Solitude in Leadership

seeker of silences gibran

As I’ve written about in several of my last few articles, Alan Moore and I have dropped a pebble in a pond around the idea of Beautiful Leadership, now we shall see what ripples form from the beginning of the “Beautiful Gathering” retreat we recently hosted.

That gathering started with an exploration of beauty, then moved to beautiful objects and what it takes to lead beautifully.

From this, today I give you some words from the beautiful poetry of Kahlil Gibran 

Kahlil Gibran wrote the masterpiece that is “The Prophet”, which has many learnings around awareness and what it truly means to be human.

One thought from him makes me consider the power of being in solitude for leaders, as well as has me muse on how regularly and often I will both recommend to leaders that they take time in silence and solitude, as well as times I’ve done something as simple as to take a walk with them and for us to be consciously silent for an extended period while walking. So, from Gibran:

You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.
And in much of your talking, your thinking is half murdered.
For thought is a bird of space, that in a case of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.

There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone.
The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape.
And there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand.
And there are those who have the truth within them, but they tell it not in words.

As Bruce Peters reflected the other day to me around his deep reading into Wilfred Bion and the wisdom he took from learning from that master:

Every time I revisit his work and thought process I am astounded at the courage it must have taken to just sit in silence…..not try to fix or intervene in any way. It was a magnificent gift to the participants.

For your own self-leadership, consider taking lessons from Gibran and sit in silence and solitude with yourself.

With the presence and awareness that can come from such practices, you may also apply Bruce’s learning from Bion and sit in silence with and for groups of others.