What It Means To Be A Leader In This Moment - Jennifer Racioppi

What It Means To Be A Leader In This Moment

This is not a typical moment in history. But you already knew that, didn’t you, love? You can feel the discord rattling our Earth as the tides swell and our transitional seasons shorten. Covid 19, social uprisings, tense politics. Our planet is no longer given the luxury of a leisurely unfolding between our extreme summer […]

This is not a typical moment in history.

But you already knew that, didn’t you, love? You can feel the discord rattling our Earth as the tides swell and our transitional seasons shorten. Covid 19, social uprisings, tense politics.

Our planet is no longer given the luxury of a leisurely unfolding between our extreme summer and winter seasons. And neither are we. 

This moment in time calls for a different kind of strength, a more grounded type of existence. It calls for a collective, grassroots approach to leadership instead of the top-down hierarchy that has never truly included all of us. 

To be a leader in this moment means to be a communicator and a listener, creative and receptive. And it requires that we finally face our collective wounds that have refused to heal. 

The Universe has spent the past year (years, if we’re being honest) showing us just how deeply broken our current leadership and the systems within which they’ve clung to power are. It’s no coincidence that 2018 has been riddled with challenging retrogrades and chaotic eclipses. This has been the call to bring our collective flaws to the light so that we can adjust accordingly.

It’s been a call for us to see that many of our leaders do not deserve the pedestal on which we’ve placed them. That, in fact, to paraphrase the words of Alice Walker, “we are the leaders we’ve been waiting for.”

Within each of us lies the potential to step into our power and lead. It means digging deep and listening to not only what lights us up, but what enrages us. We’re called to accept and align with both our joy and pain, and then to act on them both. It’s using our joy to transform our share of the bone-deep traumas that prevent us all from rising. For some, this may look like creating stunning graphic designs, or deeply nurturing the children we teach and care for in order to secure a more equal and just world in the future. For me, it looks like using my knowledge and appreciation of astrology and coaching to remind womxn just how damn resilient they can be. 

This idea of examining the world’s pain and using our own grit, intuition, and skills to help us all ascend is where leadership in this moment differs from some of the leadership models of the past. Instead of aspiring to a different reality, we are facing the reality we’ve already made for ourselves. This will require us all to consider what part we’ve played in our current situation and to course-correct using our strength and personal power. 

Develop Your Vision for Leadership This New Moon

As we embrace the new moon in Sagittarius, which will perfect on December 7th at 2:20 am, it’s time to develop your vision for the future. Sagittarius, one of the most visionary signs of the zodiac, alchemizes thoughts into actions. So paying attention to how you are being called to lead proves extremely fruitful now.

A note on Leadership

In the words of leadership expert Warren Bennis “The process of becoming a leader is much the same as the process of becoming an integrated human being.” Or to put it in another Bennis phrase, “Leadership development is personal development.”

If you follow my work, I know you take your personal development journey seriously. I do too. As a matter of fact, I bet we agree that personal development is an intricate part of a successful life; a life comprised of both meaning and pleasure. While often a part of self-care, personal development goes deeper than “self-care” and works on the nooks and crannies of your becoming and often feels hard, sometimes even hard AF. And the point of all this hard work, I hope, is to develop your capacity to contribute in meaningful ways to the unfolding of the future our generation is responsible for creating. 

To support understanding why personal development and leadership development are so intertwined, I want to share a bit more about Warren Bennis’ work. 

Alongside Warren Bennis, Robert J. Thomas collaborated with thie wrote the book Geeks and Geezers. These two leadership tycoons identified a key factor in the story of many highly regarded leaders; they went through what they define as a crucible.

“We came to call the experiences that shape leaders “crucibles,” after the vessels medieval alchemists used in their attempts to turn base metals into gold. For the leaders we interviewed, the crucible experience was a trial and a test, a point of deep self-reflection that forced them to question who they were and what mattered to them. It required them to examine their values, question their assumptions, hone their judgment. And, invariably, they emerged from the crucible stronger and more sure of themselves and their purpose—changed in some fundamental way.”

Having contended with a “crucible” or a different life experience often galvanizes leadership. And not just any leadership, truly impactful and effective leadership.

With 2018 in wrap-up mode, a year that had so many hairpin turns, and gut-wrenching moments, I encourage you how your crucibles have and are contributing to you becoming an incredibly effective and impactful leader. As a society, we face a collective crucible too. And while 2019 brings a much different astrological year (thank god Venus and Mars won’t go retrograde) as we approach 2020, a time of crazy intense astrological transits, 2019 asks us to own the truth of who we are (truth being quintessentially Sagittarius) and step into our greatest leadership capacities. 

The New Moon in Sagittarius 

With Jupiter, the planet of good luck and good fortune traveling in the sign of the archer (for a whole year longer) this new moon activates Jupiter’s potential in his home sign of Sagittarius too, amplifying this impact. (BTW, Jupiter loves being in Sagittarius.) And good news; this new moon which happens at 15 degrees of Sagittarius has a loose conjunction to good luck Jupiter who’s currently at 6 degrees. This combination encourages a deep look at who you are, how you lead, and ways you can not only develop your vision; But! Commit to the action required to make it happen.

With Mercury wrapping up his final retrograde cycle of 2018 on December 6th, we might feel like a piece of sand inside of an oyster shell finally ready to emerge as a pear. 2018, a rough and tumble year, tossed us back and forth, side to side, and yes, finally we’ve completed our final inner-planet-retrograde-cycle. Halle-fucking-leujah. Tune in and see what clarity emerges, if any. Though also please note, true soul direction needs to take as long as it does, so don’t rush anything.

Especially because on the challenging side of things, Mars who travels in Pisces very close to Neptune, makes a hard and harsh angle to this new moon. Indicating that direction may feel cloudy–in spite of Jupiter’s auspicious alignment and Sagittarius’ fire. So don’t rush clarity. Embrace slow. Let clarity come from the truth within your heart. (Often time truth requires going painfully slow.) 

Long gone are the days of performative self-care.  (If you haven’t checked out Well + Good’s 2019 trends you just gotta!) This new moon isn’t about snapping a pretty pic of your new moon ritual for Instagram or rush through a ritual because you feel like you “have to.” It’s a critical opportunity to tune in and access your inner truth to guide you as you step into the next year, and yes, this might take the whole damn lunar cycle!

Resilience Is The Key To Both Personal Development and Leadership

Listen, if leadership is born in the ability to find meaning amidst our most difficult moments (aka, our crucibles) leadership is truly about resilience. Furthermore, I actually believe our survival is too.

When we acknowledge the punches life throws at us, we learn to bob, weave, reconver and rise, instead of pretending we aren’t getting hit in the face on repeat. By accepting our reality, we develop our resilience. 

Our resilience is our empowerment. 

As we become more resilient, we learn to move through stress quicker, to accept and let go, and appreciate our experience for what they are instead of what we wish they could be. We become the highest version of ourselves, and only then do we begin to create a reality that’s not only in our best interest but in the best interest of all.

Now Over to You.

What is calling you to rise as a leader? How can you use your strengths to serve a wider community? How can you develop your resilience so you can keep going? Have you been through a crucible that’s empowered you as a leader? Let us know in the comments.

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