3 qualities of a leader: humility, passion and resilience

Let us delve a little deeper into those three principles, so we may all have a chance to practice them.

Almost every religion and spiritual practice talks about the return to humility before human transformation can occur, this is also true of business. Humility is about being right sized in the world, without a need to feel ‘more than’ or ‘less than’. Humility opens us up to working with others, to build a collective competency. It also means we are out of our ego, and in the state we need to be in, to be open to a better way. Not surprisingly, Jim Collins uncovered in his book “Build to Last” that humility was a defining characteristic of the CEO’s of long term high performing companies.

‘Passion’ is the energy to live our life according to our life purpose. Peter Wallman of Passion Maps once told me, that the energy passion is what sits under emotion. Peter Levine, the leading authority on somatic experiencing says, it is our “felt sense”, the intelligence of our gut brain, that lives under our emotions. It is possible that it is our gut that drives our passion, as our felt sense can regulate our emotions, and our flight, fight or freeze response, which in turn regulates our thinking.

Whatever this whole of body experience of passion really is, it certainly is the driving force of great achievements. Find the connection to your life purpose in all you do and you are sure to be awakened by the energising force of passion.

Resilience, the ability to get up one more time and try. High levels of resilience stem from a number of qualities, and two in particular.

One is acceptance, the ability to say “it is what it is”, knowing what is yours to control and what is not. Acceptance helps us to move on, not to feel stuck in our problem, opening up to what is ahead and the potential solution.

Another key contributor to resilience is the ability not to take things personally. Magical thinking occurs when we are in our child brain, believing we are responsible for all the happenings around us, real and imagined. As Mark Twain once said: ” I have been through some terrible things in my life and some of them actually happened”.

Magical thinking drives an over sense of responsibility, which sooner rather than later, leads to burn out. Healthy detachment, an adult perspective, is a core quality of resilience.

If you want to start integrating these three principles of leadership into your life, I would recommend a journal. Each day journal about how you can better apply these into your life, you will be amazed at the results.

Louise Kelly
Managing Director
Hearts and Minds

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