There is a very powerful teaching that helped me throughout these years. It’s is a teaching from a zen master who says: “The most important point in our life is to find out what is the most important point.”
When we know what is truly important, pressure doesn’t have the same taste anymore. We cultivate this connection and we align our actions and behaviours with purpose, even under pressure.
Unfortunately, It’s a piece of work we, executives, spend too little time on.
And the result is what we see today, in organisations of course, but also more broadly on a social, environmental and economic level.
I believe that action connected to purpose is really what leadership is about.
I enjoyed working with Pierre the last months. He is a senior executive active in the telecom industry. Pierre began coaching because he felt he was struggling to inspire his teams to join him in the transformation he had initiated. He had received feedback that, even though his words sounded accurate, teams found it difficult to feel committed to following him. In fact, they didn't "FEEL" him.
How many of you know leaders that are declaring a future they are not connected with and, because of that, have difficulties to inspire others to join them?
And you, are you clear on what you deeply care about? I mean, clear enough so that under pressure you can still stay connected to it and inspire others to follow you?
One of the things that blowed me away about embodied leadership coaching when I first started this approach a decade ago is that, where we find a profound sense of purpose is deep inside ourselves. It is when we drop our attention into our body, our sensation and the energy that’s alive in us that we connect with a sense of purpose which strengthens our leadership.
So, in the process of building a meaningful leadership commitment, we train asking ourselves again and again what do we care about, who do we care about, what future we are committed to. And then we practice feeling the answer to that question and articulate that transparently to other people. It helps us remember who we are and act courageously under pressure.
For Pierre, developing the ability to feel an authentic connection with what is really important to him, and finding the courage to share it authentically was a very important catalyst for creating the necessary bond with the teams during this period of great change.
One of the contradictions of being human is that we long for deep relationships and a meaningful life and we are not very good at it.... As a leader, we need to learn why it is so difficult. I trust embodied leadership coaching is a ground for that.
Manu Henrard is a Executive Somatic Coach and an Executive Recruiter based in Brussels. He is also an associate from the Strozzi Institute for embodied leadership. Manu's professional commitment is to help leaders increase meaningful productivity and achieve inner peace. More about his coaching program here.