• 114th International Peace Meditation “Leadership: Why Me?”

    “Leadership: Why Me?”

    June 4, 2006-If you have been reading the International Peace Meditation for the last few months, or even the last several years, there may be an important reason. Even though you are probably already in a leadership position, you may be being prepared for the next step. How do I know? Because I am too. And my preparation these many months and even years has also been yours.

    What is Leadership?

    First, Leadership is the ability to know what one believes and values, and to be able to develop those beliefs and values into Principles for one’s life.

    Secondly, Leadership is the ability to look at the big picture objectively, and to determine how best to resolve issues within the context of those Principles.

    Thirdly, Leadership is the ability to get the job done through the people that one has nurtured, valued, and prepared through the teaching of those Principles.

    Fourth, Leadership is the ability to rely upon one’s knowledge and one’s Knowing. Knowing here refers to our deep wisdom, profound intuition, higher self, or by whatever way we have learned to express this part of ourselves upon which we must be able to rely. Education, regardless of the degree or degrees earned, can never completely prepare one for Leadership. Those who Lead based upon only this education, are often seen as detached from the real suffering or experiences of others. Knowledge is that deep wisdom gained over a lifetime that guides one through a situation, while using the intellect to further explore and understand the broader picture.

    Leadership can be scary. It is also exciting. Exhausting. Full of responsibility, and full of challenge. It makes one feel alive. It requires one to rely upon internal resources.

    If you have recently been given a new or enhanced opportunity for Leadership, you may have experienced many doubts. Am I equal to the job? Will I be successful? How will I define success? Can I be successful in some ways, and not in others? How will I know if I’m successful?

    Those who Lead often experience bumps in the road. Lost elections. Lost jobs. Lost opportunities. However, they must also be resilient in order to be available when the next opportunity, experience, or need arises. I was once told that Leaders need to be made of rubber-they need to be able to bounce back. How true! But defeats may soon be forgotten in the wake of victory. Only those who keep on trying truly succeed. Those who experience only success in their early years of Leadership may “burn out” because they have not developed the capacity for resilience. As we age, and accumulate life experiences, we understand better the need for resilience. Nobody escapes pain and grief. Nobody escapes failure. Pain and failure are there for each of us in different ways. How we move through each experience, and embrace each lesson learned, determines our future success.

    Consider many of the Leaders of not-for-profit organizations. Their inspiration was often born of great pain. I recently met someone who is part of starting up a new organization focused on autism because of one child with autism. That child’s challenge, and the challenge for the parents, became the basis of a new foundation that is already garnering support from physicians and healthcare workers, as well as parents and educators toward developing a comprehensive healthcare model and system for the child with autism. What a wonderful way to enhance the lives of so many! And this story is repeated over and over with those who have had pain, and moved beyond pain to service to humanity. This noble cause and others like it inspire all of us, and help us to become better Leaders in our families, service organizations, and government, as well as in the corporate world. When we reinstate compassion. When we regard service to humanity as our highest ideal. When we view our roles in our families and in our broader communities as deserving of our highest ideals, then we put our Leadership Principles into action.

    What are the principles of Empowerment? I have noticed that “Principles of Empowerment” is one of the most visited sites on the Institute’s web site. They are worth repeating here so that we can all see how they relate to our individual roles as Leaders. And we are all Leaders, wherever we are. These Principles are the guiding foundation of the Institute, and offer to each of us a foundation for Leadership.

    Principles of Empowerment*

    All people are created equal.

    Leadership is based upon integrity, character, ethic, talent, and skill.

    Honesty is the highest character value.

    Deceit must be eliminated from all systems.

    The human spirit is the highest priority.

    All systems must serve people.

    New systems must be created that value the human spirit and promote its development.

    The highest, the only, priority of government, business, religions, and families is to
    serve people.

    The individual must be empowered to serve;
    all who are not empowered drain the system of its most valuable resource.

    True empowerment is real equality. Democracy is its product.

    Now, read the Principles of Empowerment again, and consider the implication of these Principles for a parent. For a business leader. For a physician or other healthcare provider. For a government official. For a legislator. For a minister or priest. For anyone to whom others look for guidance. For those who make policy, and for those who implement it. For those who lead companies, and for those who work at the branch or store level. For those who lead school districts, and for those who teach. All of us are in positions that require us to empower ourselves in order to empower others.

    This meditation is dedicated to all who Lead: from parents who are a child’s first Leader, to CEO’s who are responsible for implementing policy. We are all Leaders, and how we Lead will define us. Each of us makes a difference in the lives of others.

    *United We Stand: Reflections on a True Democracy by Sue Kidd Shipe, 2000.

    Sue Kidd Shipe, Ph.D.
    Executive Director

    We hope you will visit our web site at www.humanempowerment.org and participate in this important mission to bring empowering messages and beliefs to everyone.

    If you have been touched by a message brought to you by the International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc., please consider making a donation or purchasing some of our products. Your support helps to ensure that more people will have access to these messages on topics of empowerment.

    In the future we hope to be able to: translate these messages into other languages, and produce Empowerment Seminars on a variety of topics. The first Seminar will be on Fibromyalgia and Other Invisible Illnesses. The seminar series will address a variety of issues that have resulted in a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness for many people. The results of these seminars will be White Papers that will be broadly disseminated through the web site, as well as given to our legislators, educators, healthcare providers, parents, patients, and government leaders.

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    Sue Kidd Shipe, Executive Director
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
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