When a leader leads from the heart, and not from a position of authority or a place of popularity, they will have to change, time and time again. Why do you do what you do? If you had asked me that question a few years ago, I would have answered, “Because I must.”
We are defined not only by what we do, but what we don’t. As time goes on, I realise that my leadership journey is not only about the things that I have achieved and accomplished; it is simultaneously shaped by the things that I have yet to do. Hearts can and do change.
Pablo Neruda once wrote, “Whom can I ask what I came to make happen in this world?”
You will receive many answers throughout the course of your life and many of those answers will contradict one another. You will have to change–not only your mind, but also your heart.
In politics, a leader’s legacy is shaped by the past as much as it is by the future. Decisions that seem good for a particular time period later become dark legacies that are difficult to undo. The best leaders are not always the ones who are resolute and absolute. Leaders who fit this profile have egos that are fragile and easily bruised.
Rather, the best leaders are the ones who have changed their positions, their policies and even their ideals, as unforeseeable changes emerged on the horizon.
They knew that sticking to the status quo would have been more damaging in the end than embracing the change that was on the horizon. Why do we move when we do not want to? Because we must. Staying the same is sometimes no longer an option; and the only thing left to do is to have a breakdown that later becomes a breakthrough.
As our hearts change, so do our leadership legacies. But if our hearts don’t change, the legacy we leave behind will be one that is stuck in the mud.
Pablo Neruda once wrote, “Why did I decide to migrate if my bones live in Chile?”
The Earth is a vast place. Where we are born and first planted, where our wings take us as we discover our true horizons, and where we eventually plant roots that were once uprooted… Nostalgia has never been a good guide.
When the wind comes, we must let it gently guide us, before the storm comes. Because by that time, we will have no choice but to understand that chaos is not confusion, but an old friend that came to say, “Did you not hear me whisper that your time had come?”