“When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it.”
By Valerie Brown
Leadership is a journey, much like the soulful and forgotten art of pilgrimage. Over and over, research shows that technical skills, positional authority, and intellectual abilities, are not key to leadership. Instead, to be a leader is to cultivate the ‘inner life’ of leadership, to know yourself, to understand your motivations, biases, triggers, aspirations, and vulnerabilities. This means engaging paradoxes, ‘shadows’, gifts and talents in service of your aliveness, to create a more beautiful world.
Pilgrimage is travel to a sacred place with a sacred purpose, and in the process to be changed, to find meaning and purpose in the journey. Just as taking a pilgrimage, you do not go alone. So too, in the pilgrimage of leadership, you are not alone. You need others who can help you recognize and understand your blind spots, who can support, guide, challenge, and offer accountability.
Shared Blind Spots
As leaders in organizations we can succumb to ‘shared blind spots’, unconsciously and uncritically adopting unstated assumptions. We might engage in self-deception to avoid conflict or fall into in-group isolation from a narrow base of inputs. A sense of isolation, a dispirited quality, feelings of being devalued further add to disengagement in the workplace. And yet, the capacity to listen to the wisdom within, to the ‘inner life’ is a ‘precondition’ to faithful action, taking us beyond ‘getting things done’, the immediate, or false urgencies of the work environment.
Pilgrimage develops the leader’s sensitivity to the ‘inner life’ through attentiveness, intentional reflection, and integration time by slowing down from the always-on pace of daily life.
As a leader, I developed Walk in Beauty: Pilgrimage of El Camino because I know of no better way to explore the ‘inner life’, to clarify meaning, and to lean into action. During Walk in Beauty Pilgrimages, The Kinder Camino, the focus is on you, your ‘inner life’, your authentic service in the world, what matters most.
Join us for Walk in Beauty Pilgrimages scheduled for October 2020. To learn more, visit https://www.leadsmartcoaching.com/services/pilgrimage-art-sacred-travel/
Turn to the ‘beating of your own heart’, and awaken the ‘inner life’ of leadership through pilgrimage.