What is a Leader?
In science, the word “leader” is deeply tied to how lightning is produced. In meteorology, a leader is a stream of plasma that channels lightning.
Leadership and lightning share something in common: power. Both channel power.
In today’s world, power is very much in humanity’s shadow. Our political, economic and social systems demonstrate so many examples of power – individual, national and global – operating in corrupt, self-centred, and exploitative ways.
Some hoard power. Some fight to take it back. Some use intellectual, emotional or physical violence to keep it. Some dissociate and make power itself bad. The majority just become deeply disconnected and apathetic.
All of this comes from our disconnection from True Power – the essential power at our core.
True Power is the life-force of Spirit alive in our hearts, bodies and souls. While conventional power is treated like a currency that some have and some don’t, True Power operates like a current of electricity or lightning - a nuclear source of Life that is impregnated with the Purpose, Will and Presence of the One.
While conventional power often is based on what an individual knows or can do, True Power is an expression of radical Being.
The models of power that characterized the last 2000 years, and that began in the ancient world, such as in Ancient Egypt, have been solar. Such leaders are like suns whose vision is like light, illuminating the way forward for those around them.
The solar cosmology of Ancient Egypt played a huge role in catalysing a global solar culture in the thousands of years since. Just as they put the Sun at the centre of their world, embodied by their leader on earth – the pharaoh – so have all our systems of politics, religion, education and others been structured around a single individual, often a man, who leads the way.
As noble as their expressions may sometimes be, these solar models have always been rooted in conflict - the conflict of light and dark, sun and moon, masculine and feminine, consciousness and matter...
The coming models of leadership will no longer be solar - based on the light of the mind or soul. They will be based on darkness - the darkness of pure spirit.
Spirit is the indestructible essence of our being that transcends and vibrates at the core of the soul and the body, masculine and feminine, consciousness and matter. When leadership comes from here, the conflicts between these forces, within and between us, are resolved.
The outer symbol for Spirit is the black hole at the galactic centre, which simply through the presence of its dark silent being has enough power to hold a field for a hundred billion suns to be born, shine and die.
While the conventional power of solar leadership is based on knowing and doing, the True Power that is the charge of spirit flows from Being.
The secret of True Power is sacrifice. Those who lead from True Power embody the highest expression of servant leadership, which is the willingness to offer our very identity up on the sacrificial altar of the One, to be penetrated and opened by the spear tip of its Presence.
We should expect excellence from our leaders, and to lead from True Power stably requires a high level of personal integration and development. It requires the ‘making whole’ of our being – mind and body, masculine and feminine – as well as being attuned and aware about the needs of the people and organisation(s) we are leading.
Such leaders are on fire with awakeness and purpose. They can embrace whatever challenges arise as opportunities to deepen team connection, attunement and coherence. They are ready to penetrate the world with their mission, and inspire others to join them as warriors of purpose. And they welcome and integrate the energies of our bodies and emotions – our vulnerability, needs, rage, grief, joy, play and laughter – as sacred aspects of our humanity that can fuel our way forward. When leaders are coming from True Power, those around them are automatically empowered in their own purpose, development and creativity.
Understanding power in this way radically changes the way we understand leadership. Rather than being based in a position of formal authority, leadership becomes a state of being. Leaders are those who are ‘in charge’ as the current of True Power moves through them, and leadership is no longer limited to individuals but whole groups can participate in it simultaneously. Then, power can be shared in a way that isn’t based on competition or hoarding, but rather the coherence that comes from each individual being plugged into the source of True Power.
In the intensity of the current global crisis, light and love are not enough. What is also needed is power, and the emergence of leaders in multiple fields who can catalyse humanity’s evolution, healing and awakening to its collective purpose.