When I was younger I felt I had to prove myself and develop a good reputation. I now feel I have established that and believe I’m known as a person who has integrity and takes care of situations. And this gives me more confidence in knowing I will make mistakes because I am responsible for making many decisions.
My willpower has been a driving force in my life, and thus in my work. I used to rely on intense commitment to achieve whatever was necessary, given the situation. Over the years, and certainly with my divorce, I realized that I could not always control a situation and bend it to my will. I came to understand that I could never achieve the level of perfection I had always been pursing.
Being less confrontational. This has to do with no longer needing to have one’s way, of stepping back from earnestness and assertiveness and being less intimidating:
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One of the qualities of leadership requires convincing people to follow you someplace. When I was younger, I used to do that by eliminating choices for people so the right path was inevitable. As I’ve become older, I’ve let go of the more confrontational and political aspects of getting my way.
As a young leader my style could have been characterized as explicit, external, assertive, confrontational, verbose, and earnest. I am from an Italian immigrant family, where many of these characteristics are cultural norms. I came to realize that while I was a rather effective young leader in terms of my tangible accomplishments, my leadership style often placed me at cross-purposes with my broader goal of fostering a more peaceful society. I thought, “If I can’t resolve conflicts and nurture peace in my own interactions, how can I possibly believe in the attainment of global peace?”