Every exemplary leader will have an established high-quality inner circle. Outstanding leaders have achieved their position not by accident and never by what they do alone. They bring with them people of proven talent and a similar philosophy about caring for people and personal growth. This is why I mentioned age and experience in my last paper. They are a proven entity.
Bear in mind that this quality of Inner Circle is not an accident but a deliberate plan to bring a certain type of person on board as a member of a working body. This group of talented individuals will be fully supported to play to their strength and take charge as leaders when necessary. In almost every case, they have worked together for years. It takes time to establish the metal and value of each member.
So, it is a body of people that enters the world government environment, not just a single outstanding person. No organization functions well due to one person, regardless of how unique and capable they might be. That is why for years, I have taught leaders ways to build special relationships with certain staff members who demonstrated a quality above and beyond.
Time and work ethics and philosophies that build off the leader’s own mindset bring them together. This also helps identify negative leaders who would make themselves a sub-group with themself as a leader. Usually, leaders like these have little or no respect for the actual leader. Needless to say, a dysfunctional organization is the result.
In this case, exposing the negative leader is a must. Although they may be good at what they do, which can make it more challenging to eliminate them, they will invariably damage the organization in the long run.
The Inner Circle–Essential to a leader—Represents the best.
Regardless of National or World government, Leadership is a must.
As I put my thoughts to paper, I realize the immense need for only the best of our Leaders to be on a governing body. They must be exemplary in every possible way. This is not nor cannot be a training ground for any who are not qualified. In this, I believe, age and experience are of great importance.
I place age first. Only because those extra years bring the experience I refer to. I have written that the experiences which have the most significant and lasting impact on us are often repeated. Examples of this abound in a marriage and/or the relationships between parent and child. It is an unavoidable truth, and most damaged people result from this.
Also, my position for many years is that leaders have more than just power over those they lead. They can either create an environment that allows followers to grow or an environment that is harmful and, in some cases, destructive.
So, although a world government may or may not occur, there should be means to restrict this group’s selection to include only the wisest. Ideally, these would be those who have demonstrated such wisdom over the years. And that they have given much to others, rejecting special and narrow interests. People like these have existed throughout the ages. Every nation and religion has given birth to them.
Naturally, this might never happen, but the danger remains that we may self-destruct. We can only guess what the future may bring, as it is not ours to know. Still, we see that much is not right. Simply accepting this as the way the world is and functions amounts to madness. The willingness to confront problems proactively is part of what makes an exceptional leader. Hopefully, they are among us.
Great leaders are few–A gift to be close to them–They are not a dream
A leader’s behavior, meaning their ability to engage in Genuine Dialogue, is always witnessed by subordinates. Here I mean the family and those around the kitchen table, at work, at school, and relationships in general. So, it is always the leader, whether a parent or any person in that role, who, while talking, doing their job, or just being, can succeed in conveying an open, receptive and nurturing nature. Naturally, the best judges of whether this is so or not are those at its immediate effect.
A significant problem at the root of every leadership failure is that most who lead only want subordinates to follow them. In other words, from that leader’s perspective, they only desire pawns who will do their bidding instead of allowing followers to assert their leadership. So, when this type of leader “leads,” the “truth” they get back is not exactly what they need or want. Typically, that type of leader blames others instead of accepting responsibility for their own failings.
So, I emphasize that the core of relationship problems between leaders and followers is the leader’s behavior, not the relationship. This failure is not a shared responsibility. How can it be when all the power resides in the hands of the leader?
There is no question that it takes a special person who, when and if they become a leader, will fill that role with an open example of courage, honesty, and an authentic desire to help their followers grow so that they can realize their own potentials.
I lead to improve—You, if you choose to be more—We help each other
As you all know, I have lived, studied, and taught the fundamentals of GD. But, in our present time and day, it appears this level of communication is a rarity and becoming even more so. There are many reasons why I think this is happening.
