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“May you never put yourself at the center of things.
May you act not from arrogance but out of service.”

(Excerpt from John O’Donohue’s, “A Blessing for Leaders”)

These powerful words remind us of our responsibility as influencers in our organization, our family and our society. They strike me as especially important to embody at a time when the news seems filled with examples of leaders who missed these lessons.  As the year comes to a close, it is time to stop, to review the year and, most importantly, to set your intentions for the coming year. What are your intentions for 2018?

To help you answer that question, you might try bringing these phrases from John Donohue to your leadership reflection practice. Or, perhaps you might review the leadership principles you discovered during the Institute’s workshop or retreat. Are they still relevant today? Do your calendar and task lists reflect your principles? Are they consistent with the lessons from John O’Donahue?

If you decide to engage in these practices, I hope you also remember to do so with self-compassion and patience. Open to what arises, welcome any challenges, and look for the ‘small step’ you can take today to support your intentions.

It is my hope that 2018 is a year of courageous, compassionate leadership in all corners of our society, and, because I have had the privilege of knowing so many of our community through the Institute’s mindful leadership training, I am optimistic about the future.

Happy Holidays,

John O’Donohue – A Blessing for Leaders

May you have the grace and wisdom to act kindly,
learning to distinguish between what is personal and what is not.
May you be hospitable to criticism.
May you never put yourself at the centre of things.
May you act not from arrogance but out of service.

May you work on yourself, building up and refining the ways of your mind.
May those who work for you know you see and respect them.
May you learn to cultivate the art of presence in order to engage with those who meet you.

When someone fails or disappoints you, may the graciousness with which you engage
be their stairway to renewal and refinement.
May you treasure the gifts of the mind through reading and creative thinking
so that you continue as a servant of the frontier
where the new will draw its enrichment from the old, and you never become functionary.

May you know the wisdom of deep listening, the healing of wholesome words,
the encouragement of the appreciative gaze, the decorum of held dignity,
the springtime edge of the bleak question.
May you have a mind that loves frontiers
so that you can evoke the bright fields that lie beyond the view of the regular eye.

May you have good friends to mirror your blind spots.
May leadership be for you a true adventure of growth.

Janice Marturano is the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Mindful Leadership and the award-winning author of the international bestseller Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership.  Experience the impact of the Institute’s acclaimed Mindful Leadership curriculum for yourself in 2018! Our renowned mindful leadership curriculum will be offered in an immersive 4 week, live online course. Click here to learn more and register today: