Blog Spirit – The Essence of Leadership December 9, 2013

Have you wondered why Nelson Mandela’s life story has been referred to as one of ‘an unconquerable spirit’? And why he will be remembered as a symbol of what the ‘unbroken human spirit’ is capable of?

Because spirit is the true essence of leadership.

The Oxford dictionary defines spirit as “the non-physical part of a person regarded as their true self and as capable of surviving physical death or separation”.  Mandela’s character legacy will stay with us forever — generation after generation. It will keep inspiring men and women all over the world to do what needs to be done; to be the best we can be by positively contributing to humankind.

Harrison Owen, the creator of Open Space Technology and author of ‘The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform’, said that “Without spirit, the simplest task becomes a monumental obstacle”. What an absolute truth that is!

Albert Einstein, a self-confessed agnostic, warned us that “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds” and that we require “an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”

This is a good time of the year to take stock of the last twelve months; to reflect upon our own contribution to others as coaches and leaders, as well as our own personal and professional learning and development. It’s also a good time to envision our future with optimism and confidence. To gain this sense of perspective, I propose we each ask ourselves the following four questions:

  • What spirit have I infused into my relationship with my clients and other stakeholders during the last twelve months?
  • What spirit am I inspired by today, in the light of the last twelve months? 
  • What spirit do I want be ignited by during the next twelve months? 
  • What can I start doing today that will help me be a better coach, leader and contributor in the New Year?

My best wishes for an inspiring and spirit-full Festive Season!

Sebastian Salicru

Strategic Leadership Advisor, Coach, Confidant and Facilitator (Business Psychologist)

PTS Consultants PTY LTD