Mindset Mondays with DTK – Ep #152 — The Science of an Art?

Much has been written about the science of leadership. And I’ve written, spoken, and ranted about it quite a bit. I am not at a loss for opinions on and theories about it, myself. AND … what excites me most is actually the being of leadership, the embodiment of leadership, the zen of leadership … in short, the ART of leadership.

I’m sure that’s why my jaw dropped and my heart leapt when I heard my friend say this just before the New Year:

“The art of leadership is the capacity to hold all emotions and still act in the most noble way.”
— Gilad Karni

As I feel called to deconstruct this quote … this seems as good a time as any for a little window into how I see and play with quotes in my world.

The first half, “capacity to hold all emotions,” besides tying beautifully into Bregman’s quote from last week, speaks powerfully to the importance of being with the expansive range of feelings that surge in and out as a leader emerges and grows. The greater one’s capacity and range, the more connected to and engaged with a leader can be with those she serves.

“…and still act” speaks to me of the core leadership competencies of resilience and respond-ability (the intentionality of choosing to respond rather than merely react … even when filled with emotion). And I am still dancing with the “in the most noble way” element. The “most noble way” has my heart and brain all atwitter. Not because @Elaine and I are ¾ of the way through “The Crown,” but rather because “noble” is defined as “having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.” I always tend to push back on absolutes or global standards. And “noble” can easily be seen as both. “Most noble,” no less! One one hand, who gets to say what the noble, let alone the “most noble way” is?!?

Aye, there’s the rub: I DO. We each do. We each get to determine what our own “most noble way” of acting is.

This quote speaks perfectly to what leadership is at its very core: a beautiful balancing act between wanting FOR the world and wanting FROM the world, between being a flawed bundle of surging neurochemistry wired merely for survival and being a beacon, a guide, and a steward yearning to thrive … and ALL of that in brilliant simultaneity!

So … what is leadership for you?

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