On November 18th Authentic Leadership in Action and Context Consulting collaborated in bringing poet David Whyte to the first of a series of events for those interested in taking their leadership to a deeper level. This inaugural offering in the “Remarkable Leaders” series was entitled the “Inner Necessities of Leadership”.

If you don’t know who David Whyte is I invite you to go to his website or to youtube where you can hear David read his poems. Reading his words from the page can not come close to the power and impact of hearing the words brought to life by the poet himself. The meaning goes straight to the heart and calls you to become more than you thought possible.

While this was a profound learning experience for 40 senior leaders from across North America, one aspect that I wanted to share with you was the role that beauty and setting the stage had to contribute to the overall result. This intimate event was held at Verity which is a ‘one of a kind’ home away from home refuge for busy women from all sectors in downtown Toronto.

The event was held in two richly coloured and artful appointed rooms; every attention to detail added to warmth, comfort and elegance that was uplifting to the spirit. Fresh flowers, exquisitely prepared nutritious food and comfortable seating in a subtly lit room were foundational elements. Attention was also paid to hosting so that ever need was anticipated and looked after so that there were no distractions and David could weave his magic to engage the audience.

I realize that as an artist I have a higher that average need for aesthetic qualities however I firmly believe that beauty has the power to transform. Although the Verity Club provides a 5 star venue, beauty does not have to be expensive. During many trips to Mexico I have appreciated the attention paid to simple beauty… brightly painted doorways and walls, hibiscus growing with abandon, fresh flowers on the table and food served on charming colourful hand made crockery.

In your own office or work space have you taken the time to set up a space that is both functional and beautiful? Beauty can be as simple as lack of clutter and one simple element such as a painting or vase that brings pleasure or calm or energy or whatever it is that inspires you.

A cheque in the mail is not enough to call us to do great work. We do it because of something bigger. Perhaps we want to make a difference or share our gifts and talents. Paying attention to our sensory world and what we can do to establish an environment conducive to bringing out the best in ourselves and others is worth paying attention to.

Do you have a photo of your work environment or a story about how you set the stage for great work? Please send it along.

Category: Leadership
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