Leadership

Some thoughts on leadership.

With the third Presidential election in the new millennium only a few months away perhaps it is time to assess whether our leaders and would be leaders in politics and even the leader in ourselves, measure to its simple definition.

Leadership is the ability to enthuse, to create, to accomplish goals for the good of the country, the organization, or the business. Inspired leadership is accomplishments for the greater good. Political leaders like to think they are inspired, but too often, “the greater good,” is replaced with partisanship.

Some people strive to be leaders, some are promoted to it, some are elected to it and some have it thrust upon them. There is gentle leadership, ego leadership, benevolent leadership, partisan leadership, inspiring leadership. Whichever one is chosen, by any individual, true leadership is still based on character and character is the outward quality of one’s inner being.

Character is a visible piece of the heart that others see when action, inspiration and difficult choices are required.

In these times of political rhetoric of constant change, of interdependency and minute interconnections, where truly the out-breath of one is the in-breath of another, leaders, in all their forms, need to look for and then act for the greater good.

Anything less diminishes character and keeps leaders and the country from the potential of greatness.

Peeping Tom

Some thoughts today on Voyeurism.

There are many things we don’t understand, and then there are some things that belie common sense and common decency. Why, for instance, do we seem to have an endless need to be voyeurs into other people lives, and sometimes even after they are dead.

All too often the tabloids get a hold of a sordid story and publish the alleged assignations and private life of some celebrity. Love affairs, romantic trysts, who loved whom. Who cares. Voyeur is a French name for a Peeping Tom. Can writing about it or reading about it in tabloid or book be less perverse than peeping?

It is the memory of personal good and public grace left behind by the icons of society that should be remembered, not their private choices that may be altered by gossip or greed. Do we see ourselves as better by peering into the prurient human failings of those we celebrate? Let the sins or faults, endemic to all of us, be forever buried with our bones. Remember only the good someone does for that will honor life, not defile it.

May the understanding of personal choices be acknowledged by the eternal Source of unconditional love and not vilified by those who are rudely nosy.

Smell The Roses


Some thoughts today on transformation.

I saw something the other day you don’t see very often. I watched a well dressed man stop abruptly, as if held by some invisible force. He was in a hurry, given his stride and determined pace, yet when he passed a public garden of blossoming roses the man suddenly stopped, put down his briefcase, and turned to face the beauty that bloomed there.

There were probably sixty rose bushes each with eight to ten blossoms festooning the prickly stems. It was a magnificent site. The plethora of color, in the softness of the morning light, stopped this busy man in his hurried quest. He stood there surveying the garden patch, spending a moment at each bush. His gaze stopped at a particularly full bush of bright golden yellow blossoms. He reached down, not to pick, but gently touched or better yet caressed this gift of nature. He kept his hand there for a long moment as he once again glanced at the entire patch of extraordinary color.

I thought how fortunate I was to be reminded, in such a tender private way, that no matter the urgency of an appointment, or how focused we are in our thoughts, when nature chooses to embrace us with her beauty and we choose to see it, that moment transforms our thoughts into a passion and we respond with awe. Thank you Sir for the reminder to take time and smell the roses.

A Pioneering Flight!


Johnny Miller died the other day. He was 102.

He was born just two years after the Wright Brothers flew their historic flight.

Miller had an extraordinary life in aviation. He learned to fly by teaching himself in a World War One Jenny and was proficient in Gyroplanes and many other aircraft culminating as a captain for Eastern Airlines flying jets.

Even though he reached the century mark two years ago, Johnny Miller stayed as active as he could. A couple of years ago, when I was interviewing him for a documentary called Gyroplane Refrain, I offered to help him bring his Bonanza out of the hanger, but he said, “No, I’ll do it” and then at nearly one hundred he flew it to two perfect touch and go’s.

I marveled then at his youthful spirit and I wonder what makes some of us old at fifty and some of us young beyond ninety.

Health, I’m sure, has a lot to do with it, and I suspect the inner attributes of a youthful demeanor: enthusiasm, attitude and the joy of adventure are part of it. And perhaps pride in still being able to make perfect landings.

It was Longfellow who once wrote:

“for age is an opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress. And as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is fitted with stars, invisible by day”.

Reportedly Johnny Miller’s last words were: “I guess my flying days are over”. No, Johnny, I think they have just begun. Your spiritual flight has made the Eternal Light much brighter. Requiescat In Pace.