To lead people, walk behind them.
– Lao Tzu
Success and power can easily hinder our good intentions, making our egos rise like skyscrapers and constantly generate that insatiable need for more. Many of those who fall into this trap, simply never look back, who they are leaving behind, creating unbridgeable gap between themselves as a “leader” and their peers.
But it has never become more clearly as in nowadays modern organizational structures that a good leader cannot be someone who imposes false authority: leader needs to inspire, guide, set an example for other coworkers. A good leader needs to have and foster a dynamic personality, be able to seize the opportunity, recognize talent and bring the best out of people.
I usually think of good leaders as magnificent puzzle solvers: they have that ability to utilize available human resources and reorganize their team in such way that each problem/situation can be managed – like solving the puzzle.
Now, how that relates to poetry?
Poetry can awaken those subtle human qualities that we need to develop in order to become good leaders. It helps us live and understand human experience which is a crucial part of creative process: taste of life and our perspective of the world motivate us to generate more ideas and innovative solutions.
Organizational life can be draining and sometimes makes us hardly cope with everyday activities. Poetry reconnects us with those forgotten parts – instead of just surviving the working week, it can help us remember who we are and how to thrive, focusing on our best qualities.
In my opinion there is a quite similarity between leaders and poets. Leaders just as poets initiate thoughts and conversation about ideas, causes, motivation and engagement. Both poets and leaders have that ability to touch our souls, minds and connect us on the most intricate levels.
Our world is too complex with overlapping issues and processes: poetry has that magical ability to simplify things and life in general. In other words, reading and writing poetry can support any leader to better conceptualize the world and communicate it.
Furthermore, poem can provide wisdom and insight in the most difficult times. I hope that poem below will inspire your work, persistence and help you seize your value in every team, every relationship, every situation:
Focused Effort Prevails by Henry W. Longfellow
The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
We have not wings, we cannot soar;
But we have feet to scale and climb,
By slow degrees, by more and more,
The cloudy summit of our time.