Experiencing everyone and everything as an ally
As leaders we are most effective when we are able to access a wide range of possible responses to a situation. If we believe some ways of being are better than others, we limit our ability to respond creatively and effectively. When we see people and circumstances as allies, we open to new ways of being and responding to the world around us.
Allies awaken us to what we don’t own, accept, and love about ourselves. People and conditions we find particularly challenging help us to face things we have not wanted to face, feel things we have not wanted to feel, and question beliefs we have not wanted to question.
For example, a leader may be upset with a colleague for keeping the team from achieving a goal because the colleague wants to take time off for vacation. The leader has not been willing to slow down and rest for years and believes that resting is irresponsible. If the leader is willing to stop judging and to instead see his colleague as an ally, he can become aware of his unconscious beliefs that keep him feeling overwhelmed and burning out.
If unexamined, our judgements leave us resentful, frustrated, and self-righteous. When we’re willing to see everything and everyone as an ally, these same judgements simply become an indicator that there is something for us to learn.