Especially during these turbulent times, we long for wise leaders who are grounded in presence. We know how we feel when in the presence of a leader who has their act together. We want to get behind them. We know they support our best interests. We cheer for them. We love working for them, and we willingly put up with the natural highs and lows of the day-to-day business grind because we believe in them. Although they are few, these leaders’ impact transcends our daily experience and opens us to far greater possibilities. We want for ourselves what they have, and we believe if we stay near them they will show us the way.
Most agree that Leadership Presence is a concept we can get behind. But, it is highly elusive since presence is an experience, not an idea. It’s not something you can learn from a book – even if that book is about enlightenment.
We live in a world of doing, and often that doing misguides us. In our everyday hustle to make shit happen, we lose touch with our internal compass, our trusted guide, our presence. If we stay really busy, we can bypass the discomfort of feeling our direct experience, for a while. You see, we want presence to come wrapped in a box with a bow, and that is not how it works. It’s messy to experience your real feelings, explore your deeply held beliefs, and take responsibility when you very humanly fall on your face.
Imagine being able to respond instead of react to those situations that trigger us. To know deep in our bones that each moment is our teacher. To live with gratitude on a daily basis.
The journey to true presence is an inside – and a full time – job, perhaps the most important job we have in our lifetime. It takes solid willpower to stay focused on this journey inward. It takes specific intention to maintain an attitude of personal discovery. It takes a practiced ability to work with our attention. Most importantly, it takes developing the powerful skill of self-observation to maintain this level of awareness.
My personal journey, and that of many of our clients, is to choose to travel the rocky road to presence because when we experience presence, every now and again, it tastes really sweet, expansive, full of gratitude, and oh so full of possibility. It’s your choice. Choose wisely.
By Mary Anne Wampler,
PRINCIPAL, TRANSFORM, INC.