small endeavor. I think the enormity of the task at hand is what keeps us from tackling it. We wonder if we can personally make an impact. 

I believe we can make a difference and in fact, I believe that personal change is really the only thing that you can for sure accomplish. 

We start by adjusting our own hearts towards peace. We create peace there and trust me, it's work. This is where all the violence, anger, hate, and vengeance originates—in our own hearts. From here, it moves into our families, our communities, our countries, and our world. 

We can make an impact today by responding to others out of love instead of fear. We must practice though. We have learned for decades a different way. I am on this journey with you. I am practicing. I am learning. 

Go lead. Create peace. Start with you.

I'd love to hear your feedback.

Check out our last 6 eNewsletters:

November 4, 2016--Crossing the Continental Divide (Both Literally and Metaphorically)

May 13, 2016-Are You Embracing Your Goo?

April 6, 2016--Micromanagement is Good Management

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