The sun keeps on shining, irrespective of our actions. The sun shines on criminals as well as saints.
The lesson of the Sun is (amongst many lessons!):
- The Sun is often ‘unsuccessful’ in terms of the receptivity of nature and humankind to his light and life. Yet he keeps on shining day and night all over the world and all over our solar system. The Sun does his job irrespective of our reaction. Whether we complain of too much sun, or too little sun, whether we wear a hat or sun screen or not, the sun just keeps on shining. Whether we destroy the ozone layer or not, the sun keeps on shining. The moon keeps on shining due to the reflected light of the sun. Without the sun we will all die, every plant will die, nature will die, and the solar system will die. Yet the sun keeps on shining.
Authentic leaders shine like the sun, and rarely complain. They are part of the solution, not the problem. They define success in terms of their value system, not only in terms of the reaction of others. This is why they can endure almost unbearable challenges and animosity and yet persevere in doing the right thing.
- It is our mortal nature to judge our success by short term benefits. For example, if we are involved in a relationship (of any kind), we tend to judge the success of that relationship by the benefit it provides us. We also tend to judge the value of the relationship by the credit and appreciation we receive. Authentic leaders do not in principle judge the value of their actions by the short term appreciation they get in return, but base the value on their inner peace and deep-rooted belief system. They do things because it is the right thing to do.
This is why so many mothers and fathers are prepared to invest a life time in serving their children, often with very little appreciation coming from the children. Only real unselfish love can do this!
Authentic leaders shine like the sun, irrespective of the short term reactions of others.
The lesson of the Sun amounts to the universal truth that my behaviour is determined by my reward beliefs. If I believe in the overriding value of material rewards, then I am a prisoner of those beliefs. If on the other hand, my reward reality is based on universal values that provide inner peace and confidence, then I am empowered to be an authentic leader. If the sun’s shining depended on our positive reaction only, then it would cease to shine today.
We are given the power to shine or not to shine.
For more on what we do to empower individual leaders, teams and organisations – read here
Louis Groenewald is a leadership expert and commentator. Do you recognize some areas in yourself or your team that need improvement? Email Louis on firstname.lastname@example.org for more on creating “Leadership Fit” leaders that generate successful movement (performance) inside your organisation. Follow us on Twitter: @AdriaanG_LP or @LeadershipPform.