now browsing by month
Vision is a very significant composition for leaders. Leaders who lead without vision is like a blind man walking in a dense jungle. Visionary leaders should exercise their vision in a right way rather than only having the vision in mind. But when we link to a lust for power and absolute ruthlessness quoted by Oksenburg, it is hard for me to assume what type of vision this leader should cultivate. However, I still stand on a right vision as the most important part for leaders before they prepare for the game of a lust for power and absolute ruthlessness.
Our transitional modern world moved forward tremendously with egalitarianism dominant of idea and change. This new coming trend tends to monopolize socioeconomics, politics, language, philosophy and culture in our social movements. There are large flows of convergence as well as new emerge of challenging divergence. In socioeconomic, there are larger scales of investing owned by one or two giant companies transnationally implemented. International political arena is gradually binding firmly together such as European Union or Southeast Asia plus three etc. Language is absolutely becoming one standard in communication with all aliens; and we can say English is presently universal tongue. Philosophy would be thoughtful focusing on humanitarian, sharing, toleration and empathy. This insightful thought inevitably treads on the way of moderation, negotiation and middle path. Culture seems to be less diverse that it becomes a new figure embodying the third culture product in which people create from their understanding and respect. The above few social compositions exhibit the convergence rather than divergence, but it is just the waves of flow and we cannot fathom the silent movement beneath those flooding waves.
This new emerge fascinatedly requires political leadership to handle and reframe it. For political leadership in here, politically corrected, I don’t mean to refer to those political professionals, but to those responsible leaders.
Oksenburg, who was specialist in China and former president of East West Center, laid out some idealistic formulations on leaders and leadership that include:
- A lot of lust for power
- Absolute ruthlessness
- Many followers
The above concepts, Oksenburg intentionally referred to Chinese leaders only. But as we can see from our observation, these four concepts should characterize every leader regardless of their geography, tendency or power nature. However, some of them are my favor and some are not.
A lot of lust for power would be good if that power is legitimately gained and productively implemented. This reflects the abilities to compete fairly in the game of power with others. Those who win with unwholesome tactics, their power would be inescapably retaining hostility and becoming future lame in their leadership sphere. Furthermore, when they gain power they will absolutely utilize it to control or jeopardize opponents. Their power is naturally absolute in the political stage which always leads to totalitarianism. So speaking directly without having judgmental sense, Oksenburg intended to tell us that leaders should have a lust for power in a fair game.
Meditation and Leadership
Nearly four months in Asia Pacific Leadership Program course that provided me the realization of how important of self in supporting sustainable development. Three lessons mainly value the self which has full potential to impact the whole compounding society. In Leadership Seminar, the core idea was centralizing on individual’s motivation. Started its class with silent lesson inspired me very much to explore my inner strength and ability. Culture and diversity also emphasized the existence of self to extend to surrounding people, environment and culture through the prospects of respecting, tolerance and compassion. Visioning the future and personal action plan (PAP) also inspired self-centered, self-innovated, self-projected, and self-oriented. In Professional Development Leadership Seminar, it encouraged individuals to improve self-resume and curriculum vitae through self-experiences, community services and orientations. Egonet and networking classified self as the most important component to create networking effectively. By self-effort, self-intelligence, self-awareness and self-responsibility should bear fruits to success in exposing with other people and tasks. When we can create ourselves as a stable pole or a big island, there will be many people trust and want to take a hold or parking their journey. In Regional Core Issues, it has the concept that economics, politics, environment, culture, social formation and information are circle and spinning around the word “I.” “I” is the essence of these core issues. Bad or good originated from “I”. So how can we decorate “I”, “Self” or “Individual” to be more proactive and becoming essential milestone of success?
Self and relationship with nature according to well-known scholars
Both Mechanical Universe of Isaac Newton and Quantum Mechanics of Albert Einstein have clarified that self or individual is very essential to respond to the whole society, world and universe under a certain natural law which called original interdependent or inner relativism. Buddha is the first researcher who found this theory and taught everybody about this inner relation and pointed out the way of middle path, self-savior and enlightenment.
Why meditation should be important to develop leadership?
When we discuss about self-savior or self-reliance; it must come from inner individual discovery through meditation practice. Good leader aims at those who can lead themselves, endure to serve others and initiate self-orientation. Richard Davidson, Neuroscientist of Wisconsin University has found that meditation is the important tool to develop happiness and other abilities especially leadership[i]. This factual statement inspires us to look inside and explore this tool together.
What is meditation?
Meditation is the method to explore self-strengths, peace, wisdom, compassion, motivation and innovation. Meditation doesn’t distinguish the practitioners by race, religions, language, traits or location. It is not the faith or belief but the discovery of self-enlightenment. It is not the spiritual rites, but it is the developing center of wisdom, compassion, dedication, commitment and leadership. There are two types of meditation: concentration meditation and insight meditation. Concentration meditation is the practice concerning the establishing of calmness, stillness and peace of the mind while Insight Meditation focuses on the cultivation of realization and knowledge.
Conflict Resolution for the Workplace
While the former manager was transferred to another store, a new coming manager has run her management style differently. Some of the co-workers said she is a micro manager, mean and angry leader. For me, I see her as very rigid and nepotistic.
To handle with the new manager, first of all I have to understand myself first: what is my strength and weakness, how is my self-awareness and self-expression? What type of personality style am I in comparing to animals or bird such as turtle, teddy bear, fox, shark and owl? How could I build creative response and appropriate assertiveness? What is my personality profile – task focused or people oriented? Primary step is the emotional management and the courage to stand up with open listening and open communication in a way of win-win approach.
Comparing to animals on how do I handle conflict, I am likely characterized by owl that win-win strategy is very substantial. Unlike Turtle who withdraws into its shell when he/she is facing with problem; Teddy Bear who is cheerful and refusing to talk about the problem; Fox who likes compromise all the time; and Shark who hardly pushes to the end to determine win or lose; Owl will make special effort to mutual understand, build trust, and undertake appropriate assertiveness etc. As I took my vow to understand the new manager style and personality, I furthered my step in putting myself within a cool situation although my manager was always tense and authoritative.
“I statement” is very helpful for me. Once, I directly told her that “I feel that the caring both internal and external customer(s) are very important”. With this statement, I furthered explain the unfriendly action against staff(s) are like treating internal customers unproductively. Whenever, the staffs don’t incorporate with the management teams, it might make work environment worse. So the prospect of putting customer first possibly referred to everyone especially external customers and internal customers (co-workers). I am considering this action as part of my creative response and appropriate assertiveness.
When I was a graduate assistant at the university, one of my senior co-workers tended to offer me many tasks in which distorted my time to serve my boss who directly supervised my tasks. As he set deadlines for those tasks, I had to double energy and time to complete them. Once, the burden was overwhelmed, I must state the need of change to the management team. Before that, I face-to-face talked with co-worker about assigned duties I must also complete for the boss. He finally understood on my responsibility.
I am more inclining to task-focused than people-oriented. I believe in tidiness, compliant, well organized, set-policy and punctual. But I might miss parts of sense of humor, people sensitivity and social outgoing etc.