Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More




The Leadership Course II:

Leadership Is A Barefooted Girl

Playa San Miguelito, Cancun, Mexico

November 3, 2017

"I will wait I will wait for you, and I will wait I will wait for you." ... Mumford & Sons, I Will Wait 
"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." ... President Harry S Truman
This essay, The Leadership Course II: Leadership Is A Barefooted Girl, is the second in the trilogy The Leadership Course:
  1. The Leadership Course: As Your Natural Self-Expression II
  2. The Leadership Course II: Leadership Is A Barefooted Girl
  3. The Leadership Course III: Pillar Of The Community
in that order.

It is also the eighth in a group of nine on Passion: The trilogy The Leadership Course is the sequel to
  1. An Experience That Begins Before It Begins
  2. Thinking On My Feet
  3. No, It's What You Say  About It
in that order.

It is also the prequel to


I traveled across the border to southeast Mexico by the Caribbean sea near Cuba. While I was there I fell in love with Leadership - and not just with any  Leadership: while I was there I fell in love with fearless  Leadership.

Now to be sure, I didn't go to Mexico expecting / looking to fall in love. Far from it - not with anyone or anything for that matter. No such outcome was ever on my short list of committed or expected results as I exited an American Airlines  flight upon landing, and immediately had to shed my leather bombadier jacket in the humid Cancun heat. If anything, I envisioned giving myself 24 / 7 to the conversation at hand: the ever-evolving work in progress  that is Werner Erhard's Leadership Course. The way I had it pegged was there would be no free time for anything other than doing the work, and certainly not for falling in love with Leadership. Yet that's what happened: in spite of myself, in spite of all my carefully laid plans and all my good intentions, I fell in love with Leadership: suddenly, completely, innocently, totally.

"'Fell'  in love, Laurence? Is 'fell' really  the best word to articulate the onset of love?" you may ask (as ubiquitous as its usage is). Listen: yes, "fell" is an entirely fitting descriptor. And when it's appropriate, the words "I love you" will also easily come out of my mouth (with transformation, it's words which mark the onset of something great, rather than the other way around). In this way you could say "I love you" (ie you could say the speech act  "I love you"), not falling, is the onset of love. But in this case, "fell" is also appropriate. It took me by surprise. There was no conscious intention to do anything whatsoever to make something happen. And it happened.

Well OK, maybe I did do something to make it happen. Maybe I did open my heart just a crack (I'm with Werner in the Leadership Course after all, yes?). Given just that smallest of openings, Leadership stepped fearlessly, boldly, unambiguously  forward, marched straight into my heart, and took up permanent residence here like she already owns  the whole god-damned place. And I watched myself, noticing I was making no move to stop her, noticing her natural Self-expression is to fearlessly come in (even before I'd invited her in) while also noticing my natural Self-expression (as I soon discovered) is to allow her to come in ie to not get in her way.

Playa San Miguelito, Cancun, Mexico
Why refer to Leadership as "she", Laurence? Why not as "it"?  Because that's how Leadership began occurring for me: Leadership, like a barefooted girl beckoning me to follow her on a powder white sandy beach by a cool, clear blue sea which matches the color of her twinkling blue eyes in which I see myself reflected forever ("This is crazy:  I hardly know you - and in any case, I'm not a Leader  ..." my small  self protests). But it's all to no avail. The thing is that very early in the piece I knew  it was OK to follow her ie I knew it was OK to be led by Leadership herself. After all, the best Leaders are those who can also be followers. But it's more than that actually. It's that authentic Leadership is irresistible. Even more to the point, it's that not  following her, given the way being led by her occurs for me ...? is simply out of the question.

Soon, "Do you really want  this, Laurence?" my Self-preservation systems ie all those vicious dogs protecting my status quo, snarled and barked in unison. They're too late. By then I was already wide open to what a fearless Leader makes possible. And now, having opened myself to her, this barefooted girl, having allowed her to come in, I'll never be the same human being again - ever. I can't be. Leadership has become my natural Self-expression. I am Leadership. And Leadership? She is me.

What I've realized is allowing Leadership to be the authentic Self-expression of my life, isn't dependent on whether or not she comes more than once, nor on whether she lingers a little longer. It's simply the fact that she came to me at all in the first place. That's when I recognized she is who she says she is. Now that I've listened her ie now that I've listened this barefooted girl, this fearless Leader, I'm inexorably new again. Love like this (ie thrilling  love like this) inexorably goeswith  Werner's work (as Alan Watts may have said). For me, that's how this work more sooner than later eventually becomes its own reward, a reward which came to me unasked, under a full, golden moon by a cool, clear blue sea on the powder white sands of a midnight Cancun beach, barefooted.


Background soundtrack: Mumford & Sons: I Will Wait - wait for 4.24M download


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