We need true leaders in the world...it has always been a hot topic. Yet, in the era we live in, it is becoming hotter and hotter: what is true leadership though? I was at a concert of Anouk a few weeks ago...that woman rocks!! Clearly she is living her best self singing in front of an enthusiastic audience. She is so authentic. She didn't talk a lot; she didn't need to, her singing was breathtaking. In the middle of the concert she did shortly speak with one clear message: don't judge other people too easily, because quite often (always?) we find out we are wrong. It was so powerful. She didn't wait for a reaction, she was not attached to whatever the audience thought, she just continued singing, which made her message even more powerful. In the depth of enjoying the music, her message sank in..
Words are so overrated. I made jokes about it with my new made friend, while evaluating our silent retreat in the desert of the Wadi Rum in Jordan. We met in the bus, she asked me one question (whether or not I would like to sleep with her in the desert, share a tent that is ;-)) and then we became friends while being silent for an entire week. The theme of the retreat was: 'True leadership is mastering authenticity'. It turned out to become a very important motto in my life. We 'lived' the iceberg model during that week: only 10% of our visible behaviour being words ...we could easily do without and connect the other 90% of our beings in total silence. She still is a very dear friend, I think because our friendship is anchored at a very deep level of trust, love and just being.
Last week Trump decided to initiate a 'clusit' (climate US exit), meaning the US left the climate agreement that was so powerfully made in 2015... More than 150 countries in the world taking their responsibility for something huge: how to treat mother Earth in a better way, collaberatively. I was flabbergasted: could it be true that one person, one person alone, representing one of the biggest polluters causing global warming, could just decide to stop and have such an impact?? I loved the vision that a lot of people immediately shared on the leadership of Trump: by being the total ego that he is, he is creating such an important movement among a big group of people globally...which is exactly the opposite of his goal of 'making America great again'. So should we consider that as leadership too? In the end, leadership is about serving and it might very well be, that he is serving the world big time with his unconscious, egoistic behaviour.
And then Manchester happened: I was at the same concert of Ariana Grande not even a year ago in Amsterdam with my niece. What world do we live in if the young generation is targeted at places where they should be able to feel safe and enjoy life, art. This week I heard about this one muslim guy and his hugging action in Manchester, just on his own in the street. I looked it up in youtube and...wow. Without fear, totally vulnerable, he stands in a street, blindfolded with a sign asking people to trust and hug him. What happens is amazing, have a look yourself at the video.
Tomorrow I will leave for a leadership journey myself. I am one of the lucky bastards to spend time in the nature of the Hiawatha Forest in Michigan led by the native americans living in that area. I am most of all really looking forward to learn from their leadership, just by being with them. Because to me it is most inspiring to see people being so authentic, that that, by itself, is the biggest teaching in leadership. Truly mastering authenticity. Is that 'all it takes' to be a true leader? I love that idea, because then leadership is not a big theme for 'them' who are in leadership positions and have to solve the big issues in the world. Then I can just serve the world by continuously developing my own leadership, making sure I am as authentic as possible to do my part in the whole.