Earlier this year I was in Northern California to attend a world-class workshop about embodied leadership with international senior leaders. It was an unusual event for me as we didn't talk that much. Through different practices, we spent our time aligning body and mind towards our personal leadership commitment. I was amazed to experience how much, just by releasing physical tensions and connecting to what I truly care about, my level of clarity and energy could increase, providing me with the freedom to act more skilfully toward my commitment.
On my way back to Belgium, something surfaced. As if it needed to be reborn again from a deeper place: my five key ideas which provide the foundation of my work as an executive coach and a recruiter, for leaders and corporate teams:
"Our world needs exemplary leaders."
To face the major crises of our time, on an economic, environment, and social scale, the world needs leaders who embody centered PRESENCE, COMMITMENT to a noble purpose, COURAGE to face and enter difficult situations, ACCOUNTABILITY for their life and actions, and a high level of INTEGRITY and AUTHENTICITY. These characteristics are foundational of a leadership that will enhance meaningful productivity and inner peace.
"True leadership comes from engaging every aspect of our identity."
A successful approach to sustained high performance and inner peace should consider the leader as a whole and address the BODY, the EMOTION, the MENTAL and the SPIRIT. Each of these dimensions influences the other, and each of them can enhance or compromise performance.
"Leadership is not a gift, it's a journey."
The characteristics that make up the exemplary leader are not reserved for the "super talented" or even those who are fortunate enough to have gotten an early start. They are available to anyone who is willing to get on the path and stay on it.
"Choice follows awareness."
Once something is in our field of awareness, we have increased our ability to choose how to interact with it. Instead of it having power over us, we can choose how we process it. Leaders who learn to deepen self-awareness (awareness of their sensations, moods, thoughts, actions, interactions and energy) increase their level of consciousness and their ability to act skilfully, even under pressure.
"You are what you practice."
Masters become masters because they love to practice. It is true in sport, in music, and also in leadership.
Complacency does not work with leadership. This is why I am constantly learning about how I can leverage my skills in order to reach my personal leadership commitment: "helping leaders increase meaningful productivity and inner peace."
And you...? What do you stand for? What is your overwhelming purpose, and how do you plan to chase it down?
Manu Henrard is a Executive Somatic Coach, a trainer 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 info about his work on his personal website www.ninedots.be.