Editors’ Blog: August 2011

Monday, August 29 2011

One of the bloggers who contributes to Mindful Voices is Janice Marturano, who shares insights and ideas from her work training leaders in how to apply mindfulness to help navigate the chaos and conflict they face. Janice’s posts always keep me exploring what’s involved in being a good leader—and we are all leaders at least some of the time. Leadership is not reserved only for big L leaders, and yet we look to those kinds of leaders—the ones who are called to bear the burden of leadership for long periods under great pressure—for inspiration and guidance. We choose them to lead us presumably because we hope and trust that they will call out the better angels of our nature.

Too often, though, leaders end up just being cheerleaders for our side. Our side is good. The other side is bad. Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah. Let’s beat them! And in the worst cases, leadership descends into demagoguery—leading us by playing on our fears and our lesser emotions. A steady diet of lesser leadership can make us weary. And wary. We distrust leaders before they’ve even spoken.

Occasionally, though, a leader comes along who shows us something larger, who takes us beyond ourselves, who embodies the kind of aspirations and humane qualities we celebrate at Mindful.org.

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posted by Barry Boyce, 8:50 am
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