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Leadership and Intimacy

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In Leadership 2012

Does intimacy have anything to do with leadership?

In fact when it comes to the “I” word, most people avoid it like the plaque especially at work. We even can argue that “I” stands for INAPPROPRIATENESS.

But I disagree. Here’s why:

1. On the other side of conflict is INTIMACY. (Did you know that? When two people really empower the conflict, go into it, are committed enough to fight, to hear & speak the uncomfortable truths, to wrestle with each other and our own fears and demons, STAY (stay in the fight, don’t quit), you can’t help it but finding intimacy on the other side.)
2. The cliche (but oh so true) meaning of intimacy is “into me (you) see”. It simply means “two human spirits seeing each other”, really see = being understood and known by each other).
3. When two human spirits SEE each other, conflict dissolves, connection happens, alignment and unity lead, and new resolution emerges…that is leadership at its purest state (no coercion, no manipulation, but authentic, honest, and real).

So when we avoid conflict, we avoid intimacy; when we avoid intimacy, we avoid authentic leadership.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Phil Guo
    Reply

    When we avoid intimacy, we also avoid sex harassment.

  • Ross Tayler
    Reply

    Mai you are absolutely right about this. I have witnessed this again and again. I have worked in foodservice for 23 yrs. Most conflict and conversation happens on the fly. When you give people an opportunity to sit down face to face and work it out (sometimes facilitated) the result is magical. They often SEE each other for the first time. Usually there are tears of joy and lots of hugs and the relationship strengthens.

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