Home Concepts Adult Development VII. The Preconditions for Deep Caring

VII. The Preconditions for Deep Caring

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A second Sage leader whom we interviewed similarly had to confront his dualistic beliefs and alter them:

When I was younger, certainty was the source of my passion. That is, I believed that something was right or wrong. Today, when the feeling of certainty arises, I let it go because it creates a barrier to creativity and collaboration. Instead of certainty, I’ve cultivated a stronger attitude about curiosity, which is a much more expansive state of consciousness.

A third person interviewed for the Sage project expressed similar sentiments:

As a young leader I thought it was my job to always have an answer. I felt I needed to have the proper response to every question. While I think there is value to a leader who can provide sage advice and input, experience has taught me that it is more important to ask the right question than have the right answer. The value in posing the question is it gives me an opportunity to gather responses, hear different points of view, build consensus, and come to the best decision. That being said, I’ve also learned that respect is often gained when the leader is willing to make those tough decisions that may not be popular with others, but are the right ones to make.

The movement from certainty to compassion that is exemplified in the following Sage interview suggests that there are indeed decision points with regard to the stance one must take as a precondition to active generativity:

I think the heart of my leadership is compassion. I’ve seen so much in my family, things happening to the people I loved. I am fascinated by the failings and possibilities of human beings, and I have an underlying strong belief in the goodness of humanity. I always try to look at something with a multi-faceted view, to understand the alternative perspectives in any situation. When I was younger I was more strident, with strong political views. Now I’m more accepting of others. Everyone has a story, and I try to keep that in mind. I respect where people are coming from and try to learn something from every situation I encounter.

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