About leading and thoughts

Just yesterday we finished a super inspiring Team Mastery 2 at Arantzazu. It were 3 days filled with learning, inspiration and lots and lots of energy. Main topics were leadership and leading thoughts. And thinking of that, where better to start than in the Chapel of Reconciliation of Arantzazu.

Before going into this I must say that I do not speak Basque or Spanish which prevents me to really know about the place. Nor am I strong at history. But what I know I like to share.

Under the leadership of Franco, Basque language and Basque names were forbidden from 1938 onwards. The relation between Spain and Basque Country was under severe pressure, eventually leading to the foundation of the ETA. It was in this political turmoil that Arantzazu was build from 1950 to 1955. That this was made possible has most probably to do with the strong ties between Franco and the Catholic Church, in 1953 a concordat was made between the Catholic Church and Spain. Still the building of Arantzazu has been extremely tough for the Basques.

With this knowledge have a look at the picture below, a wall painting, which can be found in the Chapel of Reconciliation.

What does this tell me about leadership? The leadership of Jesus but even more the leadership of the Basque artist who made this. What beauty and what humility. To me this painting tells all about leadership as a servant and friend leadership. It says it all. At least where service and friendship are concerned. Now were Jesus or the Basque people obeying all the time? NO, of course not. They stuck to their values, all the time. Their commitment was extremely powerful. Otherwise they would never had make it happen. Now the step to Gandhi is a small one. His leadership was exactly similar. No leadership without values or leading thoughts as we call them at Team Academy. Leading thoughts, which you carry in your heart, not on a piece of paper.

Getting back to Team Mastery, what did Ainoa say about her leadership? She said: I am not going to be a coach anymore; from now on I am going to be Ainoa. What wise words! One can only be leading if one does not compromise. That insight is great but it leads to a much bigger question: who is Ainoa. Or in my case, ‘who am I?’

To answer that I need to know my own leading thoughts. Which values are so powerful for me that I am ready to die for them, or at least what values will I never compromise? Recently that question has become more relevant than ever as my wife left me recently. During the last few days I had an opportunity to deepen my insights. Let me just put my values as they crystalized here:

–       Everything I do should lead to a positive change in the world,

–       I inspire others to make the world a better place by helping them to realise their own dreams,

–       My life will be a life of service,

–       In order to do this I should keep a beginners mind and see the world with fresh eyes and, laugh and ask questions

–       I should know myself, follow my heart, stand my ground,

–       My mind and my body are one, therefor in order to fulfil my dream I shall respect my body and care for it.

This obviously is a bit too much. It could be abbreviated as follows: ‘by caring for my body and mind I will be able to follow my heart and make a positive change to the world. ‘

Reading back the above, the approach is close to Buddhist principles, which fortunately I adhere. The good news is too that Buddhist monks are rather tough and even more can have a rather good sense of humour.

Good to think about it more, my next essay therefor will cover Buddha Friend Leadership


Onati, November 4, 2012

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