Wednesday, December 11, 2013

*Golden Nuggets of Leadership – Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Reflecting on the death of Nelson Mandela, one of the political leadership icons of the world, I, along with others, have learned a crucial lesson – the value of forgiveness and reconciliation in bringing about leadership excellence. Leave alone in such a tormented leadership historic time and scenario as that of great Mandela, we as lay professionals have personally several times experienced and witnessed that forgiveness is not something that comes very naturally to humans, especially for someone who bestows us great harm in one way or another. Despite being one of the defining core Christian values, most of us abysmally fail in practicing forgiveness and reconciliation however frequently we have been told to take this amazing gesture on a daily basis in our lives since our childhood. Why? I believe because it is not that simple to forgive and reconcile as much as it seems apparently. Besides, I guess the closest response for most of us when we are harmed by an individual, group or an institution is, unfortunately, retribution, even when we know that the other party (in this case the "prey") has already fallen victimized in our hands. After all, a leader can exercise his/her power in whatever ways he/she wants against his adversaries who greatly hurt him/her, and have been blocking his/her way. However, learning to take a completely different course of action other than retribution as response to one’s boundless impairment and harm is the one vital constituent that defines leadership excellence. That route, which I take pleasure to call the golden nuggets of leadership, is the act of forgiving and reconciling. The height of far-sighted grasp of leadership is to maintain the winning side in the face of physical and mental anguish. The epitome of leadership excellence is, hence, to keep on being a winner all the way through by living with forgiving and reconciling state of mind. I know this is easier said than done, to put it candidly. Is it then attaining such golden nuggets of leadership something unachievable or impossible to practice? Well, in short, I believe it is possible to stay focused on such a resolve but only by taking one huge step - daily sacrifice of the self over the greater end in mind.