KATHMANDU: Leaders are known by their views — while some of them carry common views, others see things differently and put across uncommon prospects that people in general rarely perceive. We recognise the former as average leaders and the latter as great leaders. Everyone sees what is happening on the surface, which is visible. But what is seen at the surface may not be the essential truth. Most often, truth is the opposite of what is visible outside. And great leaders are able to see beyond the visible truth.
Emotional quotient (EQ) says people’s feelings are hidden beneath words and expressions. Words can mislead and to discover real feelings, we need to go deep into people’s hearts. Unless we
are connected heart to heart, the feelings people show outside will only deceive us. Spiritual quotient (SQ) asks to go even deeper.
Beneath feeling is a person’s being. At the being level, we will find the person’s honest intentions. Outer levels are only a persona or
projections; at the core is the essence. The deeper we connect the better leaders we become.
It applies not only to people but also to situations. The present sit-uation of the country can be a good example to analyse. At present, the country is going through disturbances and many people are anxious. But I look at it a bit differently. I also see that underneath the conflict, harmony and unity is in the making. Most importantly, Nepali people are becoming familiar with issues and concerns of one another for the first time in the history of the country. This is a prerequisite for enduring peace. Indeed, when there was peace in the country, seeds of conflict were breeding underneath. Now there is conflict, but it can be the foundation for lasting peace. I am optimistic.
In the same way, organisations also go through turbulent times. And in times of trouble, while people panic, great leaders remain calm. On the contrary, while all rejoice during happy times, leaders may be contemplating the situation. It is because wisdom senses something deeper than what appears on the surface. Something benign could be going on beneath the turmoil. Something devastating may be cooking below the smooth surface. If we are prepared on a smooth day, we will not be troubled by turbulence. Great leaders are not only able to face problems, but also enjoy riding the waves.
To connect ourselves with the innermost core of reality, we need the skills of deep listening.
Listening is not only through the ears, but also through the eyes and the heart. Generally we listen through our knowledge and
experiences. Then we are taken over by negative emotions, which hold us back from listening honestly. When we put aside negative emotions such as fear, craving, pride and move beyond our own projections, natural wisdom awakens within us and we can see, listen and understand people and situations distinctly. The essence is wisdom and when we are connected with it, we can see the essence or the
wisdom in people and situations.
(The author is a leadership trainer and consultant associated with ‘Kabule — The Wise Leader’ and ‘Catalyst For Transformation’. He can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org)