Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Community Engagement Emerging Sage Leadership: Interview of Galen Ellis

Emerging Sage Leadership: Interview of Galen Ellis

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13.   One of the benefits of growing older is that we are increasingly able to reflect on our experiences and learn from them. Have you found any patterns of personal behavior no longer useful in your leadership role? Is so, what are these and how have you changed?

Certainty is a good one to let go of. 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 of curiosity, which is a much more expansive state of consciousness.

14. What leadership qualities do you most admire in effective leaders that you have known? Which of these qualities do you believe best describe your leadership?

The quality I most admire in effective leaders is their belief we can do anything. These are people who recognize community assets and know how to tap them.  An effective leader has vision and deep, deep respect and humility. They recognize the strengths of diverse styles and cultures and ways of being in the world and are able to build alliances across those differences.

15. What, if any, spiritual traditions or practices do you most draw upon in  exercising leadership?

I have been involved with different practices and groups, but at this moment there is not really a specific tradition for me. It is more of a resonant feeling in my heart. It is the feeling that comes when my edges dissolve and I don’t feel separated from anything. It comes and goes, because it is important for us to feel our edges and feel our separateness, while remembering they are not real. My heart is able to emerge when I allow those edges to dissolve… but then my heart would fall out of my body if I didn’t have a form! So my spirituality has to do with this balance, and my ability to recognize it.

16. How has your leadership style changed as you have progressed in your  career?

As I have matured, my leadership is less about trying to be or do something and more about resting in what I know are my strengths and trusting myself. This is huge for me. I was effective in my earlier years because of my energy level and my commitment and vision, but it was also very stressful. I felt I was trying to be something and prove something, but as I have progressed in my career I am much more restful and able to offer my gifts without needing to prove something. It is way more satisfying.

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