Growing up, I navigated life solely on intuition alone. Never questioning my underlying intentions behind each decisions, I would just “go with the flow” without concern for possible implications or turn of destiny. This ultimately brought me to where I am today: In the United States, where I’ve been living for nearly a decade and working on an H1-B visa for a truly great and innovative arts organization in Washington, DC.
Looking back at my journey and the things that brought me here, I feel fortunate to have encountered so many different kinds of people, languages, cultures, outlooks and ways of life. Although, I still embrace my “go-with-the-flow” lifestyle, I have come to realize the importance of understanding the subtext of my actions and the power behind each of my decisions. And because I’ve always been less interested in climbing the ladder within an established system, today I want to continue to re-define the ladder by challenging the status – quo by being more present and conscious of my actions and beliefs. Quite naturally, this requires sitting on the leading-edge of any growing organism, constantly pushing against set boundaries and imposed limitations as well as my fear of the unknown.
While I am interested in learning the qualities, tools and techniques of an effective leader in the 21st century, I realize that my own leadership development is about more than just the ability to blend charisma, enthusiasm, clear communication, strategic thinking and cool-minded decision making. I strongly believe that leadership is tightly linked with constant personal growth that is motivated by our journey into the inner and outer self and an insatiable thirst for life. Thus I am eager to understand (and make sense of) the various forces that have impacted and continue to shape my personality, belief systems and actions ultimately resulting in my very own leadership style.
Crossing the Rubicon is an active space for experimentation, in which I establish an inventory of tools that help me engage with and explore this territory. Convinced that examples of great leadership can be found in every single one of and in our daily interactions with other our environment and other people, I therefore draw on the arts, business, nature, architecture, science, religion and my own personal experience to explore the different dynamics of leadership in my posts.
Through this open but rather raw approach, I hope to understand how these examples can guide me in becoming a stronger, more effective arts manager, cultural entrepreneur and person. Through the process, I am eager to see why I connect with these particular acts of leaderships and how they motivate me to move forward with confidence, purpose and integrity.
My starting off point and goals:
Just like I continue to move between Germany and the U.S. – two very different cultures and languages – internally I sway back and forth between so many different opposite forces, including chaos and order; autonomy and control; a strong need for independence, but also a deep longing for a firm grounding and sense of stability. While I talk about how much I like to let go and allow life to unfold, I can also have a tendency to act calculated and controlled. While I can be the most spontaneous risk taker, audacious and daring, I can also be timid, cautious and fearful at times. I can be loud and outgoing as well as quiet and private. I can be supportive, visionary and loving as well as crushingly realistic and distant.
In my life and work, navigating these different sides without direction has been confusing. Which voice is truly mine? What is my authentic self? Am I a follower or a leader? A realist or a dreamer? An introvert or an extrovert? An arts manager or an artists? A listener or the storyteller?
By engaging with these capricious dynamics and dichotomies that literally exist within me, I hope to gain a better understanding of my own strengths, both behavioral and skill/roll related. I also hope to come face to face with my weaknesses, fears and moments of self-doubt. In becoming aware, I hope to develop my true leadership voice, both personally and professionally while staying firmly connected to my personal values, goals and dreams.