When I speak with audiences, I say to them that they will hear nothing from me that they don’t already know to be true. My intention in my work is not to impart some grand wisdom, rather it is to shine a light on the leader that has been ignored or forgotten in the race through life. By approaching life and work as a continual process of discovery, I am gratified when I find affirmation of my understandings in popular culture.
Lately the Black Eyed Peas’ song “Where is the Love” has been popping up in interesting places. Not withstanding the sound quality of the Super Bowl Halftime Show-I find it amazing that 163 million people watched the game and their performance is the highest rated halftime show ever. This song was a cornerstone of the concert and if you listened to the words you may be amazed at the message sent throughout the globe.
What’s wrong with the world, mama
People livin’ like they ain’t got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that’ll bring you trauma
Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin’ in the USA
What drama are we addicted to? Has the idea that we are competitive beings in this world to fight one another for scare resources taken hold so firmly that all we do is create traumatic situations for ourselves and others? How powerful is the idea that we cannot “fight” something externally that we ourselves are incapable of living everyday. One of the most important leadership understandings is that there is nothing we can do for another, until you are living that way ourselves. Can we really stop terrorism elsewhere, when our society is filled with so much violence?
In this world that we livin’ in people keep on givin’ in
Makin’ wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends
Not respectin’ each other, deny thy brother
A war is goin’ on but the reason’s undercover
The truth is kept secret, it’s swept under the rug
How often do we give in to what is going on around us-even when we know it isn’t right? How many people on Wall Street looked the other way when unethical practices took over in the pursuit of profits? How many mortgage bankers signed loans knowing full well the disaster ahead for homeowners? And who knew that going to war, although politically popular at the time, was not in the long-term best interest of the country and still said nothing? What happens when we turn a blind eye to the greater good?
I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I’m gettin’ older, y’all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin’
Selfishness got us followin’ our wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids want to act like what they see in the cinema
Do you stop to think about the messages your life is sending to the next generation? What are you doing to contribute to the betterment of our world? What are you showing your children about what is important in life? A big house, lots of stuff, nice cars, are these things truly important? What values are constantly being communicated to our children in their media-centric world?
Yo’, whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness inequality
Instead in spreading love we spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity
That’s the reason why sometimes I’m feelin’ under
That’s the reason why sometimes I’m feelin’ down
There’s no wonder why sometimes I’m feelin’ under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found
In the amazing new documentary, “I Am,” which opens with this song, award-winning director Tom Shadyac, eloquently communicates a new way of thinking about who we are as human beings-that is, not the competitive might-makes-right fighters, rather that our true nature lies in cooperative communities where everyone is valued and cared for. When these communities existed, there was no hunger, disease and loneliness, as he demonstrates, these are all byproducts of choosing selfishness over service.
In thinking about leadership for our world today, I describe my approach to leadership as “love in action.” Using that definition, I find the question of “where is the love?” a timely and appropriate one to ask. Hopefully each person reading this article will ask that question as well and know the answer is as close as discovering how YOU wish to put your love into the world.