Time spent with camels and other animals, and human and spiritual mentors, has shown me that good leadership is actually about the collective transcendending of separateness and thingness.
At its simplest, true leadership is an offering or invitation to fulfill one’s profoundest potential…
“Will you come with me?” “Will you join me?” “Can I join you?” “Can I help you?” “What do you need?” “Can I show you something?” “Will you listen to me?” “Can I learn from you?” “May I have a moment of your time?” “Will you help me?” “Let’s go now.” “Let me explain.” “I don’t think you should do that.” “Let’s do this.”
The true leader is a servant, always vulnerable and available to both acceptance and rejection. Leadership is a sacrifice of self for the benefit of others.
When we understand leadership as an offering that can be accepted or rejected freely, the entire culture is made authentic. The culture also becomes more moral.
Leadership is a sacred responsibility, a deeply unbidden impulse of cultural profundity.
Each of us can learn basic leadership skills, but true leaders are born. The rest of us elicit true leaders because everyone desires a life well led.
Authentic leadership supports ‘right life’ across the earth, for all living beings, not the narrowness of individual and separate tribes, nor just the human race.
The primal relevance of all the non-human cultures of the earth is their impulse for natural participation in Divine Awareness. Important practical necessities of shelter, food, and reproduction come second to spiritual life.
What are the cows, birds, fish, and all the other creatures doing all day long? They don’t make rockets, think complex thoughts, create wars, intrigues, or religions, or build towns and cities. While sitting or standing, and aside from sleeping, feeding, and breeding they are involved in states of spiritual contemplation. The entire natural Earth world is contemplating constantly.Supporting spiritual contemplation is the chief attribute of a good leader of any Earth culture. Contemplative depth affords a leader genuine wisdom, care-taking intelligence, and sensitivity for others and the world.
I once watched a young bull camel maturing into his esteemed role within the herd. As the qualities of leadership steadied in him his responsibility became constant. I watched him make mistakes, learn from them, become wiser, stronger, and more benevolent, always guided by the lead female’s example and his own contemplative deepening.
All good leaders also want to be led. They understand the dynamics of leading and following so tend to be good followers, too. Good leaders are not attached to leading and prefer not to lead at all if they don’t have to. When an individual comes along as their equal, or more, they will likely give over their position, with the entire group following along. In this way leadership should always be improving. And, fortunately, good leaders don’t willingly cede to those of lesser proficiency because it’s not in them to do so.
Whether female or male, good leaders don’t attack other members of the group. They are interested in building trust. If challenged by one of their own they work to limit the challenge without moving into acts of revenge. Following altercations, the leader monitors the attackers, awaiting the opportunity to instruct them in right behavior, always deepening respect and trust. It is easiest for leaders to guide and protect herd members who trust them.
In healthy herd cultures overall leadership is usually carried by females. Bulls and stallions fill important leadership roles but the lead female is senior. Almost all non-human cultures, whether herds, schools, flocks, pods, or whichever, are matriarchal.
Today’s human, male dominated, cultures are aberrations among the cultures of the Earth. In times past most human cultures were matriarchal. Patriarchal human cultures, appearing more recently, lack spiritual depth and sensitivity to the Divine and the world. Therefore, they do not have the longevity or sanity of matriarchal cultures.To understand good leadership, it is important to know that every member of a group, from the young to elders, is a leader, and can have leadership moments. Ant time we make a request of another, or of the group, we have stepped into a leadership role. Merely to draw attention to ourselves puts us into potential leadership mode. Because everything we do and say has effects, every moment of our life is one of potential leadership. Good leadership is made and supported by all of us. We always either support, or detract, from the whole.
Without followers there are no leaders. Leadership is generated within the collective, and the quality of a wise humanity determines who leads us, and how.
Good leaders and good followers are synergistic; not two but one; a liberating unity of culture, whether of camel, elephant, whale, horse, human, or bee.
I’ve watched baby camels approach 3000 pound bulls and “bLeh! bleHhh!” them off a pile of hay. As the giant bulls acquiesce the tiny calves brim with confidence, their persons and intentions acknowledged, affirmed, strengthened, and relaxed.
Leadership is endless give and take. A good leader knows when to rely on another’s experience, when to lead and to follow, when to be firm like a tree or to yield.
In recent times humans have aspired less and less to good leadership and accountability. We have gulled ourselves into incomplete, childish and adolescent views of the world and choose leaders who support this in us. Instead of leadership and culture improving, they are regressing – rapidly. We have subjected ourselves to leadership that bullies, lies, steals, confuses, and kills, creating a situation so serious it is destroying the world. And we have all contributed to this.
The so-called leadership we have today requires increasingly less human maturity and responsibility. As a result we are each less free and capable of choosing to be free.
True leadership, however, frees everyone.
While now virtually ruined by modernity, the Saan of the Kalahari lived largely unchanged for over 40,000 years. Their matriarchal culture persisted harmoniously alongside the cultures of many non-humans, which, also, are mostly matriarchal. To varying degrees the lions, cheetahs, baboons, zebras, gemsboks and others knew the people living in their areas, and the people knew them. They knew each other by sight, smell, and habit. They studied each other continuously, respected each other, and at times ate each other with respect and humility. Their cultures intertwined through 100,000 generations. The people knew the local herd leaders by site and the animals knew the Saan leaders. They shared a wisdom and intimacy from living so closely for so long. There was nothing casual between them. In their understandings of natural traditions for living together their sense of rightness was mutual.
Today, the Earth’s humans and non-humans no longer enjoy such rightness. There’s a disturbance in humans that damages everything across the Earth. The non-humans are concerned by what they see humans doing. From their forest edges and tree branches, their burrows and fields, they no longer see humans walking elegantly to gather water or hunt with reverence. Instead, they see humans crunched and bent, shuffling and stomping about in fear and anger, making tremendous noises, killing everything, insensitive to the life around them – lost.
The wretched relatives of true leadership are aggressive dominance, power bullying, immature manipulation, and denial of sacred wisdom and human responsibility.
Today’s true leaders are rarely heard and acknowledged. Instead, people who are not yet fully human claim and steal leadership from all of us – and we let them. We let them!?
But we are all leaders in Truth. Those we elect to lead for us are reflections of us. We are responsible for everything they do.
True change depends on everyone coming together, all at once, equal at heart, as human beings in a non-human world instead of frightened and angry fools.
Observe the non-human contemplatives. They know…
“The world is transformed by one’s presumption about it. Those who live in a magical disposition toward the world change their world in one characteristic way: they do not seem to do very much with it as a natural phenomenon. They are very protective of it as a natural phenomenon and want to interfere with it as little as possible, because it is only by letting the world be what it is as a natural process, without interference, that it has the opportunity to produce magical signs and therefore to permit them to engage in magical relations with it. . . “ – Adi Da Samraj
Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. Thank you.
(Disclaimer: this article is not a claim to leadership. I am in no way a born leader, just a struggling ‘servant’ 🙂