This world has always needed leaders. Men and women aware of both the time and need into which they were born and live. The grace to lead well is given to some more than others. Today, in ways like no other time that has preceded it, the world is looking for leaders. Individuals who will show the way, who will stand up, even while feeling afraid, and give direction, security, competence and solace.
As I have grown older, I find that I am given strength and grace to lead. What I don’t have is grace or good reason to cower, shrink away, idle away the hours and live for me. My agenda. My plans for a content life without taking those who know me into account. “My World and Welcome to It” is a fine motto for a ‘60’s TV sitcom. But it ill becomes a leader, who is supposed to embody–to one degree or another–selflessness. Sacrifice. It’s not about me. Nor about you.
I’ve been struck over and over again by the children’s movie “The Lion King”, one scene in particular. Simba, heir to Mufasa as king of the Pride Lands, has run away from his home and sphere of influence after the death of his father. Afraid. He takes up a worry-less, footloose-and-fancy-free existence. Hakuna Matata. No worries.
But the call of leadership will not let him rest. His father appears to him in a dream and says, “Simba, remember who you are!” Simba is afraid. His dad is dead. His uncle Scar, who killed Mufasa and is now ruling the deteriorating Pride Lands, intimidates him.
With the help of Rafiki, the sage mandrill, Simba gets his courage, his call, his appointed place, back. He is a leader and has royal blood in him. He cannot escape the role of destiny except at the peril of those counting on him.
So, he returns to the Pride Lands. There he overthrows the illegitimate ruler, corrupt Uncle Scar. And assumes his rightful throne upon Pride Rock.
People are counting on you. You have what it takes to bring order, peace, direction and security to those who are watching and looking to you. Remember who you are….
Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times (Donald T. Phillips)