15.2 - The End (or, The Beginning)

Well. This week marks the end of a journey. 

I didn't know what I expected to learn from this course. I've never been business inclined, or someone who really took to reading leadership courses, or those self-help business books for folks in business. Because, really, I'm an artist. Business is for business-minded people. Leadership was the purvey of managers, CEOs, bankers, financial advisers. Basically, everyone that has the all the adult skills that I've never hoped to have in my adult life. 

I struggle with a lot of things. But this one thing I know. The nature of myopia is astounding. Feed one limiting belief, and suddenly a whole host of limiting beliefs start multiplying. And before you know it, you are caught in the middle of terrible neuroses, depression, anxiety, and most of all, a feeling that you cannot change the world. 

I wonder if this is what is meant when they say the Devil wins. I'm not a very religious person, but there is merit to the sandpit that is negative thinking. I bought into silo-ed, Stage 1 and 2 thinking. I believed that is where I belonged. I incorporated that into my way of understanding my worth. I thought I would never be a leader. 

Incidentally, Zen Habits is offering a course on the Well Designed Life for Leo's weekly blog. For him, a well-lived life might mean that we work towards:

  • Creating mindfulness in your life, and learning to be more present
  • Finding compassion for yourself, and learning to love yourself more
  • Creating deeper connections to other people
  • Connecting your daily actions to meaning
  • Creating wellness

CultureSync has not posted anything new for a while, but Neil Crofts has an expose on Great Leadership 101. He, in alignment with our readings, gives a lovely snapshot of how I'm feeling, and summarizes what great leadership is to him. He acknowledges the myths of leadership (that it is an appointment, that leaders are born, the “loneliness of leadership”, leadership is hierarchical), and offers something new. Leadership is a skill - it can be learned. Leadership is a choice, not an appointment. And leadership is about the collective connection - leadership does not exist in a vacuum, and loneliness is the result of your own internal silo-ing. 

I'm grateful for this class and the resources Denise DeLuca has afforded me in this journey. I now know the edges of my limitations and am exploring and expanding them daily. I still have yet to fully understand my purpose, but I have renewed faith that one day I will finally know what I have to do, and begin, "though the voices around [me] kept shouting their bad advice" (Mary Oliver). There is a place for me in the leadership seat, despite my debilitating empathy, my bleeding heart sensibilities, and my rose-colored glasses. In Scott Belsky's words, "Creativity is, quite simply, a genuine interest combined with initiative." (Belsky 29) I seek connection. I seek change. I seek healing.