You won't find "land" as a leadership competency in corporate trainings. But, I believe it's a necessary element to recognize as a part of your origin story and how you lead. Not convinced? Practice that curiosity we talked about previously and let's play.
When I feel lost in turbulence, I look to the great sequoia tree for perspective. With its thick skin, enormous height, and over 1,000 year lifespan - I ask it for perspective. It must know how to weather the most difficult of times.
If you're the type to check your horoscope, for fun or for serious guidance, you'll learn that the location of your birthplace and the cosmos at the exact time of your birth influence your personality and life's journey according to astrology.
Our sense of place matters. I pondered whether to place "land" in the intrapersonal skills section or the interpersonal skills section. Putting it in the interpersonal section made it feel separate and "othered." We're talking about it here because I believe it is in fact a part of us, and that stories that we are separate from nature (and should dominate it) are harmful.
Every religious tradition has an origin story of the world we live in. Every favorite fable or tale begins with a sense of place. Why would we ever think land is not a part of who we are - and therefore how we lead?
Our entire existence is sustained by and shaped by the land we live on. What happens to the land, happens to us. The land shapes our language, culture, food, clothes, habits, architecture, transportation... and leadership.
Even if you don't agree, I invite you to keep your curiosity pants on and go through the reflections. See what emerges! Try journaling about these questions:
While I have always enjoyed nature, it wasn't until I was in ceremony a few years ago that I fell in love with it and had an embodied experience of true connection and affection for land. Moving frequently as a military child made land feel like a hotel where I was always a guest, but never really belonged to it. Further back in my ancestry, my family members all came from different lands - some native to what is now Mexico, Spain, Italy and others. I'm drawn to their food, faces, music, weather, colors and lifestyles.
As I planned to put down roots here in the PacNW (buy a home), I wanted to get to know this land more intimately and the original peoples who cared for it - to foster a sense of belonging to this place.
To explore more for yourself, find out whose land you are on. Learn the decolonized history of that land. Research why and how to perform respectful land acknowledgements. And try out this fun new vocabulary: