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How do we lead? Thursday December 4, 2014

This week I am struggling.

I talked of my robbery in Spain last week and I thought I'd get through, but already I am lying in and my thinking has altered.

As always, people say rational things like 'you know more than anyone else that exercise will help', or 'get outside and walk' or 'focus on one thing at a time'.

I struggle...

So, I am going to write something for Moodscope to focus on doing something for others and thus move my mind to something positive, something that shows that being vulnerable can be a real leadership role.

Managers maintain the status quo. Leaders spark and sustain change and both are needed, yet to advance and deal with change, leaders are a pre-requisite.

I often view the leader as the initial 'snowball'.

The initial snowball is the one that goes first, the one who is willing to be vulnerable – to show their authentic feelings first with their colleagues, family or subordinates. They then 'collect' and attract more snow...

It is this vulnerability that enables, inspires even, others to offer their true selves. It is also such vulnerability that inspires others to trust and it is after all this trusting of the leader that creates the all-important person/employee/family engagement.

In many ways the leader only becomes a leader when they are followed (gathering more snow). It is the followers that create the leader, which is why leadership is never about power or control as is so often talked about in the media.

Leadership is about serving others and creating a world to which others wish to belong.
Think about Mandela, Gandhi, M-L King and consider who are your 'leaders'. Who would you follow. Who would you trust?

Can you name them now?

Moodscope is a 'leader' through serving and enabling people to serve themselves and others through the blogs. Showing a vulnerability which is perceived as courageous by readers can even motivate them to feel understood and thus crucially 'not alone'.

I feel very alone today. I have not been outside yet due to my sense of community with Moodscope... I can connect and feel part of something.

Can some of you that remain anonymous offer your thoughts? Can you offer a name or even a nickname to enable a further sense of community?

Can you even say to the 'leader' that came to mind above how much they inspired you - as they too will have their struggles?

How can you improve your sense of connection? What courageous act can you perform today to connect, to lead, enabling someone else to show their vulnerability and authenticity and sharing more deeply?

A Moosdcope member.

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crafty wee midden Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 5:52am

Interesting thoughts, Les.....hope you are feeling a little better today. You've got me thinking about leaders, and trust. Leaders....not something I think about a great deal. As someone who was always( and still is, though I work on it)"easily lead"(no pun intended) I don't tend to think about having leaders. I have several friends with whom I share common things, and if I need a bit of advice, I ask them, depending on what it is. Different things, different people. Im extremely wary of following one particular person(speaking from my own experience)

So I'll speak to friend A. about things we share in common, when I need to run something past someone....ditto friend B, friend C, and so on.

Trust....the only person I ever truly trusted beamed up to heaven in May. My husband, soulmate, bashert, imzadi....34years married, knew him for 41 years.

I trusted my psychiatrist, with whom I shared a lot of deeply personal things.....over about ten years. And then, at month, right at the end of our session, he told me he was retiring, that he would not be seeing me any more, and that I would not be transferred to a new person.

Trust broken there, then....I would have thought that any shrink worth his salt( which I believed him to be, utterly) would not have done this in that manner. It felt cruel, painful, and wrong.

I could not trust my family of origin. I learned I think like a snooker player( five moves ahead)just to keep my head above water and try to figure out what the hell was about to happen next.

People who say they will all/write/keep in touch....and don't.

People who don't say anything - just vanish.

To a great extent my trust died along with my husband. I trust my cats.....asking so little, giving so much...unconditional love.

Sorry not to be more positive and just how it is for me right now.

crafty wee midden Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 5:54am

PS the one person who inspires me most, and helps me in ways too numerous o mention, is Leonard Cohen

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 6:40am

At last!
Someone I can throw my toilet roll to, in a time of need. I've been carrying a spare for weeks. It's yours Les xx.
I think if your body and your mind say 'no', listen to them. If you can lie in and not go outside then don't. You can't underestimate the effect of that horrible experience. Let yourself not bounce. Let yourself process both the shock and the ripple. Let yourself crumple. Let yourself be. But, in advance, use your deep understanding of yourself to put up a little marker(s) ahead of you and know when you've strayed a step too far. I live in Scotland too. We'll share weather today. Let's have a cup of tea with the window wide open. That's good enough. Don't hide from us for we need to be able to hold others up in order to have a community. The kettle is on...I will put out many cups...
Love from the room above the garage x.

crafty wee midden Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 7:07am

Three Scots! Les, Room Above, and me. Chilly east coast. So agree with you, agree with you, Room....such experiences take the time they take, to come to terms with. As long as it takes. Thinking of you both( am in a very low spot today)

Toasted Tea Cake Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 7:26am

That was a pretty nasty thing to happen. I have been pushing myself a little bit and reacting to stress have started to withdraw. The tension between I should and I can't. But forgetting that and thinking of others struggling but going on anyway helps. Thanks Les. A short walk maybe?

