Longing, Awe, and Commitment

Longing, Awe, and Commitment

One of the most fundamental acts of leadership is to declare our commitment to a desired future, a future that likely won’t come about without our help. And then, we move ourselves (and others) toward that future. I’m not talking about simple goals or mission statements. I’m talking about a heartfelt, fully embodied commitment. This commitment is only as powerful as the energy behind it. The energy of longing, caring, passion – that’s where amazing things happen. This kind of bold, passionate commitment always asks something of us, and in some way demands that we move into a larger version of ourselves.

Do you know what’s happening?

What keeps coming up is the importance of deeply sensing what is happening. The more deeply I can feel into what’s going on with the team, the more we can accomplish together. As leaders, we can use this sensing to make every interaction more powerful. In this post, I’m going to tease apart what I believe is involved in this sensing. My experience suggests there are 3 essential components.


Are you disturbed?

If you’re not, maybe you should be. While events around the world continue to be disturbing, that’s not what I’m talking about here.

Robert Greenleaf, who first brought Servant Leadership into popular awareness puts it this way. “Awareness is a disturber and an awakener. Able leaders are usually sharply awake and reasonably disturbed.“

Awareness is disturbing. So why bother?

As leaders in these difficult times, we need this “disturbing” awareness to fully meet the complexity and uncertainty the world brings us. All of us have habitual ways of thinking that limit us.