Who is your leader baby?

 Louisiana Museum, Denmark, 2011. www.iberianproteus.com

Louisiana Museum, Denmark, 2011. www.iberianproteus.com

The Idea of Leadership is as old as time itself otherwise how would the idea of an almighty being come about? We have always looked for direction and we have especially always looked for someone who knows more than us .

I believe that is what attracts us to leaders, gurus or masters, we believe them to have made better sense of it all to be a step nearer to the meaning of life or at least to have found serenity in the absurdity of it all.

A lot of our aspirations and ideals have Saturn rings of utopia dancing around them like a hula-hoop

The concept of leadership has also changed, we had mainly religious, philosophical and military leaders who led us or saved us from war. Whatever your opinion of Winston Churchill might be, no one can deny the impact of his leadership during the 2nd world war. We still keep calm looking at the Posters, regardless that the original “Keep calm and carry on “slogan was not his. Such was his power over the British people, that they believed that he single handed operated the war machine. The posters were found in an old bookshop and were fashionably risen as another symbol of unity against all odds under their most memorable of leaders. It was indeed after the 2nd world war with the rise of corporations that we began to see the idea of leadership favouredand readily available to one and all. 

Fast forward to the end of the century and we have leaders galore, everyone can be one and everyone must be one, we are following leaders, becoming leaders ourselves and telling others they must also follow in our footsteps.

So who is your leader baby ?

Have we got it all in stages and compartmentalised? Must we always quantify our display of leadership to ensure we have set our successors on their way? Must we always be one step ahead in the “New ideas” game to be bona fide? Or can leadership also be in the reflection of those left behind? The ones that check the nooks and crannies, spot the problems and find the solutions?

Confused already? So am I. I believe that Leadership has been stripped of the “Mothership” that we sometimes try to fit it simply as a buzzword into our lives. To me leadership is quite clear. It is the ability to care for others, it’s doing what is right whether the world is watching or not. It’s teaching your fellow humans to see the best and the worst in themselves so they can bridge their own gaps.

To be a leader is to be generous and give to those around you the same opportunities you had. It’s being Pollyanna and having faith in what seems impossible at times and it’s constantly reminding everyone that no one is left behind. A lot of our aspirations and ideals have Saturn rings of utopia dancing around them like a hula-hoop, there is no spaceship to the perfect world where we live happily ever after.

Leadership luckily is within all our grasp. Forget the buzzword, keep calm and think of others and we will be alright.

Janica Ribeiro.