A New Perspective on Leadership

I’ve recently accepted a new leadership role. I haven’t been in a legitimate leadership role since before I started meditating so it has been interesting to observe how my perspective has changed. I feel less of a need to win over the audience. I’m not trying as hard to connect with the audience and drive them in a specific direction. I also didn’t push myself into this leadership role; I was asked if I would accept it. I’m feeling more comfortable in my own skin. I am who I am, and I offer what I offer. If people want to listen to me, great! But if they don’t, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Instead of being over-accretive, I letting people come to me.

It reminds me of the old elementary school classroom trick where the teacher starts talking quietly so everyone eventually becomes completely silent so they can hear what the teacher is saying. Instead of talking over people, I’m quietly talking to the people willing to listen. If I have good things to say, people will start to follow my leadership.

Maybe this is a unique situation because I was asked to accept this role. Since I was appointed, I can assume that the people who asked me respect the skill set I bring to the table. Would the situation be the same with a random group of people? There’s an aspect of being ready to lead that is important here. For years after I learned to meditate I didn’t feel comfortable leading because I was seeing the world in a whole new way. I was so humbled by dhamma. As I’ve grown stronger in my practice, I’ve become more confident in myself and my choices. Maybe it’s simply the time in my development when I should accept leadership roles so those roles are finding me. Maybe the big lesson is patience. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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