Finding the Self in the Midst of Chaos — Take a Deep Breath
During this pandemic of COVID-19, we know that every one of us is being challenged on personal, professional and global levels. As a premier Strategic Leadership consulting firm for the past thirty-two years, we have developed a three-part mindset of Leading Self, Leading Others and Leading the Business as a framework for success.
Rather than focusing on ways we think people should lead others right now…we encourage our partners and clients to take a step back — to look into themselves as leaders. This is important work for each of us to feel and know what it will take for each of us to be whole in the midst of chaos.
As leaders we are sometimes seduced by the role of “leader.” We are supposed to know the answers. Solve the problem. Decide quickly. Make it better. But the only way, the only way we are to be any good to anyone during a time of crisis is to stop and listen to that still quiet voice within. “What am I hearing in my heart?”, “Who am I during this time?”, “What truth must I speak?”, “What is the next right thing to do?” For many of us…we may have ignored taking care of ourselves way too long. We have served others to the point that we have forgotten how to serve ourselves. I am reminded of an important message we hear when traveling on an airplane…“Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, before you help another.” This is a powerful metaphor for each of us, particularly now during COVID-19.
Hospitals in New York City and around the world have been posting poetry from John O’Donohue, the late Irish poet as inspiration. This excerpt is from his collection, “To Bless the Space Between Us:”
This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you, will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.
Essay One, Part One in a Series by Peter Bailey, Adrienne Jordan, and Kristin Jonason at The Prouty Project.
John O’Donohue Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JohnODonohue.AnamCara/
Brother David Steindl-Rast Blessings video: https://gratefulness.org/blessings/