What comes to mind when you consider what it means to be in charge? Power, control, authority, and leadership. Decisiveness, perhaps. All of these play a part, but being in charge is not just about control. It’s not a totalitarian system. You can’t just bulldoze over other people and their feelings and expect them to be okay with it. Chances are if you do that then you are probably a shitty person. One can rule with a firm hand, yes, but it takes subtlety and finesse to truly lead. Today’s meditation opens with a quote from Nellie McClery. Nellie writes, “Never retract, never explain, never apologize . . . get the thing done and let them howl.”
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“There are so many levels on which one could respond to this quote. At one level, it sounds like advice on how to be a bulldozer and run down anyone who offers opposition. I don’t recommend that.
At another level, one can zero in on the time lost in explaining, retracting, and apologizing, while the house is burning down. There is something to be said for just moving ahead.
And at another level, when we clearly feel the direction we must take and the job we must get done, there is a certain serenity that emerges when we are truly willing to ‘let them howl.’”
We waste a lot of time and detract from our own authority and power when we explain and apologize. Some things simply just don’t have to be justified to other people. We don’t owe them an explanation, especially for decisions we make that really have no effect on anyone else’s lives but our own. When we know what must be done, there is a certain satisfaction to be had in being confident in our decision, unswayed by the coercion and complaints of others. It is a mixed feeling of both pride and peace of mind. We can move forward with our heads held high, knowing that we are doing the right thing, yet not being brazen or boastful about it. You don’t have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference.