I have just discovered Tina Malia and listened to her most of the day yesterday. Her voice and music is expansive and opens the heart and soul to the yearning for awakening and the hope that transformation is truly possible, for the planet and for all people. This video is of the beautiful song Heal this Land.
Today, after the tremendous win for Barack Obama in South Carolina, I feel that hope really is alive and change is truly possible. The power of Obama is the power of intention and inspiration – the intention to create real change and reach across the many chasms that divide us, and the inspiration to make it happen. Focusing on the negative, in any situation, is the surest way to bring it about – taking hope and converting it to the certainty of success is the wizard’s work that is required to turn this country around.
I found this interesting article called “Leading with Vision and Trust” by Warren Bennis. He writes:
Why did India’s poor march to the sea with Gandhi against the salt tax? Because they trusted him. Trust is based on predictability: trusted leaders make themselves known and make their positions clear. Four leadership qualities together engender trust:
Creating a vision
Leaders manage the dream: they have the capacity to create a compelling, over-arching vision that takes people to a new place.
A vision is a portrait of the future that grabs. Initially it grabs the leader, and then their magnetic intensity and commitment to it draw others in. Leaders love what they do. The passion that comes from knowing what they want, that is demonstrated by their unswerving commitment to a vision, communicates hope and inspiration.
Visions animate, inspire and transform purpose into action. Visions bring about confidence and a belief in others that they are capable of performing to their full potential.
Communicating the vision
Believing in one’s dreams is not enough. Without communication nothing can be realised.
Leadership is a transaction between leaders and followers. Neither could exist without the other. Leaders must understand their followers, and followers must understand those who lead. This interaction creates a unified focus that flows from the communication of a clear, compelling, vivid and exciting image of a desired state of affairs.
Communication creates meaning. Mismanagement of meaning and lack of clarity only lead to evasion of responsibility and guilt.
Leaders must be able to influence and organise meaning, and to focus more on thinking than “facts” or “knowing”, on the “know-why” before “know-how”. Shared meanings and interpretations of reality facilitate coordinated action. Unequivocal communication of the message is key to aligning any group behind an organisation’s goals.
I believe that this describes Barack Obama’s ability to lead the US out of the despair of the current time. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg agrees:
OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama. . . .
Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible. . . .
Senator Obama has demonstrated these qualities throughout his more than two decades of public service, not just in the United States Senate but in Illinois, where he helped turn around struggling communities, taught constitutional law and was an elected state official for eight years. And Senator Obama is showing the same qualities today. He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people — known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics — to become engaged in the political process. . . .
I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.
I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.