Everyone is engaged in leadership, because each of us has an impact–positive or negative, small or large–on those we touch. That is, what we say or do “leads” others to impressions, perceptions, feelings, actions that are a direct result of how we are who we are. Something so small as a cheery “good morning” can lead those who hear it to feel uplifted.
Everyone is imperfect, and makes mistakes. Therefore, to pretend to be “strong and confident” (a commonly used leadership value), is inauthentic, the symptom of a defensive ego.
A good leader knows that he or she can never know everything, and is therefore always making decisions in a state of being “mistaken,” in a state of imperfect or incomplete knowledge. Operating with this self-knowledge, the leader is always expanding to include and appreciate more ways of knowing, being, and feeling, in a never-ending process of improvement.
Leadership is commonly associated with heroism, and heroism with struggle. Instead, it should be associated with self-expansion and good and good-feeling stress (what Hans Selye calls “eu-stress”) These elements align leadership with bliss: bliss enters when we allow ourselves to be dynamic works in process.
Cal State LA President William A. Covino and First Lady Debbie Covino