Heart Centred Leadership - Leading Others from Within Themselves
As people, we are inspired by what we see, what we experience, what we learn from the world around us. But so much of what makes us who we are, probably more than most of us imagine - comes from within.
Viktor Frankl, the renowned Austrian psychologist and neuroscientist illustrated this best. He said, "In between stimulus and response there is a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response. And in our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
What Frankl was saying was both revolutionary and somehow profoundly fundamental. Even in our darkest moments, even when we feel that the world is against us, we still have a choice. We can still choose our response that which we must face.
The Freedom of Response and the Strength Within Us
Frankl's words are even more moving when we consider the man's story. As an inmate of the Auschwitz, Kaufering, and Turkheim camps, Frankl bore witness to some of the most horrific crimes against humanity ever perpetrated, including the murders of many of his immediate family. Despite this horror and hardship, Frankl was still able to care for the mental health of his fellow prisoners and help hundreds to survive this brutal chapter of human history.
The example of Viktor Frankl is an extreme one and one which most of us will thankfully never experience for ourselves, but it demonstrates an important point which is key to what we do here at Learning Ground. It shows us that much of the strength and resilience that we need to succeed as human beings comes from within, and this strength and resilience must be coached and nurtured.
This is an important part of the concept of the 'intellectual me'; the knowledge of our own selves which gives us the capability to do what is required of us, and also gives us the awareness to treat others in the right manner.
Nurturing the Intellectual Self
During this week's session at Learning Ground, we are trying to develop the skills we need to nurture this capability and this awareness in the groups that we lead. These include everything from family units or friendship groups right up to multinational corporations. You have probably heard the quote "give a man a fish and feed him for the day; teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime"; well we are dealing in the deep well of natural resources that exists within all of us, and we are delivering the tools needed to tap this well.
So what are some of the things we can do within our own lives to awaken a new sense of self-respect, of self-awareness, of self-love and belief?
One choice is to seriously consider the types of people we choose to associate with. What are we choosing if we mix with people who drag down our intellectual and physical selves? This is not about turning our backs on people that need our help; this is about not spending time with people who do not have our best interests at heart, or who do not want us to do well.
Another choice is to recognise that in every choice there is always a response. Whether we are simply having a bad day, or if we are facing down a genuine catastrophe, we can still look within ourselves and find the strength we need, just like Viktor Frankl has taught us.
Join us as we continue our journey of heart-centred leadership, and gain a deeper understanding of the power of 'the intellectual me'.
Margaret Bell, AM - Founder and CEO of Chain Reaction Foundation.
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