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 7:54am

Hello fellow Scots, its another cold one today, I'm an east coaster too and immediately feel more part of something knowing a little more about you folk on here. I send you all warm thoughts for today. Les you certainly figure as a leader for me, your posts are always brave, honest and thought-provoking. Thank you. Amy x

Sarah Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 8:15am

There is something about the Moodscope community that inspires, leads,encourages while at the same time completely accepts each other as they are. This in itself feels so healing and has true purpose. Thank you all for sharing. Sarah

Rupert Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 8:32am

Les keep doing what you are doing! I was going to comment on your earlier post about being robbed as I was burgled a couple of weeks ago and felt pretty much the same but I never know whether the protocol is to respond to the post directly,offer one's own views or to use it as a starting point for unburdening oneself. Whatever it is we are truly reliant upon people like you unselfishly putting up your posts to act as a catalyst which benefits us all! Rupert

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 8:58am

Oh Rupert how awful! It's a terrible feeling, knowing someone has invaded you. How strange, must have been the time for it...I stumbled into a burglary 2 weeks ago and it took me days to stop going over and over it in my head. Must be the time of year when desperate people allow their desperation to spill over :-(
I haven't a clue about protocol. Frequently worry I talk too much but then I remember that being able to talk is, in itself, a daily achievement for me and so I'm afraid you all have to either suffer me or look away! :-D
I'm going to make soup. There's a crowd of us today and I will fill tummies. Love ratg.

Julia Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 9:00am

Hi Les. I am struggling too at the moment. It's nothing new for me but I still haven't accepted that these periods are part of my life and I should accept them. I struggle against them. When one has to live life and mix with people every day (especially with Xmas looming), I am so conscious of how I feel, look, come across, interact with others etc etc. These really really bad periods do pass in time (like a virus they seem to work themselves out of my system) and your current one will pass too. You have a good reason to feel low. Imagine how someone who doesn't analyse life would feel if s/he was mugged and lost all their possessions. They wouldn't zone inwards on their own perceived inadequacies, but would most likely feel anger towards the attacker and at the same time try to replace their possessions. My mind is so hazy this morning, I can't think of any leaders but crafty wee midden has reminded me of Leonard Cohen whom I don't see as a leader but as someone who inspires by example (as well as good looks, a mesmerising voice and lyrics which can make me laugh. He laughs at and questions himself in his struggle with life). Yes Moodscope is here for us all

Lady Jane Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 9:10am

Thank you Les for sharing your feelings with such honesty. I have been burgled in the past -it's truly horrid. What happened to you was appalling. In bed today with tummy bug -on my daughters birthday:( trying not to sink. The moodscope community is always hear to support you Les and each other. Thank you all.

Woodsmoke Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 9:18am

Hi Les, So sorry to hear about your recent difficulties. Most distressing and unpleasant.
I was on the bus yesterday and the driver exclaimed.."Did you see that?", "There is a laptop in the middle of the road." "Someone must have driven off with it sitting on the car roof without realising"
Unfortunately it was too difficult to stop at that point, as the lane was too narrow and traffic was coming in the other direction. I just hope that some kind person stopped to pick it up and hopefully tries to and return it to it's owner.
Anyway, these things can happen and it brings it home how important it is to try to remember to 'back-up' all your technology.
My worst nightmare would be to loose all my personal and family photographs. Irreplaceable. It seems to be the common thread said by anyone who's home is destroyed by fire or floods.
Anyway, thank you Les, for sharing your thoughts and experiences however horrible.
As the old saying goes, "Some lead others follow!"
My inspiration from a teenager was Robin Knox-Johnson.

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 9:57am

Hi Les; so much wisdom in your words and in all the posts above; but what comes across very strongly transcending the pain is the warmth and empathy for you and for each other - a true sense of community;

For me today the obvious leader is - was - my wonderful mother-in-law whose funeral is later today; a strong, quietly determined, warm and welcoming lady whose gentle listening made her a valued friend for so many.

Know that you are valued and respected by so many Moodscopers - many of whom can relate to what you describe so eloquently ... all things pass and in time this too will pass - even if it does feel never-ending.

Wishing you peace of mind and heart

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 10:01am

I am struggling to get out of bed. You are not alone.

Mary Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 11:09am

Ah Les, thank you so, so much for sharing your vulnerabilities with us. I can't see you as a snowball as there is too much warmth in you for that. Bless you. It's so tough dealing with the aftermath of a robbery; the feelings of invasion and betrayal and loss. My thoughts are with you and Rupert and RATG - wish I could invite myself for some of your soup!

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 11:10am

I think that is what's so wonderful about moodscope, that we can all feel together even though we are all across the country. We are not alone in feeling this, our feelings are not stupid or silly or pathetic. They are real, they can be validated here. You don't have to feel silly for staying in bed. Sometimes that is just what you need. You still have the rest of the day and night. I'm a student and so I feel that I have an excuse almost for laying in but I don't feel like that is helpful.
I'm just coming to the realisation that life is hard. Too hard. And death is a horrible, unfair thing and it happens too often. And people work their bodies to the bone their whole life and get nowhere.
I am scared. I am lonely.
But I am not alone.

