Introduction: Incandescent Leadership

This is an excerpt from Incandescent Leadership (ISBN 978-1-300-65928-0, 80 pages, $12.99).

Incandescence has several general meanings. The first and most frequently used meaning is a light that emerges from warmth, such as incandescent lightbulbs. A similar definition is brightness.  Incandescence can also be used to mean clarity. Another definition of incandescence is passionately purposeful.

Sounds like great leadership, doesn’t it?

On my blog, The Activist’s Muse, I recently differentiated between thinking of leaders as suns and thinking of them as nebulae. Suns are situated at the center of a galaxy. All of the planets revolve around the sun and are dependent on it for survival. Suns are established, static, and reliable. In contrast, nebulae are celestial clouds from which stars, planets, and other objects emerge. Nebulae are vulnerable, mysterious, open to possibility, and creative. Both are vital for our survival and advancement.

Incandescent Leadership blends these two concepts into a new understanding of leadership that balances and integrates both paradigms. In this model, suns and nebulae are not contradictory or in competition but rather are two very small components of a greater whole. Incandescent Leadership is a means to channel positive universal energy through worldly thoughts and actions. Just as incandescent lightbulbs mirror the sun’s rays, we become reflections of celestial suns and nebulae in our own little worlds.

Incandescent Leadership is a model of leadership, but more importantly it is a process of structured self-discovery through which you can identify and build upon your distinctive radiance and brilliance. Each incandescent leader is a unique cosmic being.

Incandescent leaders share certain characteristics. We:

  • are centered in our purpose;
  • are continually awakening and becoming;
  • feel a strong sense of connection to everything and everyone in the universe;
  • glow with the warmth of compassion;
  • generously share our abundant, renewable energies with others;
  • illuminate wisdom and understanding;
  • inspire others through gentle rays of light;
  • fluidly respond to spontaneous movements;
  • radiate creative brilliance;  and
  • create waves of transformation.

While incandescent lightbulbs are becoming a thing of the past, Incandescent Leadership is on the rise. This workbook will help you explore and articulate your own incandescence so you can glow through your leadership.

Our inquiry will investigate your leadership in each of the ten areas described on the previous page. To review, they are:

  • purpose;
  • becoming;
  • connection;
  • compassion;
  • energy;
  • wisdom;
  • inspiration;
  • responsiveness;
  • creativity; and
  • transformation.

Each section includes provocative questions to help you explore your incandescence. At the end of each section, there is a reflection page where you can record your overall impressions of, and ideas related to, the topic. After you explore and reflect upon each individual topic, you can begin weaving together your discoveries to create individualized incandescent intentions that will influence your leadership into the future.

You can work through this book from beginning to end, or select specific pages to ponder according to your proclivity. You might find it helpful to engage in this process with a friend or colleague, but you are free to do it on your own if that is your preference. There are no right or wrong answers. The questions are not a gauge to measure your incandescence; rather, they are a tool to uncover your own unique feelings and ideas. You have unlimited time to explore these pages. Hopefully, you will find this to be a fun, exciting journey of self-discovery!

I truly desire enriched and enlivened leadership for you, and I hope that the process of reflecting, writing, and conversing with others about the topics in this book leads you to that wondrous place. I would love to hear from you to learn about your Incandescent Leadership journey and to experience your incandescent approach to leading and living.

In celebration of your unique radiance and brilliance,

Jessica R. Dreistadt

Founding director, the Fruition Coalition

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