How Can Stillness and Leadership Work Together?

As a practitioner of Simon Sinek’s “Know your Why“, most of my workshops start with different iterations of ‘your Why’, your purpose, and the legacy you want to leave. As partners, we come up with a crystalized version that represents us at this moment.

But as a facilitator of the activity, what happens when ’My Why’ isn’t as clear as it once was? What if working through a pandemic has shifted and added things in its way, preventing my light from shining, guiding a clear path.

Well, friends, that was me.  

Looking through a lens that wasn’t clear, a path that was not leading me in the direction of my true purpose, so what do you do?

Well in my case, I practiced some long-overdue self-care. I took a solo trip to Sedona, Arizona. Like a pilgrimage, I came seeking answers, clarity and direction. There were semblances of my future but the path to get there was like a maze.

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After days of inner work, meditation and healing I started to shift my thinking from my head to my heart. You might be thinking, what is the difference?

Big Difference!

As a Type A, goal-oriented person, my automatic thoughts were “I have to do this”, ”this has to be done by this timeframe”, and very automated black and white. When we are heart-focused we have a chance to check in with ourselves and feel if what we are doing serves us. Does it bring us joy, does it light us up? We are learning more about what ignites us and fulfills us all, leading back to our purpose, the original quest for my trip.

Are we doing things out of fear of not knowing when the next opportunity is coming? Or out of love for self and in service of others. As time went on, and things slowed down, I became more mindful of my thoughts, and hence influenced my actions.

As leaders, if we are thinking one thing and expecting something different from ourselves or our teams, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. There is an incongruence and misalignment in expectations.

So, if you are feeling a little less sharp than usual, less focused, interested, and don't have a clear vision of the future what can you do?

It is hard to look inward in our current environment, there are reminders of our situation everywhere. Changing our state is supported by changing our environment, there are so many triggers. I’m sure you’ve all heard this before, but being in nature is so grounding and healing. Can you take a walk in the park or a hike? take in all the beauty around you. That in itself will quiet your mind, take your focus and energy off of the situation and get out of your head. We quickly realize there is something bigger than us, look at the majestic trees around us and the buds starting to bloom; it is hard not to express gratitude.

To support a team, lead by example and model the behaviour. Taking time out to show others your practice, and your efforts to stay grounded, positive and motivated after a long two-and-a-half-year stint is probably what most of them need.

When we are quiet, in nature, on our own we become more of an observer and see what is truly going on, what excites us. We can isolate feelings, emotions, and overplayed conversations in our heads. Only then can we let them go or deal with them. In our current office setting, we push them down to react to their immediate needs. Over time these will manifest into other issues creating a compound effect. This negative energy is stored and not released.

When I landed at the Phoenix airport, I was greeted by nobody. I planned my solo journey on purpose. Checking in along the way, experiencing and feeling everything within and around me, fully present. I loved it.

When we are fully present, open, and aware, the clarity, answers and direction we seek have an open path inward. But how many of us take the time to slow down, connect with ourselves, quiet our minds and check-in? Like a sleeping child, how are they doing? What do they need? How can I help them?

Most gurus talk about morning practice including meditation, this is difficult for most, including yours truly. I was connected years ago, but like anything out of sight out of mind, we can blame the pandemic, kids, business etc.

At the end of the day it is our life, how we show up with or without intention starts with us and our desire to create space to receive. Look inward, what do I need?

I can say I have returned with clarity, direction and a vigorous sense of purpose that I am excited to execute on, stay tuned.

This sense of purpose will make this an annual solo trip, that I look forward to for the unforeseeable future.

What will you do to quiet your mind, and understand your true purpose to lead a fulfilled life for yourself, your family, team, and friends?


About Karen Kelly

For 20 years Karen has been specializing in the art and science of sales and communication her passion and experience are helping technical sales professionals become more confident and to disrupt with value.

Her dedication to developing and delivering customized sales training programs provide her audience practical, relevant tools  that can be used immediately to break down the barriers in a competitive landscape and separate themselves from the noise.

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