Our modern world continues to grow smaller in terms of dwindling resources. Environment, food production, and water availability continue to shrink while cities overflow with millions of people. And while the technological explosion expands the ability and necessity of trade, I suggest that although many of us share the same language, we are more disconnected today than ever before. I believe all of the challenges I’ve referred to will force us to revise our way of living—not only as individuals and nations but in the variety of ways nations are governed. I won’t pursue that subject further but continue with why I firmly believe that Genuine Dialogue is more needed than ever.
Let’s start at the beginning. People need people. Our world would and could not exist as we know it without animals, plants, and human proliferation. Evolution has brought us to the point where it is obvious that if we are to continue our journey here on earth, we must find better ways to live and share our remarkable world.
Now it’s more important than ever before that the human race commits to communicating with each other. Only after we find ways to facilitate our ability to convene as one will we be able to solve the problems we face. We know well enough what they are today, and soon, we will be confronted by tomorrow’s. So consider this from your perspective: Are you present when being with another? Do you hear them when they speak and are you doing your best to understand them? Do you express your understanding by “confirming” them? And finally, are you as candid as you wish the other to be?
Our world does not wait—Time moves and so do all things—Can we wait for what?
Dinner is our social time, and usually, we eat in the bar. It’s open seating, reservations are not required as in the restaurant, and we never know who we will be seated with. Sometimes we meet people who have just moved in, or more often, we sit with people we know well.
Our conversation flows easily when we sit with people or individuals we know. The usual opening with people we do not know is, “where are you from? What did you do for a living, or are you a mother of children? If so, how many? Where do they live, what do they do, etc.?” In other words, we search for and make a connection. With new people, we make this our responsibility. With people we know, it’s mutual and easy.
Most are well educated, and we enjoy hearing their stories and questioning them when needed. Comfort is so important, and as expected, almost all of us choose (if the choice is available) to be with people we like and enjoy.
Often our conversation keeps us s at the table for a few hours. And just as often, it’s short and sweet. The subject matter makes a big difference. A recent example is the stories our single guest told us about her professional children and their work. We were so taken by her stories that we asked if she had written them down for her grandchildren. “No” was her answer, and we insisted that she does so as a necessary part of their histories. Apparently, we made an impression, as she recently informed us that she has begun to write her stories. Wonderful!
As I mentioned in a recent paper, we live in a Senior Village. The accommodations are between a fine hotel and a resort, but neither. Yet, it is unique. The corporation that owns and operates this complex has others around the country. They are all available to us if visiting any of those locations is on our mind. Next door to us is a total care facility. Assisted care is not offered here, but we live as well as possible for people of our ages.
The beauty of this place, which is called Revel, are all the people that live here and the staff of professionals who manage it. While the people who manage Revel do it superbly, I’ve chosen to write about the people who have elected to live here.
We reserved our apartment about two and a half years ago, joining some thirty-plus other people who had also committed. Most were primarily single, as there were fewer couples. Since then, it has grown steadily to about 135 residents and a long list of those waiting for apartments to open up. Interestingly, most living here are from back east with children in their 60s and 70s who live here and in Lake Tahoe. Many also have grandchildren here. So, in general, it all allows these families to remain close to each other. Always a good thing.
While many residents are retired teachers of every grade level, there are also many former engineers, technical specialists, and various professionals. Getting people to talk about their histories is easy, probably because we are good listeners and sincerely want to hear their stories. As I’ve always maintained, the more people become comfortable and feel safe, they share.
It’s not a one-way street. We also share our stories if others are interested. Politics, the state of our country, and the world often lead to wonderful discussions. In some cases, the ability to have meaningful conversations can also depend on whether people are trapped by their belief systems. I’ll write more about the people to come.
Just being a leader of others, whether as a parent, teacher, entrepreneur, political or military leader, places this person in a position of power with influence over those that follow and often upon whom they depend.
The fact is that the power these people possess is not open to discussion but a given. Their position carries a certain weight that influences the behavior of those they lead. Often without any way to contest this power.
But there is a way to moderate and seriously influence the leader’s behavior and power. This results from the leader building a talented and courageous small group of unique individuals, which I have labeled for years as “The Inner Circle.”
