is leadership a role?

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A friend and a fellow Circling facilitator recently shared that when he's leading he cannot be himself. He thinks that being a leader is a role. I did not want to begin a dispute, so I said nothing—even though something in this statement did not land as true for me.

In the next few days, I continued thinking of what he said, so I decided to explore the topic and find out what it is for me to be a facilitator and a community leader.

So here is what feels true for me: being a leader is NOT a role.

In fact, while Circling, I become more of who I am. I am less guarded, more real, more honest and more attuned to what is true for me in each moment. I am more loving and more accepting—of others and of myself. 

I am certainly less judgmental. I am more compassionate, more patient and deeply rooted into my heart. I feel more alive, energized and fulfilled.

As a leader I am more visible and often more vulnerable than anyone else in the room. I feel almost naked as I show up honestly transparent, open and defenseless while also holding space for everyone else.

Facilitating for others transforms me. I'm growing tremendously when I’m being present and available to others. It comes from the level of my engagement and attention. It’s a result of listening so deeply that it helps me comprehend what the other is feeling or going through. That profound understanding often transforms their experience, but it also begins to change me.

I lead and I follow, simultaneously. I facilitate and I grow at he same time. I am the teacher and I am also the student. I am the observer and the participant. I am giving and I am receiving, in equal measure. I am open to the flow of life and to the beauty of each moment, without placing any pre-conceived expectations or requirements, and without being attached to a specific outcome. I relax in the natural flow of each moment blending into the next.

I believe we are here to learn how to love.

Each time I lead a circle I am becoming better at loving. And each time I'm closer to my true nature. Each time I am more aligned with who I am.