I can’t think of a more abused/overused word than “leadership.” So few practice well the ARS DUCENDI (latin for the art of leadership). Seems like we should shy away from using it. But, alas, this post isn’t about how to remove a word from our modern lexicon.
I’ve come to a point in my life where I believe that the “art” of leadership is found in integration and balance. Show me a man or woman who integrates and applies balance to their lives, and I’ll show you someone who understands what true leadership is. They may not have a title, may not have a corner office, may not rake in tons of dough, but they know and live the art of leadership.
The integration part is when the leader sees all areas of life (eight in my view) as important and therefore worth the time and work needed. It would be easy here to anoint then as a superhero/heroine. In a culture like ours (America in my case) we see these folks as superhuman and worthy of worship. This is a fatal mistake. We should never allow any human to live out our destiny for us. As rhetorical as that statement sounds, many people are on the sidelines, content to let someone else play their role. As you have heard before, only you can be you.
The balance part is a thing of beauty. I consider it the knowing when to and when not to. Miles Davis was brilliant at this from a musical standpoint. He seemed to know that the music was inside him and he needed to get out of the way so that it could flow out. Balance is found when you know the context and you live accordingly. For example, you know you’ve hit the point of diminishing return in the workday and your daughter is nudging you to communicate. You want to tackle one more email, but there she is. At this point, those who practice balance know it’s time to shut the work down and inject themselves into the life of their daughter. Like Miles, you get out of the way.
It’s time for you to start your version of ARS DUCENDI. You can’t ignore it and expect to have a life you want. Fools have tried and find themselves in the sad state of regret.