What makes the Inner Circle such a vital gift to any family or organization is the process I have called “Genuine Dialogue.” It allows members of the Inner Circle to take leadership with full power and wield it identically to the true leader. Ideally, many members of inner circles, as I’ve described, can and will create inner circles of their own.
Most importantly, when any leader creates their Inner Circle, the leader must be willing to share their power and also be ready to step up and support the “now” leader.
“Genuine Dialogue,” with the building blocks I’ve written about and taught for years, inevitably comes upon problems and issues that must be dealt with at the moment. In these instances, the leader may be anyone in the group who is in the best position to address the specific call. Effective leaders know that when they entrust their Inner Circle, Wisdom, not power, takes over.
Deever Jenkins passed away. Most of you, of course, did not know him, but lots of us did. He came to Purple Sage Day Camp as a little boy in the fifties and stayed with us until camp Shasta ended in 1970.
I write “he was complex,” and he was. Bright and caring, he was a contributor and always did a wonderful job when responsible for others. In fact, we thought him good enough to take over camp in the seventies. He always contributed what he could to help make things better for others. To that point, he and another long-term camper ran a successful day camp program for a large temple in Las Vegas. Lenette and I were very proud of the job they did.
He loved surfing and made this activity his “go-to” until he suffered a head injury. He also loved fishing, which was something he and another camper took very seriously. He leaves behind two adult children and a remarkable sister.
Deever’s history ultimately played an important part in his life; In his late teens and early twenties, he demonstrated tremendous leadership potential. He had much to give and did so. We will always remember him.
Deever lived his way—He surfed and loved his fishing—He remains with us.
In my recent paper, I reflected on our multiple selves and that the best leaders nurture the better selves with whom they live and work. While recognizing both positive and negative human behavior, exceptional leaders create an environment that fosters positive relationships.
But, as I’ve written many times, if experiences that make up the past are especially powerful or repetitious, there is a strong likelihood that the past tenaciously remains part of our present. It does not diminish in time but remains present like a persistent itch that some people suffer without relief.
The rare, true leader never gives up on providing nurturing relationships and a supportive environment. Although they may be the salve that contributes to eliminating the itch, the battle to be a better self is always one’s own. Being open to growth and change is never easy. Erasing the past is impossible but understanding it and setting it aside is not.
Still, even the best leaders are unable to change another directly. They can only build relationships and provide the necessary environment whose power is such that it is seen as safe enough so the other can make the decision for change. Never easy, but it happens, given the right circumstances.
There is a beauty to all this. We CAN make ourselves into better humans. Yet, we may not be able to do this all by ourselves. History can be as tenacious as an octopus, wrapping its tentacles so tightly around us that escape looks and feels impossible. Nevertheless, there is a path to growth and change. Help is there in the behavior of the quality leader.
My past tenacious—I am this person—Assist me to growth.
The more I write about self and relationships, the more I sense that we are never just ourselves. My history clearly shows my brothers, sister, and parents’ influences on me. I am not them, to be sure, but I am not without them in one way or another. All of which will be the point of this paper.
We are multiple beings that meet life each day. We are not unlike an orchestra with various instruments meant to be in harmony with each other while connected to its conductor. This arrangement may also bring conflict, whether conscious or not, between those who want to be dominant and others who also wish to play this role.
For years I studied, thought, and taught to help people be themselves. The idea that multiple selves exist within us was one that never entered my mind. Now, for the first time, it does because I am an old man searching my past. As I do so, I’ve become more aware than ever before that I am a product of my history. Mostly, this is not my doing. But as a result of to whom born, my family, and the environment in which we co-existed.
Creating a constructive environment is one of the ways a leader can help and nurture another. I made sure that people under my power and influence had the time and space to be the same person as often as possible. I was always aware that while with others, they may have struggled to be their best selves.
The problem is that many of the most painful experiences are continuous experiences, often impossible to mediate even with the best of help. Navigating through emotional “muck and mire” is also a constant experience. This is why I have always advocated for Genuine Dialogue. At its minimum, this meant “being in the present, listening, confirming what one understands and speaking with candor.”
I am me, or who? –I will not be my brothers—And not my parents.