Presence and Leadership

When we look at Leadership challenges quite often we are confronted with the challenge of “time” – not having enough time to do what needs to be done – not having time to delegate, to coach, to be with the team. We can also struggle with how best to spend the time we have in terms of focus, priorities – what could we do differently? We are then reminded of the fact that inspirational leaders have the quality of presence – being present with others – present to listen, present to observe, present to ask questions to understand the world of another. In this way inspirational leaders go beyond time. If we are not thinking of the past and not thinking of the future but attending to the present moment – St Augustine tells us that “it would not be time at all, it would be eternity.” In this space beyond time creativity can be accessed and the “right actions” taken to save time and to prioritise in the world of relativity.  As T S Eliot stated,

“Men’s curiosity searches past and future/And clings to that dimension. But to apprehend/The point of intersection of the timeless/With time, is an occupation for the saint/For most of us there is only the unattended/Moment, the moment in and out of time/ … And right action is freedom from past and future also.”