The Heart of Effective Leadership

CauxThis weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a “Heart of Effective Leadership” Training given by IofC (Initiatives of Change). Instead of speaking only to the brain, this training focuses on the human being at the center of everything. Change has to come from oneself, i.e. to be an effective leader, you have to tap your own inner source of wisdom.

Apart from amazing people and inspiring stories, I also enjoyed listening to Dr. Feena May from the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross). According to her studies and research, the 5 capabilities that make leadership work are:

  • Presence – meaning being fully present, with all one has to offer
  • Relating to others
  • Sense-making – “How can I make sense of the information that I am receiving so that you can make something out of it”
  • Taking action
  • Service aspect – “Why am I willing to step into this leadership role?” (not to be mistaken with servant leadership); this aspect should always include others and not only ourselves, such as the community, the company, wider organization etc.

Finally, a key take-away for me, which might also be valuable for you, was a quote from Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a young Poet, 1903):

“(…) I would like to beg you (…) as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books, written in a foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now.

Perhaps then, some day in the future you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer”. – translated from German

Have a great week,


4 thoughts on “The Heart of Effective Leadership

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