Unlocking the Heart and Soul of Remarkable Leadership, Keith Merron
Remarkable Leadership

The Poet’s Corner – Responsible Leadership -by Robert McDowell

Responsible Leadership

We hear a lot of platitudes about responsibility when it comes to leadership, but what does it all really mean? A leader leads. Others follow a leader. But not all leaders succeed.
It takes more than aptitude to be a successful leader. But often we put our faith in technical, left brain skills at the expense of human right brain skills. Consider this poem by William Stafford.

Meditation, by William Stafford

Animals full of light
walk through the forest
toward someone aiming a gun
loaded with darkness


That’s the world God
holding still
letting it happen again
and again and again

I believe Stafford is talking about responsibility and empathy here. No higher power is going to bail us out on the job when we have tough calls to make. That’s up to us. In order to make those decisions, we need to be grounded and focused. We need to be awake, to feel empathy for others. Otherwise, we’ll spin in circles, doing things in old ways that stymie us and frustrate us and never take us to our desired goals. Only we have the power to do it differently, to change course, be innovative, and responsive to the needs of others. When one acts in this way, one inspires others. One leads.