Unlocking the Heart and Soul of Remarkable Leadership, Keith Merron
Remarkable Leadership

Archive for April, 2011

Comfort with Self, Equals Comfort with Others

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

I just got off the phone with a client of mine. She spoke about how her comfort with people was growing, particularly with two individuals with whom she had some struggle in the recent past. I noted her greater lightness of being as she talked about these two people and wondered aloud if there was a relationship between the fact that she spoke her truth with each, and how she now experienced a greater ease with them. Though the issues still remained, they were held much more lightly in her body. Perhaps obvious, but worth noting, is that there is a relationship between comfort with oneself and comfort with others. I have noticed that the more comfortable I am with myself—more at ease in my body—the more freedom I feel

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to express my truth. The more I express my truth -, with love, compassion, and honesty – the easier I feel with the person towards whom I expressed that truth. And the easier I feel, the more comfortable I feel with myself.

What is the source of this dynamic? Too often we think it is the other person and what they are doing, but it might be that my ability to be good with myself and express my truth.

Try this on as an experiment:

Think about all the people from whom you have withheld something meaningful—not expressed a truth that you know you wanted to express . It does not matter whether it is a precious truth, such as love, respect, or tenderness, or a hard truth such as anger, resentment, or even hurt. Take a sheet of paper and write down everything you have withheld, also

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noting down the feelings you have in your body.

Now, choose two or three individuals to whom you will now express that truth. Find a way in your heart to feel that truth with compassion and honesty, holding your own needs and the needs of the other in the process. Then, when you are ready, share that truth with them, maintaining compassion in your heart, honoring your needs and as well as the needs of the other. Notice the effect in your body as you experience an amazing personal freedom.

Be Gone Ye Pithy Phrases and Clever Platitudes

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

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I’m going to rant a bit about leadership platitudes. I search the web from time to time in search of new and exciting information about leadership and life. In the leadership space I am constantly amazed at the repetition of same things over and over again. Is it that we just don’t get it—and therefore need to be bombarded with the same old stuff? Or are the platitudes part of the problem?

I find myself wondering about the platitudes I consistently see.

• “Be a team player”
• “Vision is everything”
• “Followers ponder while visionary leaders take action”
• “Everyone can be a visionary leader”
• “Change is constant”
• “Authentic Leadership is all about

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trust and integrity”

While all true, perhaps, I wonder about the efficacy of offering these simple

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thoughts in a complex world.

So many thinkers and speakers are reducing leadership to a pithy phrase, a clever quote or a well-packaged story. Perhaps this falls on deaf ears because authentic leaders who are struggling with the content of their lives and feeling the weight of responsibility on their shoulders know that leadership is far more complex and change is far more difficult, such that it cannot be reduced. It is a process, above all else, that requires one to be present in the moment, find the magical elixir of interventions, offers, requests, guidance, facilitation and force needed to produce a shift. No set of homogenized phrases does justice to the challenge.

I find myself wondering about what I offer to leaders and whether it is any different. The only thing I can say at this moment is that I am committed to the inquiry. I’m not so quick to say: “oh, just be yourself,” or “you need a vision”, or “tell the truth; it always is the best way,” as I used to be in my younger years. I yearn for a deeper exploration within myself and my clients where the question and the exploration of what is needed, is richly contoured and where solutions are born out of deep reflection and discovery. I find it is far more important to seek and find the right places within which to find one’s leadership than to quickly offer something that seems on the surface to be appealing.

What if we threw out everything we know about leadership and wondered anew? Might we find something different, and perhaps might that difference make a difference?

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Change Requires Persistence

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Eduardo writes the following in a recent blog: “I stumbled by chance upon another set of predictions, this time for US energy consumption, all of the issued in the 70’s with 2000

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as time horizon. Some were more accurate than others, but there i

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s clearly a bias.”

Clearly, the actual energy consumption is lower than all the predictions. While still dire, not as bad as we feared.

What I find fascinating about this are two things.

1. Our ability to predict is often flawed based on assumptions that change. For example, one assumption that people often have is that the world will not change and that our behavior will not change. Well, both often do. So the trend

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for today may not continue tomorrow.

2. The efforts we made in the 70s to curtail energy consumption did indeed pay off. So too will the efforts we make today. While we still have an energy crisis our efforts to change the pattern are worthy.

From a leadership perspective, this information is quite profound. I believe that they teach us that our efforts to change, while they may not be immediately apparent, in the long run, they pay off. Do not assume that things will not change. Instead, apply your efforts to change and stick with them. The payoff is there. If you need instant gratification as a leader and expect people to change immediately, you are lost and you are likely to be dissatisfied. If, on the other hand, you are diligent and patient, people change, patterns change, trends change. You just have to stick with it.

For more information about the above graph, see the following blog:


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