A recent conversation -
"I'm going for a job interview. I'm pretty sick of the toxic culture I'm currently working in and I've been in it way too long."
"What do you think would be the reason for the culture? The leadership?"
"Yes probably, there's just a lot of bitchiness that goes on there."
"What does your manager do about it?"
"He just tells me to ignore it and he does nothing about it."
A friend recently said to me - people don't leave jobs, they leave managers. No doubt. As a general surmise of the culture most managers were created in, I would suggest it mirrors something of our childhood, something of our schooling years - task enforcer, reprimander, caste driver, knowledge limiter.
History has shown that we have hired managers based on various things, least of which is the actual ability of the person to develop human nature; there is a misconception that technical ability gives a person the automatic ability to manage the technical ability (and their ability to stretch their own boundaries) of those in their care.
It is considered a promotion to be able to manage humans, and so it should be, but not everyone has the nature to be able to bring out the best in people. Not everyone has the ability to bring out the best in themselves.
The gender position
Sheryl Sandberg wants women to Lean In to leadership roles. There has been more media coverage on the inequity of pay for the same position. Nowhere am I seeing a discussion on the types of qualities that make an effective leader as it's own subject and thereby reviewing the current leaders we have in the system, but purely to overlay women into that ineffective system.
There is also a discussion of men in leadership roles providing more mentoring to younger women (topical because now men are scared to approach women for fear of reproach). It begs the question as to whether a good leader is only made in commerce?! I see female leaders all over the community, in the home, in schools. It presupposes that in order to be the type of leader that is in discussion right now, it means to be a leader like a man, in an environment where man-things might be discussed and how we can bend and shift our way around the established culture.
If we were to use the conversation I started this article on, I would suggest there'd be little transmission of wisdom going on, just plot twists and tactics mirroring a soap opera. Not much growth material there.
So what qualities are we looking for in a leader to become in ourselves?
Definition of a leader - Ayurvedic style
The Ayurvedic approach would recognise leadership as someone who has natural ability to discern, a visionary that can see the problems of humanity and the clear solution, the ability to break down comprehensive issues into smaller boxes and make them manageable tasks, and be clear in speech and instruction. They will take the idea down a straight line and the sense of completion of a job well done will make them feel good.
This is a balanced state of the Fire (or Pitta) body type.
The imbalanced state of the same body type will need to claim name and fame for the sake of name and fame, get annoyed and angered easily and use bullying tactics to force allegiance and effect efficiency. It is not simply about hiring the Fire body type, but ensuring that they know how to create balance in their system to bring out the best in themselves.
When we know how to look for these natural qualities in someone, leadership comes naturally. To attempt to push women, and men, into roles either because it’s a political statement or because it’s considered more a male orientation to take on leadership is illogical. It is based on romantic novels not the reality of who someone really is.
How to determine a Natural Leader
Their eyes are keen, focused and bright. Intense and sharp may veer on the imbalanced side, but strongly engaged eyes are important to look out for. Ayurveda states that one of the home sites of Pitta is the eyes - which is why they are natural visionaries. They will “see” solutions that other body types don’t.
Their answers are direct. They don’t tend to waffle and the way they answer a question is the way they deal with an issue. You should listen for understanding of the topic, various ways to resolve the issue and an action plan on how to deal with the issue.
They like action. They don’t do ‘broad sweeping statements’, they like to break issues down and create action.
A highly developed Fire body type will want more than just money for a reward (after reasonable amount). They need accomplishments on their record and they are naturally competitive, even with them self, to do the best they can. A balanced leader will look for the best outcome even if the idea was someone else’s - they enjoy work well done. An imbalanced type in this arena would sacrifice good work for the accolades. This can be depleting and heating to the system resulting in ulcers, migraines, diarrhea, heart issues, skin issues and other heat related disorders.
They make great orators and command a great presence. The heat is magnetic - we are drawn to naturally passionate people. We enjoy listening to them because, when in balance, their ideas are clear and to the point. When in balance they possess enough water in their system to deliver the message with a soft edge, when out of balance they use a form of force, whether fear or bullying, to convince others to comply with their wishes.