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Whole People

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The concept of Holistic Leadership has been around a while, and the late Dr. Covey incorporated this principle into his teachings, such as in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. His life was dedicated to bringing Principle Centered Leadership into business and he was highly successful at doing this. From defining values in a Time Management class to define priorities, to learning how to renew ourselves in body, mind and spirit, which he called Sharpening the Saw.

We all go to work every day and to think that when we enter the doors of work we can deposit our family, social life, emotions,  spirituality, and our own issues in a box outside the door is ludicrous. We are human beings that embody many facets of life into who we are, what we feel, how we express ourselves, what we believe, value and how we act, and we carry this with us whether at home, with friends or at work. If we are having a relationship issue, or are having financial troubles, it is impossible to separate that out when we show up at work. As humans we are affected by other people in our lives and circumstances that happen in and outside of work. This is what makes us beings that are capable of compassion, empathy, sympathy, and unconditional love.

The opposite is true as well, that we take our work home with us, whether in a briefcase, thoughts, emotions, stress, pressure, etc. Sometimes we wish we could extract our thoughts so that we could relax and unwind from the intensity of work. Remember the pensieve in Harry Potter, where Dumbledore could take out his thoughts and leave them for a later day or recollection? Wouldn’t it be liberating to deposit our work at the door when we leave instead of thinking on it through the night and weekend?

This experience has probably happened to all of us. We may not recognize we do this because it happens subconsciously, yet we are always integrating the pieces of our lives into the whole, like fitting the pieces of a quilt together to make a blanket. All of this comes together to create our lives which is made up of so many parts: our experiences, knowledge, education, past, values, beliefs, culture, family, friends, spirituality and thoughts of our future.

This knowledge that we are comprised of so many parts, and bringing this all together into one integrated whole being is the striving of many. Whether we are leaders with direct reports, or have the ability to influence others, the more adept we can become at understanding and living  our wholeness, the more effective we can become.

There are many strategies to do this including:

  • planning a weekly activity for the body, mind and spirit
  • writing and journal writing
  • meditation and prayer
  • artistic expression
  • music
  • physical movement
  • uncovering our purpose
  • practicing emotional intelligence
  • volunteering and helping others.

What ideas do you have and use? I invite you to learn to recognize your many facets of being and use tools, like those mentioned above, to integrate and support yourself on a weekly basis. Try it out and see if it creates a shift in how you operate, how effective you are and how you navigate the many worlds you occupy in your daily rounds.

There is no dress rehearsal….live life passionately! Express your talents.

Image quote from The Peanut Gallery