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Some Leaders Weave the Fabric of Civilization Artfully

There are people who are remarkable, core-values-oriented, inspirational leader-activists — and yet most people are not.  Humanitarian leader-activists are the ones who keep the fabric of civilization skillfully repaired. More so, at times, they weave it artfully, with new strengths, advanced patterns, and compelling textures. They are human beings, and humanity depends on them.

Some are famous, including Gandhi, Angelou, Lincoln, Franklin, Teresa, Carter, Clinton. (Hardly an exhaustive list.) Thank goodness for them, and for the example they set. Knowing them enables us to emulate their actions. Civilization grows by such emulation.

You have heard of others who are private and humble, yet their impact exceeds their fame. One remarkably effective humanitarian we would be smart to emulate is Molly Barker, Founder and Vision Keeper of Girls On The Run International.

Girls on the Run® is a non-profit prevention program educating and preparing preteen girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living through running. Their curricula address all aspects of girls’ development — their physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being.  It is a lot more than a running program.

One of Molly B’s sayings is, “ The only requirement of having a dream is believing in it.” This artful leader runs her talk, weaving happy colors and genuine confidence into the fabric of civilization. In a few years, this four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete will have elevated the lives of millions of girls, and with this each of us!

I have no interest in calling someone a leader simply because they are in a position of authority. Given the state of the world today, we need leaders who have a constructive impact on civilization — an impact that supersedes greed.

It is remarkable how humanitarian leaders can proceed from dissimilar backgrounds — with dissimilar training, and dissimilar resources, and vastly dissimilar appearances — yet, similarly show signs of inner synchronicity and obvious inspiration. We know each is too rare. We group them, aware that the groupings are very, very small. Then, we ask what makes them do what they do: “What makes them tick?” …as we warm in the light of their aspiration.

It is so interesting to me to witness humanitarian leaders invariably holding the same reverence for humanitarian leadership. Same respect. Similar awe. Identical naive inquiry: “Isn’t it great! Thank God! What makes them tick?” You see, being such a human being does not proceed from heavy thinking — isn’t it more in the generous acting. We are left to use metaphoric language and imagery, dumb-struck as we are by their energy, persistence, and vision, and often by their sacrifice, too.

As a student of leadership, I am not quick to explain their trick. After years of inquiry, I feel they each have a very special inner algorithm, the rhythm of which each must follow — for it is their inner program that makes them tick.

What are the signs of your inner program ticking generatively? Are you self-conscious about my question? Despite this, do you take a licking and keep on ticking, generously?