Note: While this article was written for Autentico and focused on Hispanic leadership, the concepts within are applicable to all people.
“You are not lucky to be here. The world needs your perspective. They are lucky to have you.”
Antonio Tijerino, CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation
Hispanic Leadership. At Hispanic conferences I’ve heard it said with some disappointment, that Hispanic people don’t have a powerful figurehead like MLK, Jr. or JFK because we are not as powerful or aggressive due to our spiritual roots and value systems. I ask you to consider this as faulty logic. I assert we ARE powerful because of our spiritual roots and values. I assert it is not power the Hispanic people lack. And it is not aggression either. What I see standing in the way of rising, recognized Hispanic leadership, is a failure to recognize our worthiness.
Recognizing our Worthiness. Because of our deep spiritual roots, many Hispanic people determine that humility is inconsistent with being on the front line; the leading edge; being change agents and heroes. This is inaccurate and can keep us small. The heroes we know and love had to have a strong, loving, powerful and positive ego. Yes, ego; not the braggadocios kind, but the kind that would die on a cross or swim against the current when it is right to do so. This ego is courageous, guided by love and remembers that purpose and values are its mission. This ego is based in a love so strong that it spends no time worrying about guilt, acceptance or recognition; worth is just a simple fact. More importantly, the work is to be done. Recognized leaders of our world have never focused on being recognized or safe. They focused on being truth-tellers and knowing they deserve (are worthy of) a loving place on the front line, even when telling the truth with courage and pride has not been popular or even safe.
Wires we’ve Crossed. Sometimes we have this crazy idea that power is aggression. We equate loving values as important “nice to haves”, but not especially useful when up against the most pressing problems we face today, nor what looks like the losing track record of those acting from loving values. After all, historically many of the most values-based people seem to end up on the losing end. These famous spiritual, political, philosophical, scientific, and social thought leaders and change agents were humble and powerfully loving. The question is this: Do the good values held by the Hispanic people really ever lose? Every person reading this can likely think of famous or everyday people, who when you think about them, bring about inspiration and expand your capacity to be better. What if our values ARE our power and the illusion of unworthiness and fear of expressing LOVE, is all that keeps us from being the leaders we already are?
Claiming Our Place. Consider this: You are extremely powerful because of your values. You are exceptionally worthy to show up with. Be fearless. Show up authentically. You will be someone’s hero. Maybe many people’s hero. Lean into your worthiness. Know you are needed and valued. Be bold in love. Take the power of your ego and do not confuse it with aggression. Guide it with high purpose and values. Use it to make the world better. If you need or want my help in channeling your beautiful, loving power, call me. I’d love to celebrate, support and guide you!
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