Oprah’s final show was filled with wisdom. In this clip from the show Oprah talks about each of us having a calling. You do have a calling and finding your calling is both an adventure and the way to fulfillment. Our society is set up to keep us safe. In this context, safety can also keep you from your calling. You have to step out of your comfort and safety zones to find your calling. It is a hidden treasure – a treasure well worth the adventure.
Archive for the 'Youth and Leadership' Category
The fourth stage of the hero’s journey is Meeting the Mentor. In this stage, a mentor enters the hero’s life giving him or her what they need to start the adventure. Mentoring is a two way process. In a mentoring relationship, the mentor gains as much as the hero. Key to mentoring is seeing the hero for who they are, not what the mentor thinks the hero should be. Mentoring is about guiding and valuing the unique gifts of the hero. It is not about knowing best or fitting the hero into a mold. Mentoring is wind beneath the hero’s wings.
The third stage of The Hero’s Journey is Refusal of the Call. In this stage, the hero says no to the adventure. There can be any number of reasons – fear, complacency, not knowing how to answer. This refusal is a clarifying stage. By saying no and then later, hopefully saying yes, the hero understands the commitment he or she is making. The Hero’s Journey is not for the feint of heart. Setting off on this journey requires courage. Our youth have many aspects of their lives that may dissuade them from walking their own hero’s journey. Their mentors and allies can help them to see both the opportunities and perils of their journey and to develop want they need to set forth.
I wish our world more heartily embraced servant leadership. Wikipedia offers some great information on servant leadership including examples going back to 600 B.C. Here’s their definition of servant leadership:
Unlike leadership approaches with a top-down hierarchical style, Servant Leadership instead emphasizes collaboration, trust, empathy, and the ethical use of power. At heart, the individual is a servant first, making the conscious decision to lead in order to better serve others, not to increase their own power. The objective is to enhance the growth of individuals in the organization and increase teamwork and personal involvement.
Let’s spread the word about servant leadership to youth. It will help them and improve the world.
When I write about youth, I always come back to the Hero’s Journey. Yesterday on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, I heard an interview with the actress Anna Deveare Smith. She has written a book titled Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts-For Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind.
She made some great points about the unique journey of the artist and maintaining your authenticity. Her advice is not only for artists. As you develop as a leader, your unique voice and authenticity are key ingredients of your leadership abilities. You have to be ready at times, to go against the wishes of society, so develop your courage and strength to believe in yourself.