Surrender is the Direct Path to Authenticity

by Steven Mundahl on October 11, 2013

What is it we can really control?  Can we control the productivity of others?  Can we control the environment, the cost of goods and services, or even our own bodies? Truthfully, we have control of very little in our lives, but we can control the choices we make, even if we have no control over the choices of others.

Surrender is a word we are not used to hearing in the world of leadership. Often it is used as a word of defeat or resignation, but surrendering the use of power, ego, and force is the way of the servant leader. Surrender here refers to the letting go of the need to control, and it allows others to open to the doorway of their own possibility. Surrender is the direct path to authenticity, for it “allows” a greater power into our lives and the lives of our companies or agencies. It is the very act of “allowing” that makes it possible for intuition and a higher authority to help us in our leadership challenges.

As a leader, your day will include disappointments. Business deals will fall through, employees will disappoint you, and outcomes will fall short of expectations. The challenge is to maintain goodwill during these vulnerable times and not sink into negativity and retaliation. Disappointment, after all, gives us opportunities to develop patience, opportunities to not take decisions personally, and chances to see the bigger picture.

Steven Mundahl

CEO at Goodwill Industies in Western MA
Steven Mundahl is president and CEO of Goodwill Industries in western Massachusetts. He teaches leadership and personal effectiveness in the graduate school of Baypath College.
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