Leadership in the Moment
There is a story of two monks walking down a country road. They come across a beautiful young girl standing by a muddy stream, afraid to cross it by herself.
One monk goes up to her, picks her up and safely carries her over the stream. He then returns to his companion and continues on their walk. After some time, the companion turns to him and said, “What you did was wrong. As monks, we are not allowed to touch women or be in such close proximity to them.”
The first monk turned to his companion and said, “I put that girl down once we were across the stream, it is you who is still carrying her.”
The first monk displayed good leadership, and by being unfettered by rules and familiarities, he was able to do what was needed. The second monk was too afraid to break the rules and could not help the girl. The first monk abandoned all preconceived notions, and took control of the moment, as all good leaders should do.
How can one own the moment? A good leader must set an example, and if they are unable to take charge of the moment and carry out what needs to be done, then those around them will follow suit and always lack the courage to do what is required in the moment.
Here are a few ways in which you can be a leader in the moment:
Logic Over Emotion
A good leader acts in the moment, but not out of impulse. It is important to trust your instincts, but never let heated emotions guide you. A mindful leader is trained to always observe and notice everything around them, and they are able to calmly differentiate between logic and emotion.
When thinking logically, one is able to detach oneself from the situation and look at it from a number of perspectives. This always helps the leader gauge exactly what is needed for being in the moment, and it allows others to turn to them in times of crises.
Abandon the Familiar
We tend to turn toward established patterns when trying to ascertain how to deal with a certain situation. The difference between leading and following is the ability to abandon all the rules and precedents swimming around in our minds, and take new and innovative routes in order to resolve a problem.
Like the monk in the story, if you are tied down by rules and guidelines, you will not be able to do what is required. If you are so determined to not break the pattern, your followers will see you as someone who plays it too safe and cannot deal with uncertain scenarios.
Taking a Backseat
Owning a moment doesn’t always mean taking charge, it means overcoming a challenge in the best possible manner. A good leader knows when someone else may be able to better deal with a certain situation, and leverages the strengths of all the people around them.
A good leader understands when the situation calls for action, and when it calls for support and encouragement, allowing someone else to rise and lead instead.
As a man, you must have already shown promising skill in this department, but for future challenges, it is important that you incorporate these ideas into your daily behavior and keep these skills polished for any future moments.