The Secret Golden Key of Leadership
So much of leadership requires that we be "on."
But how can we do that in a way that is genuine?
The sun is shining today, but it is still cold out. I have an aching rib from four weeks of bronchitis. My to-do list is way too long, and my toddler is needing my attention. But I am supposed to be preparing for a presentation I have to do later this week.
How can I show up and present in front of people when I am not feeling so great? How can I let go of my various distractions and relate with and respond to others?
I close my eyes for a moment and turn towards the sunshine.
The warmth infuses my whole body, and for just this moment, I take it in. I breathe deeply, I feel the presence of sunshine and the gift of it. I feel my body, not just the aching rib, but the pulsing of my heart, the fluid movement of my breath, the solid feel of my feet on the ground.
I am present! For this very moment, I am nowhere else but here, soaking in the sunshine. Recharging my batteries by tuning in to this very moment.
It occurs to me that I can turn “on” by tuning in.
That this, in fact, is some kind of secret golden key for leadership, for anyone presenting in front of others. That we don’t have to “turn on” in such a way that’s cranking ourselves up. We don’t have to “showcase” that we are beautiful, magnificent and present. We can just be that.
It doesn’t matter if we feel anxious or scared or grumpy. We can just be who we are, as we are, right this moment.
By being present, we tap in and feel how we feel. This then ensures that any expression we share comes from a place of genuine presence - we are not trying to be somebody else. We can see clearly what is needed in this moment, and how to present what we need to share.
Our genuine presence then translates into confidence, which is an expression of how empowered we feel to be who we are, to present our wisdom and knowledge. This inner empowerment then extends out and empowers all whom we are engaging with and presenting to. In fact, our very presence is more informative than our verbal presentation. Just our presence empowers the others around us to be who they are too!
In this way, we can turn on by tuning in.
Try it next time you have to get in front of others. You need nothing for this - you don’t necessarily need a fancy makeup kit or new leather shoes. You don’t need an Idiot’s Guide to presenting, you just need your own self, a little presence and awareness of your body and the environment you are in, and then to express from that place of presence.
And then let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear from you! Please drop a line and let me know how it went! Write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Article dedicated to Trevor and Shawn for inspiring this line of thinking.