Potent Leadership is a matter of being aware of what is happening in a group and acting accordingly. Specific actions are less important than the leader’s clarity or consciousness. That is why there are no exercises or formulas to ensure successful leadership.
Three examples illustrate differing degrees of potency in leadership:
1- Potent: a conscious yet spontaneous response to what is happening in the here and now; no calculation or manipulation.
2- Less Potent: trying to do what is right. This is calculated behavior based on the concept of right, and manipulative behavior based on an idea of what should happen.
3- Least Potent: imposed morality. Imposed morality rests entirely on should and shouldn’t. It is both calculated and manipulated, and meets resistance with punishment. It sheds no light on what is actually happening. It often backfires.
Leaders who lose touch with what is happening cannot act spontaneously, so they try to do what they think is right. If that fails, they often try coercion.
But the wise leader who loses the sense of immediacy becomes quiet and lets all effort go until a sense of clarity and consciousness returns.
The Tao of Leadership
Lao Tsu - John Heider