Archive for December, 2013

Mandela Passes the Mantle: How Will You Play Your Bigger Game?

Contributed by Dr. Sarah

When my father died unexpectedly 11 years ago, a friend of his said “The old trees are falling.” I had just given birth to my first son. My brother and I nervously acknowledged to each other that we weren’t quite sure we were ready to become the elders. But we didn’t have a choice.

In Mandela’s passing, an old and graceful tree has fallen.

Mandela died the day after the Spheres of Influence virtual fireside chat on Playing a Bigger Game, about challenging ourselves to expand our impact.

Many people have been writing and speaking about leadership lessons from one of the greatest leaders of our times. His courage.  His wisdom.  His grace.

As I’ve listened to many people share their memories, I’ve been particularly struck by his sense of humor, which he used to engage, to disarm, and to challenge.

Those of us who are involved in causes, including the cause of environmental sustainability, are often afflicted by an excess of earnestness and self-righteousness. I am guilty of this myself at times, in spite of my best efforts. And although I can be playful, humor isn’t my forte.

Mandela’s passing has made me reflect on what my father’s death has meant for me. And it has reinvigorated my sense of calling to use my talents to the greatest extent possible, to live into the responsibility of an elder.

Few of us have the grandeur of a Mandela. Yet we can all learn from the many leadership gifts that Mandela embodied.

How will you step up your use of your Spheres of Influence? How will you play your Biggest Game?

How will you assume the mantle that Mandela has passed on?

Post a comment about how you are answering the call to action!

December 17, 2013 at 4:26 am Leave a comment


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