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The Spirit of Leadership

Submitted by on May 4, 2010 – 11:32 amNo Comment

Returning to ‘normal’ life after sharing a two day retreat on Leadership and Spirituality with Dr Stephen G.Payne and Martyn Lee,  in the company of Benedictine monks, I am left  thoughtful and reflective about what I can take from this experience and add into my day to day world and the coaching of my clients.

I was struck by the monks ability to communicate using their whole self. They listen with the intensity of a wolf and hear the workings of your soul. They  confront with a special gentleness which is both powerful and gracious, respectful of the human condition without letting you abnegate responsibility for your own life and play out the blame game. They are honest in their interactions with you but do not involve themselves in wordy conversations which add little in quality. They are religious but not religion. They walk with you. You start to get the whole picture rather than operating from one aspect or facet of yourself.

To be with them is to be with yourself. To confroshutterstock_1636566nt and contemplate where you can make changes, shift your perspective, adopt a new attitude, be open and honest;be fearless yet vulnerable.

This has prompted me to contemplate the word leader. We talk about this in many different forms , team leader, market leader, world leader, party leader, cult leader yet what does this term really mean? The word Leader itself seems cold and exclusive, rather bossy,a just do it my way as I know best ,sort of word. The sort of word which sucks you into following and the Leader gets what they want at your expense.

However, if you add the suffix ‘ship’ and change the word to leadership, you can actually start to identify the qualities possesed by a leader who is in the ‘being’ state of leadership.  It becomes softer yet tough, inclusive and communicative, open and clear, considerate and compassionate, leading with integrity. A leader does not just lead by example but also makes sure rules,roles, boundaries and expectations are defined so each person knows where they fit and what they will contribute to the success of a project or outcome.

A leader in a state of leadership, helps to create the environment where a person’s potential can be liberated.

To truly lead you have to incorporate the state of leadership into your being, you have to know when to take the reins and when to let go, something the current politicians have not ‘cracked’ yet. They aren’t congruent – their voice tone does not match with the words they say or their body language, it is difficult to ‘feel’ their heart or trust their motives and we don’t have clear boundaries. We can’t ‘imagine’how they might deal with a crisis.

We experience them as dishonest and patronising yet they ask us to trust that what they promise they will carry through but it is difficult to feel confident about what they offer when we know much of it is spin.

The expenses issues make us doubt their integrity and their ‘take’ on issues is vastly different to the experience of the common man.

To be in a state of leadership, you need to know yourself well before you can truly lead or inspire others. The monks’ wisdom goes back to St.Benedict 1500 years ago.



Never, it seems, have we needed it more, contact me on allie@life-changing.co.uk or click on the Personal Direction Special Offer if you would like some help and guidance.

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