Apr 1 / Rob Husband, BRC Summer School Programme Designer

A Journey To Conscious Leadership

I know we are often advised never to start a speech or any writing with an apology; I am at this time choosing to ignore that perceived wisdom. I would like to apologise to those who are not fans of Lord of the Rings; I know for some it is a much-revisited trilogy and for others a lost 9 hours never to be regained. Whichever group you find yourself in or on the edge of I wonder if you might grant me the grace to use one quote from Gandalf; the wizard friend and wise mentor to Frodo the unlikely hero of the story. Partway through his uncertain adventure, Frodo decides to head off on his own, knowing that part of the journey is for him only. He anguishes about leaving his companions behind and is about to head off into the depths of the unknown and potential disaster. He stands on the shores of a river and bemoans the fact that he has the responsibility of being alive at this moment in his world's history. It is at this moment, amid his fears and tears that a previous conversation with Gandalf the wise comes to him:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” JRR Tolkien.

For me, this profound invite begins a courageous journey to the centre of what we might call, conscious leadership.

If this is an initial invite, what is the possible response; avoidance and denial or acceptance and curiosity? On better days I go with acceptance and curiosity. I was on a walk recently and was suddenly beckoned toward this core of leadership. The inquiry into how I live and lead in this present time appeared in the form of questions:

● What impact do I want to have in the world and why?
● What legacy would I like to leave future generations and the earth we inhabit?
● In the light of all that is happening in the world at this present time am I doing enough?
● Where are my time and energy best spent?
● Am I working with the integrity and urgency that current times require?

At times I felt overwhelmed by these questions; at other times energised by their provoking, and at others challenged by their strange simplicity and directness. Thankfully the meditative rhythm of walking helped settle my emotions and thoughts and I began to sort my responses; to discern what was emerging from a place of fear and obligation and what was from a place of awareness, empathy, purpose and compassion. The more time I spent with my responses viewing them through gentle eyes, the more I was introduced to my choices.

I wonder if these questions continue deeper into the heart of conscious leading. How will I choose to be in the world and what will I choose to do?

This is the same in our personal lives as well as within all our leadership; what type of leaders do we want to be? Leaders that the world needs, leaders that create an inclusive, fairer and regenerative world? 

As Sam Redman and I develop the BRC Leaders Summer School there is another part of this adventure in conscious leadership that we sense to be inherently important: the invitation to develop and exercise the characteristics and values that enable us to step into our choices. Characteristics such as awareness, curiosity, courage, integrity, ingenuity and inclusivity.

We hope that as a first step you will follow this blog's initial invitation into conscious leadership, to decide what to do with the time that is given to you. If relevant we would love you to join us at the BRC Leaders Summer School where we will explore through the lenses of Planet, People, Profit and Purpose. The School is a place where you will be both challenged and supported to choose how to live and lead in this present time.
Rob Husband,
BRC Summer School Programme Designer

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