Emerson wrote ‘he who would inspire and lead his race must be defended from travelling with the souls of other men, from living, breathing, reading, and writing in the daily, time-worn yoke of their opinions.’
One of the burdens of leadership is the weight of others’ voices. Opinions, statements, requests, demands, complaints, criticisms - demanding the leader’s attention.
A leader listens to others’ voices. Reflects on them. Measures them against reality. Keeps her emotions in check.
She focusses on the voices of others.
Until she decides what to do.
Only then does the leader find her voice in the solitude of her decision.
A statement about who she is, or at least, who she wants to become.
Then perhaps the terror of looking behind to see if anyone is following.