Positive Path Recommended Reading

Standing Like Stone
By Catherine Palin-Brinkworth

"Two things stand like stone… 
Kindness in another's trouble, 
Courage in your own."

So wrote the Australian poet, Adam Lindsay Gordon.

As I spent some of my holidays walking the beach, watching the waves and the tides come and go, those words kept coming to me, like the words of a song you can't get out of your head.

In the chaotic comings and goings of business trends, the cycles, the swings and roundabouts of corporate life, the values expressed by Adam Lindsay Gordon can make the difference in succeeding - even thriving - in that chaos. Ideally, leading the way through it.

That kind of strength underscores capacity for leadership … to be committed, inspiring and powerfully influential in creating better outcomes. Whether it's leadership of many others, or simply managing your own life, the model for leadership relies on a centre that stands like stone.

Firstly, leading through chaos needs Vision - of an alternative state or outcome, with an idea of how things could be better, and with the courage to think differently.

Secondly, there needs to be Action. A vision without action is just a dream, and the primary action required is effective communication, with empathy and respect; even kindness.

Finally and continually, there needs to be Self-Development, so that as you grow, your vision grows and so do your actions. It's a trustworthy model that has aided many in achieving success.

Self-Development is essential if you want to be successful. Self-Development enhances confidence and Self-Belief. One of my great lessons in management was what has become Progress Leadership Principle #1: People can only ever perform up to the level of their belief in themselves.

To thrive in a chaotic environment people need direction, clarity, skills, incentives and support. But they must believe they can do it if they are to succeed. If you are in a role where you manage other people, you can encourage their self-development by helping them to know themselves, their proven and potential strengths and their current perceived limitations. Then help them build themselves, through positive communication and on-going encouragement. Your kindness and support will help build their self-belief. Look back at your own Self-Development. Probably it has been fastest and easiest when someone was kind enough to encourage you.

Interestingly, when you believe in your people, they will believe in you. This shared positive reinforcement can help you reach all kinds of positive outcomes that otherwise could be difficult to achieve.

Occasionally when 'techies' or strictly 'left-brainers' hear this, the response is "Oh yeah, that's the soft stuff!" For sure, Self-Development is often described as a soft skill. But I reckon (and you'll agree if you've been doing it) that looking inside yourself and setting about developing that self, is one of the hardest things we can ever do. Soft skills can be the hardest skills to master, with infinite variables involved, but the outcomes are well worth the effort.

So, is this realistic?

Adam Lindsay Gordon challenges impersonal corporate behaviour don't you think? Do kindness and courage really stand like stone in the tough cold hard world of business? Well, I believe they do.

Here are some suggestions: 

  1. Each day choose someone who wouldn't normally expect it from you and do them a kindness. 
  2. Each time a choice arises take the path that requires extra courage in order to achieve greater success.

About the author: Catherine Palin-Brinkworth is an international presenter, consultant and author on business and personal success strategies. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Ecology and is a Certified NLP Practitioner.

A powerful, inspirational presenter with practical and proven success skills and strategies, Catherine is in constant demand as a keynote speaker. Her web site is www.catherinepalinbrinkworth.com

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