Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Commitment to Compassionate Leadership

CHICKS ROCK! is happy to have Kristina back as a guest blogger this week:

Kristina Leonardi is the founder of The Women’s Mosaic. She is a career/life path consultant, speaker, seminar leader and expert in the areas of women, diversity and personal growth.

Last week I attended a very special panel discussion that reinforced for me what we’re doing at TWM: encouraging women to practice compassion in their lives, and to discover and embrace our commonalities and differences. These are qualities of true leadership.

The event was sponsored by NYU and consisted of:

"Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, provocative religious leader and respected spiritual iconoclast Rabbi Irwin Kula, and the Sakyong, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche, one of Tibet's highest and most respected incarnate lamas, to participate in a groundbreaking, open discussion on the power and practice of compassionate leadership."
These were people who ‘spoke my language.’ They made me feel I’m not alone in my perceptions about how to best make fundamental change at this critical time in our history.

I initially went because of my admiration of HM Queen Noor, specifically the work for peace in the Middle East she and her late husband, the esteemed King Hussein of Jordan, dedicated their lives to. She is committed to building bridges among the Arab, Muslim and Western worlds, and knows the similarities, uniqueness and nuances of the world’s major religions. This is something you often don’t hear expressed from such a platform, yet it’s so important for fostering understanding among us.

She is one of those people I feel a certain kinship with, in terms of her perspective on peace, faith and cross-cultural understanding. Listening to her solidified my connection with her (on whatever level you can have that with such an eminent figure!). I was thrilled and honored to meet Queen Noor in person – and impressed and inspired by Rabbi Kula and the Sakyong Rinpoche as well.

Personally, it was exactly what I needed – a refreshing dialogue with a reasonable, humanistic, forward-thinking, positive worldview that re-affirmed my commitment to what I started with The Women’s Mosaic. It validated our mission and re-energized me to persevere, regardless of the many challenges and personal sacrifices that come with founding and, more importantly, trying to sustain a nonprofit organization such as ours.

As we are in the home stretch of this intense political season, it is my wish that our elected officials be the compassionate leaders we so desperately need, but also that we each take responsibility for that type of leadership in our own lives.

You can download and watch the webcast of the event here. Please be sure to share your thoughts on the video and on compassionate leadership in the comments!

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