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Future – Engage – Deliver


Many have written beautifully on this critical topic. Charles Handy again leads us off:

Integrity comes naturally if you live for your vision. In other words, the vision cannot be something thought up in the drawing office. To be real, it has to come from the deepest parts of you, from an inner system of belief. The total pragmatist cannot be a transforming leader.

Followed by Derek Walcott:

As I look back over the speeches I selected for this volume, I note that most of the things I was trying to say revolved around the small cluster of basics that have resonated with me for most of my adult life.
To communicate as an authentic leader, you have to look for your own daimon, look into your own experience, and find those themes that are most important to you.
The well of human experience is indeed deep. But the treasures are worth the effort of going into the water, especially if you want to have a conscious and meaningful impact on the world you live in. You don't need to sit in a cave for twenty years; at least some of the treasure is accessible in the context of normal life. Once you discover the themes that matter most to you, you can convert them to inspiration for others – if you are courageous and disciplined enough to do so.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs Close
As a leader, you can inspire commitment by looking inward first, by becoming aware of what you want to say, and by communicating a much more personal vision of the future, based on much more personal knowledge of the past and realistic experience in the present. Such a focus means initially ignoring potential followers in favour of personal passion. Leaders who develop their message only on the basis of what others might want invariably play to others and only try to please them.

Focusing on the themes of your own consciousness is the real driver of what you have to say. Other's reaction to you will be different, depending on which focus of communication you choose. If you only perform to others’ standards, they may be entertained, but if you start the communication process with your own passion, they will be excited, and they will grasp a new and real possibility from your own authentic experience.
Terry Pearce Close
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.
Ralph Waldo Emerson Close
I'm dismayed by the number of men and women I interview who have retired from leadership positions decrying their failure to take time for personal reflection while they are active in their posts. They have assumed positions in organizations that they did not find, and rather than initially considering the impact they might have on the organization and proceeding from a foundation of values, they have defined themselves as they went along.

First, they accepted the old tenets of the organization, and then only gradually discovered what was important to them personally. This trial and error method of leadership results in an inconsistent message and a lack of commitment by those engaged in the enterprise. Leaders who make a transition from an old set of dominant values to a set that reflects their own beliefs make a substantial mark on the organization.
Mario Cuomo Close
We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.
Martin Luther King Jnr Close