Two of Ai Wei Wei’s sayings I treasure because they so resonate deeply with my beliefs about leadership.
“Your own acts tell the world who you are and what kind of society you think it should be.”
“I call on people to be ‘obsessed citizens,’ forever questioning and asking for accountability. That’s the only chance we have today of a healthy and happy life.”
This is the spirit of personal responsibility that points to my conviction that “all leadership begins with personal initiative to create impact that makes a difference that matters.” This responsibility is not something imposed upon us. It is not an obligation or a requirement. Rather, it is the expression of our individual humanity.
Ai Wei Wei suggests that there is a transition in our understanding of leadership taking place. It is from a person being in authority to an expression of our individual humanity. This is why accountability is so essential to a healthy life for a society.
“I see myself not as a leader but as somebody who initiates things or finds the problem or provokes a discussion. You have to be always ready to engage, willing to participate. When events or history happen, you just have to be aware and respond.”