Julia Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 11:29am

No.. you are not alone.. definitely not alone. You are so right, we can all feel together on days like this. It was good to read your post. Thank you!

Julia Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 11:32am

Hi Frankie. I will be thinking of you today. How sad that your mother in law died. She sounds a wonderful person.

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 11:37am


Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 11:47am

See what you started Les? You are the glue that binds us together today.Thank you.
Across the Pond

Melanie Lowndes Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 1:16pm

Dear Les, A wonderful inspiring post today - such clarity on leadership which I have been musing over myself - what is it to be a leader? - thank you very much. All my best wishes to you in getting over your loss - I know I would be devastated by what has happened to you - if there is any way I/ we can help please say. Melanie

valerie Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 1:19pm

You are not alone.I am a Scots/Irish mongrel living in landlocked central England.The skies are heavy and grey,it is lunchtime and I am still wearing my jimjams.I will resist the urge to throw some clothes on top and pull a hat over my bedhead before going out.Have some pride Valerie,you used to be considered a stylish woman-Ha!
Do you have anywhere private outdoors,where you could sit with a coffee,or a wee dram and get a bit of fresh air? We are all with you in spirit Les,you are still in shock after such a horrible experience.You have the right to wallow a bit,and lick your wounds.
I think I could trust the leadership of wise Badger and sweet-natured Mole.

Big Hugs,
Valerie x

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 3:33pm

Hi Julia, love ratg x.

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 3:35pm

Hi Frankie, thoughts from me too. Very sad to lose beautiful people. Love ratg x.

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 3:36pm

It's virtual soup Mary...definitely a bowl for you there. Love ratg x.

Libby Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 4:07pm

Hi Les,
Twice I wrote very long heart-felt responses to your original post about the robbery. Both times they got wiped out by some wrong clicks of the mouse. I figured that the universe didn't want me to rain on your parade by pointing out that the grief and depression would be inevitable after your experience. You were violated. Your livelihood was threatened when your tools were stolen. Your life disrupted as you struggled to cancel and replace, contact and follow up. Mostly, your faith, confidence and trust in humanity taken. We are required to rebuild ourselves from the inside when we may have very little left in the reserves. Yes, we are learning the tools: support, exercise, med adjustment, a hot tub.

Think of a cornfield with defined paths leading through the rows. It is very hard to plow through the corn trying to define new paths. Those of us with the illness are trying to create new paths. Very, very difficult, much easier to fall into the old paths. Crawling under the covers is a safe place to start restoring our reserves. We've been there many demands from the world, only from ourselves.

Allow yourself the space and time to heal, Les. Yours is an appropriate response to the situation. But don't stay down there too long. We want you back.

Rons Thoughts Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 5:21pm

Think about the great men you mentioned in your blog: Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King. They were the leaders of their time and place. But we often think of leaders as the 'snowball' rushing toward something and asking others to follow.

But, these men, did not. They looked and moved in a single direction, straight ahead, with firm conviction of why. They did not Shout along the way (even if they were great orators, but all certainly cannot be that).

They moved quietly as their heart told them to do. They moved, because it was the right thing to do, not to be praised. They moved, and became an unexpected example and vision - for themselves and others.

You can do that today. Stop, look in one direction, for just today. And move toward that direction. Quietly, deliberately, and delight yourself in what you have done.

Lead you own soul today.

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 6:37pm

Maybe your shrink was upset about retiring and his abrupt way of telling you was because of that?????

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 7:01pm

Thank-you Julia and ratg (still loving the name!)

I was very blessed as my mother-in-law was never a "mother-in-law" but always one of my best friends. Hubby in his eulogy referred to our relationship as one of sisters - me being the younger obviously - and that was unexpected, but wonderful. Still makes the loss hard ...

Thank-you both for thinking of me - no doubt that is where some of my strength came from today ...

Bye for now

Anonymous Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 8:37pm

The tiger behind you. What an abuse for you. You know it will shift, so if you want to roll up in a ball until the awful feelings go away they do that. Just be kind to yourself and when you get bored with yourself maybe try some simple meditation to focus yourself and take some of those horrible feelings away.

Di Murphey Thu, Dec 4th 2014 @ 10:46pm

Dearest Lex ~
Yes, we can crawl back into bed.

Or, we can refuse to allow others to "win" by ruining our lives for a period of time.

Stay in bed until your heart tells you to get up and not allow all to be taken hostage. It is your spirit that is most at stake & valuable.

In reality, the other things are just "stuff". They are not who you are.
Di Murphey

Julia Fri, Dec 5th 2014 @ 4:22pm

Hi! and thank you xxx

Anonymous Sun, Dec 7th 2014 @ 9:11pm

Permission to stay in bed for as long as you want without criticism.

Anonymous Thu, Dec 11th 2014 @ 1:30pm

Thank you!

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