I have been doing a lot of thinking about power and leadership lately. Given what I do for a living, it is often encouraged by upper management and professional mentors; given the kinds of people in my personal life, my wonderful ensemble of artists, teachers, life coaches, and parents, it is often inspired by positive influences. Life is complicated so choosing how to be empowered is equally complex and multi-faceted. I have previously reflected on the difficulty of being one of the good guys(Not so prodigal) and on my tendency to stay positive in the face of challenges(Kermit mode). But I have owned the urge to be ruthless (Ivan Drago mode). It’s been a helluva week/month/year.
Soy rencorosa. Well I can be. I pray for my enemies, often sincerely. But a friend who betrays me? Jesus, be a fence! An electric fence with barbed wire on top because it’s all bad.
It’s an #icant situation of epic proportions. In my personal life, it makes great writing material. In the professional realm, eso si que no. So I got checked. I know I can pull it together. Recently my horror at Ben Linus’s cold, calculating despicableness has turned into admiration.
Ben knows how to be cool, polished, polite, and articulate while he plots your destruction. Ben takes a Hannibal the Cannibal approach to leadership.
Pero no te preocupes, I won’t be joining the Dark Side any time soon.
I came across another role model several months ago when I read Grace Jones’ I’ll Never Write My Memoirs. As a child, I saw Ms. Jones (that’s what I call her because I RESPECT her) as otherworldly, manly, even scary.
But I always admired her. She was powerful in ways my meek little child self longed to be. In reading Ms. Jones’ story, my admiration for a cultural icon became deep respect for a strong woman. What better birthday gift to myself than to see her in concert. With my dance sister and confidante at my side, we made our way to the front row of the Greek.
Ms. Jones did not disappoint. She was a force of nature. She was funny, quirky, sassy, and badass.
And though my little arms weren’t long enough to touch her hand, I definitely got close. Weeks later, her songs remind me of the power of love of life and self.
So how I lead will depend on the circumstances. I can be Ms. Jones or I can be Ben or I can be both. I will continue reflecting on how to be my best self when others simply cannot. I will continue making others laugh, dancing with others, and being good to myself. I will definitely be asking Jesus to run interference for me.