What Do the Eclipse and Leadership Have in Common? A Lot.
August 31, 2017
OK, I admit it – I was completely caught up in ‘Eclipse-mania’ last week.
I am proud to say that my family and I were among the thousands who packed up the car and road-tripped to a zone of eclipse totality, in our case it was Arthur, Nebraska. All this effort to bear witness to a rare and beautiful astrological event….which lasted approximately 2 minutes.
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
As I gazed up at the sky alongside many, many other like-minded (crazy) families, I couldn’t help but be struck by the wonder and enormity of the event. No doubt, we were temporarily relieved that the eclipse did not signal the beginning of the apocalypse (at the time of posting this anyway). But the event definitely had the power to simultaneously make you feel at the whim of an indifferent, infinite universe, while creating a very powerful human connection full of compassion and benevolence.
Maybe it was the long, traffic-jammed drive home, but you’ll forgive me if my mind didn’t drift to the essential existential questions: How do you live a meaningful life? How do you ensure that your professional and personal beliefs are consistent?
For many of us (myself included), it takes constant vigilance to ensure that our behaviors, choices and professional lives represent our values and who we want to be. For me, it always comes back to authentic leadership. After all, what is leadership if not being an example of a life well-lived and helping others do the same? In other words, authentic leadership IS leadership. Think about it – authentic leaders are self-aware; they know who they are and what they stand for. They are humble and they are not afraid to be vulnerable. They adhere to a code of ethics and they understand that their life’s work is bigger than them. They are compassionate and courageous.
Sounds like a pretty good guide to living a meaningful life – whether you spend your time in a boardroom, a classroom or mostly in a carpool or on the sidelines of youth soccer games.
Don’t worry if you missed the eclipse last week. You too can have an astronomy-induced existential event on Oct. 14, 2023, when an annular eclipse will wow viewers from northern California to Florida, or on April 8, 2024, when a total solar eclipse will cross the U.S. from Texas to Maine, with totality at greatest eclipse lasting an astounding 4 minutes and 28 seconds.
Here is a pic of my family and friends enjoying this 2017 celestial event.