Where a growing circle of business leaders comes to share, learn, and inspire organizations to put people first

Whirling Chief

If Leaders Could Dance to the Wind of Energy…

I was recently in the presence of a corporate executive I respect deeply.

I had a secret, a hidden agenda to find out what makes this leader stand out in a room of hundreds… Ssshhh, I do that sometimes. I am an organizational psychologist, remember? ?

This leader I have seen at work has a very unique way of ‘being’ and I was determined to find out about the secret sauce… ?

As a consultant, I was surely at the groups’ presence on duty and at the same time, I was experimenting quietly in my mind, taking silent notes on paper…

What I recognized over a course of full day is that the leader was so consciously ‘kind’ and ‘soft’ in their way of being, there was a sense of ‘serenity’ and ‘peace’ to their presence.

The leader was clearly the authority in the room. It was fully acknowledged by the group and owned by the leader; yet, at the same time, the leader was able to step back with just the right amount of confidence to let others’ space to simply ‘be’. When the leader moved or spoke, for example, it was done with so much attention and personal care, it felt as though the leader was remaining consciously mindful to not intrude into someone else’s presence, thoughts and behaviors. The lead was eloquently inviting others’ to move around, think creativity, speak up while holding ground in confidence (of their role and final authority). That elegant movement of energy, to me, felt like a beautiful dance between a diverse group of souls, orchestrated by a wonderful maestro.

There was a perfect combination of give and take – of leading with purpose, courage and mastery and of listening with wonder and compassion, it truly felt like magic!

For those of you who have read Oliver Sacks’ The Island of the Colorblind, my specific experience of this observance was one similar experience to how he describes his interaction with nature (and especially with trees) at times… Serene, refreshing and beauty-full…

Coming back, I wondered:

  • What would our leadership practice look like if we could acknowledge our role (as the leaders of our organizations) is more about internal energy management and about our ability to guide others (despite our authority)?
  • What would it look like in behavior to support a diverse group of individuals in becoming a better version of theirselves?
  • How would our employees’ experience shape to if we, as the leaders in a given room, paid attention to not being part of any one program or agenda, but, all?
  • What would our work experiences feel like if we evolved our intent to simply observing rather than proving or disproving any thesis?
  • How would the world evolve in our new way of ‘being’?

Just wonder with us a second…

Isn’t wonder one of the kindest, the most compassionate and most forgiving sensations of all?


  • 13 August 2018

Comments are closed.

You might also like reading: