I’m caught between two refrains: “Mad World” originally by Tears for Fears but brilliantly covered for the soundtrack of Donnie Darko, and Dionne Warwick singing, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. No, not just for some but for everyone.”
Both keep floating through my head. Love-sweet-love is about as Christmassy as I’m likely to get but it reminds me that the birth of Christ was one of those moments in humanity’s long and fraught history that offered a glimmer of hope; The Redeemer, the Saviour, the Messiah had a message for us all, regardless of religion or atheism.
It feels like we’ve squandered that message of hope and redemption through service, love and kindness and that now it’s more about every powerful leader for themselves and to hell with the consequences. The strong will seek even more power over the stateless, homeless and helpless, the ruthless will exploit the weak as governments run out of money to do anything about it.
The experience of the UK Referendum campaign with its shroud waving, half-truths, untruths, exploitation of fear and insecurity on both sides, and the assassination of MP Jo Cox that barely slowed the slew of nonsense, came as a huge shock to me.
Then came the incredible circus of the US Presidential campaign packed full of senseless, fact-free diatribe – what George Orwell in 1984 called “Duckspeak” – the quacking rhetoric of hate, fear of the ‘other’, threats, grandstanding and empty promises (good luck with rolling back globalization and the impact of the digital revolution).
It’s tempting for me to bury my head in the proverbial sand and think, ‘it’ll be alright on the night’ but the reality is that these shenanigans have been a huge kick up the arse for me.
Over the years I’ve worked with with some wonderful leaders, principled and committed, hardworking and adding significant value to their organisations. However I’m wondering whether that’s enough so I’m delighted to be immersing myself once again in the writings of Danah Zohar in order to reconnect myself to a more profound and dare I say it, more spiritual base to leadership:
Leadership that isn’t self-serving, egotistical, power-hungry, status-driven but rather leadership that is more in tune to the heart-beat of our beautiful planet, a leadership that is in service of not just business and corporate ambition but also in service to a greater sense of humanity, a leadership that is about connecting with creativity and sustainability.
I will be seeking to work with like-minded folks in the coming year, including learning directly from Danah Zohar.
If you’re interested in joining me once the feel good factor Christmas / holiday has passed and you can’t stuff yourself with any more turkey and mince pies?
You know how to find me…