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Peace and justice for all

Monthly Musing: Leadership for the Greater Good

As we get settled into a new chapter in American history (with a record turnout of voters!) it is important to look at the new kind of leaders we need to heal and unify our very divided and fragmented country. Obviously, the election was a roller-coaster of emotions for most of us. Some of us are celebrating the winning of our candidates and some are feeling sad about the loss of our candidates.
The one thing that we can all be proud of is that our democracy is alive and both parties have a representation in our federal government. That, I believe, is a good thing. Many concerns came to light in the past four years and during this election year. Regardless of your political party, the truth is that We The People need to hold our elected officials accountable and to play a role as leaders in our own important ways. Read on for insights from my recent book release about leadership for the greater good.
Leadership for the Greater Good
As the various local, state, and federal level leaders are selected and take office, the critical role WE as voters can play is get involved with our local politics and hold our legislators accountable. It is my hope that the record-breaking voters that turned out on election day do not become passive, but remain active in their jurisdiction and participate strongly in the creation of a more inclusive, high integrity, compassionate, anti-racist, and anti-inequality society. Together we can commit to serving our less fortunate brothers and sisters.
In my recently released book, Leadership for the Greater Good – a Guide for Truth to Power Champions, I share the following sentiments:
Do you wonder, like me, “What happened to ‘the Truth’?”
In this book, I dive into this question through the stories of world-renowned leaders, many of whom come from outside the business world or the social sector. This is intentional: leaders reside in all sectors of society, from unsung, hard-working, stay-at-home moms and dads to social enterprise leaders to heads of family-run businesses to teachers, spiritual leaders, artists, and former felons. No matter what type of leadership you practice, or if you are just beginning your leadership journey, every leader can grow intellectually, socially, and spiritually. That’s what this book is about.It is part memoir, part historical narrative, and part guidebook, with the aim of helping you investigate how you can lead better through inspirational stories of leaders who have competency in their technical fields, in their social contexts, and in their spiritual development.
I would argue that the power of truth remains crucial, yet it has seemingly become more and more concealed. When someone lies, the listener can intuitively recognize it, shut down, and stop listening. In contrast, when we hear the truth, it impacts us at a deep level and resonates with our spirit! Our ears perk up, and our listening becomes focused and more attentive.
Leaders throughout history have recognized the importance of truth. In the Bible verse John 8:32, Lord Jesus Christ said, “Then you will know truth, and the truth will set you free” (New International Version). Similarly, Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi brought the might of the British Empire to its knees by pursuing a revolutionary truth through his nonviolent rebellion, a practice he called satyagraha.
Satyagraha means “insistence on truth,” “loyalty to the truth,” or “holding on to truth or truth force,” which was embodied most clearly during the last century’s nonviolent resistance and civil rights movements. Gandhi’s satyagraha practice famously influenced many exemplary leaders in history, such as Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States, but today we see very few satyagrahis in politics, religion, the corporate world, nonprofits, and universities. The premise of this book challenges our current models of leadership development. Today, most leadership models singularly emphasize improving one’s chosen field of endeavor, but there should be so much more to a leader than a career.
We have become so focused on being “the best” that we are constantly living in our heads, worried about providing for ourselves and our families, and reluctant to acknowledge the problems that do not directly involve us. The world desperately needs leaders who can address our planet’s most pressing dilemmas, including poverty, immigration, crime, violence, divisiveness, environmental issues, and the threat of losing democracy, as well as the need for freedom and inclusiveness. As concerned, caring citizens we must spawn a new breed of leaders to face them.
The strength of my model, unlike other models out there on leadership, is that the kind of leaders we need to spawn today need to have competencies in three separate disciplines (see QOM below) and not only in their chosen career. We humans do not just live in our homes and work—we also live in and are an integral part of our respective communities.
So, as you let the election season and results settle, I invite you to pick up a copy of my book to learn more about how we can all be leaders in our own way and how we can support a world where great leaders can pave the way for the greater good of humanity.
Peace and many blessings on your journey forward,
Azim Khamisa
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