Music inspires and transcends boundaries and Barry Manilow, through the song ‘One Voice,’ shows leadership comes from anywhere. Music has been a big part of my life. I have led people of all faiths in song and spiritual practice with sound to help heal. Now, as a retired business leader, I teach about the ‘presence’ within us which is called ‘Knowledge’ the spark of God‘s intelligence in each of us. People have told me I’ve inspired them along my journey yet I’ve never really felt like a leader.
We see leaders as inspirational and visionary – fighting for a cause in ways that create large impact. Some leaders are controversial because their role helps a group or nation evolve through conflict. When we think about leaders, we often ‘choose’ what we want to see and hear and ‘discard’ what we do not because we project our ideals onto leaders. This causes our view to become tainted thought as we each see ‘truth’ differently. Every day someone is inspiring others, responding to a situation with responsibility, or campaigning for a cause, whether a gardener or world leader. We can lead when we believe in our potential and embrace a cause just as Greta Thunberg inspired the world to put the environment on the agenda of global leaders.
I recently did some research on what the world considers a ‘great leader’ to be. Omitting religious teachers and prophets, the individuals listed were those whose vision, perseverance, and commitment to their values helped them rise up in the face of adversity to achieve almost impossible triumphs. This included:
Mahatma Gandhi; Martin Luther King Jr; Nelson Mandela; Alexander the Great; Julius Caesar; Che Guevara; Salahuddin; Abraham Lincoln; George Washington; Napoleon Bonaparte; Winston Churchill; Margaret Thatcher; St Teresa of Calcutta – Mother Teresa; Dalai lama; Albert Einstein; Stephen Hawking; Bill Gates; Oprah Winfrey; Deepak Chopra; Eckhart Tolle and more.
Because human beings compartmentalise, hold onto limited belief systems, and project wants and ideals onto a leader, when this is challenged we label them good or bad, true or false. The saying, “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” shows leaders have many faces. Most do not come from privileged backgrounds and feel deep responsibility for others. Humility, caution, vision, rebelliousness, decisiveness, calmness, and an inner presence with a desire to serve others and listening, are some of the qualities these great leaders display and what our leadership requires today.
Leadership is a position in which power and responsibility are intrinsically tied together. Power gives the ability to take care of people whilst responsibility gives the ability to respond to deep inclinations as well as to the needs of others. Responsibility is also associated with providership. When providing more for others, inner strength and will to minimise one’s own needs, wants and difficulties is required because a leader must rise to a greater occasion and ability. This strength comes from an inner presence which is unshakeable and resonates with others, inspiring them into greater relationship to fulfil their dreams and aspirations. Even a dark leader has presence providing a mirror to us for change, but abusing the position with an unchecked personal ego.
Leaders must be providers and maintainers and good listeners who are able to truly hear what many voices require of them and integrate all of these into action that addresses issues in equitable ways. Today new leaders are emerging in all walks of life and the spiritual power of the individual is coming to the fore.
‘The Age of Women’ from the New Message from God emphasises: “The role of a religious leader in whatever context it may exist—whether it is within a formal tradition, whether it is within a hierarchy of leadership or whether it is much more informal, dealing with smaller groups of people—is in all cases a role primarily focused on providing and maintaining.” Spiritual leaders who heed their inner presence and listen will naturally lead differently than those who are driven by a desire for prestige, power, or control.
As we face planetary degradation and the survival of all life, we need spiritual strength from our relationship with the sacred presence in our life more than ever.
First we need our spiritual leaders (and all leaders in general) to listen to all voices – with their divergent interests – and hear the real ‘essence’ of what people are saying, not the surface manifestation. They need to be able to identify what people’s reactions emerge out of.
Secondly they must look deeply into what change those voices are calling for and discern, with an open mind, how to integrate this change into daily life.
Thirdly they must honour these voices in unity through their one voice as the leader on the community, national, or world stage.
And each of these must be done through an equitable lens and desire to promote the wellbeing of both people and the natural world. In this way, their leadership becomes strong as people follow and trust their voices will be heard and action taken.
“God has delegated a million deputies,” says Ralph Waldo Emerson. We are those deputies and although social media has given each of us a voice, sadly it’s with a false sense of nurture, support, and action as the inspiration to share to millions is now being censored by leaders who fear losing their authority.
The Sacred voice within is igniting individuals through the global crisis to step into activist leadership roles within communities and nations. This resonance with others to unite humanity and save earth has arrived through the inner presence directing us as guardians of the planet. As the activist leader Malala Yousafzai said: “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”
Leaders provide stability from chaos and harmonise a cacophony of voices into ‘one voice’ with vision, courage, strength, responsibility, and the inner presence to navigate us through these dark times.
Consider the below prompts and discuss this blog post in our new forum space!
1. What is within you that you want to hear a leader voice or put into practice?
2. How would you use your voice to lead and make the difference you want?
Hilary Canto is a Spiritual Teacher , Emissary of Knowledge and a member of The World Congress of Faiths. She writes on spiritual topics. Initially a singer and musician, she later became one of the top 3 UK recruiters in the creative advertising, media, marketing and design industry, then went on to qualify, practise and teach Sound Healing culminating as a peer respected voice coach and spiritual teacher. ‘Knowledge’ and the power of ‘Divine Love’ stirred within and she became a Love Ambassador for The Love Foundation (TLF). Then discovering the New Message From God (NMG) with over 9000 sacred texts on Knowledge this confirmed her inner experiences to become an active voice for ‘Knowledge’ buried within all religious teachings.