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Leading and Creating a Sacred Space
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Rethinking the True Path to Great Leading
Little Foster's AssignmentCheck out Foster's latest videos on Wisdom Leading™ and his new book Leadersh*t: Discovering the True Path to Great Leading. Follow Foster through this animated short and visit the video page to see exclusive interviews about the book.View & Comment
What was it that made William Shakespeare the greatest writer of all time? According to the great poet John Keats, it was what Keats called "negative capability." That's the capacity to hold yourself in balance between the two poles of a situation without imposing your will in order to force a resolution. Doing so allows ambiguities to fully play out and opens everyone up to new levels of understanding. Keats described this quality as "when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason." I devote much of my time and effort helping leaders build capabilities, yet this one is really tough. In our culture, we're not good at negative capability. We rush to judgment, facts be damned, and are eager to find solutions even if no good ones exist. Humans don't tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty well, yet it's the tension between uncertainty and resolution that makes our greatest drama, fiction and music. In organizations, negative capability empowers leaders to approach problems and conflicts without rushing to one side or the other. It lets them "slow down the game" and allow all factors in a situation to become apparent before a solution is even contemplated. Negative capability is the purview of wise, calm, and controlled. It's a quality we could all do with more of. How might building "negative capability" improve how you lead your team and yourself? Read more | 1 Comments
Tis the season for high school and college commencement speeches, which means it's time for millions of graduating seniors to roll their eyes in boredom. Who can blame them? The typical graduation speaker is somebody the students have never heard of. He or she delivers predictable lines about "being the future" and "believing in your dreams" to people who only want to get out of their hot caps and gowns and go party. I get it. But one of these days, I'm hoping I'll be honored with a request to deliver a commencement address-perhaps even to my alma mater, UCLA. If I am, I won't talk about dreams and careers and the future. I won't bury my audience in boring clichés. I'll talk about wisdom, and these are some of the points I'll make: ? Listen twice as much as you talk. People want to tell their story. ? Accept that achieving the life you really want will be ten times harder than you can possibly imagine today. ? Go after that life anyway. ? Tools change. People don't. Integrity and character still move mountains. ? You're entitled to air, space, and freedom of speech. That's all. ? Don't worry about being famous. Strive to be respected. ? Slow down, wait, and listen. There are wonders to be found in silence. ? Be present. Don't tweet about the past or text about the future. ? Regardless of their politics, 99.9% of people want the same things you do: love, family, health, purpose, peace and prosperity. What would you say to a graduating class? Read more | 0 Comments
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