I am often asked why I chose to change my business name to Still Point Leadership. (I formally operated under the name Catalyst Coaching & Consulting.) My answer to this question has old roots. When I was in graduate school at the Leadership Institute of Seattle in the mid-1990’s, one of my faculty read a quote that has stuck with me ever since. It was from the introduction to The Genesee Diary, which is Henri Nouwen’s account of the seven months he spent on retreat at a Trappist monastery. Nouwen writes that he had become more and more aware of the paradoxical and competing forces in his life, and had begun to wonder:
Is there a quiet stream underneath the fluctuating affirmations and rejections of my little world? Is there a still point where my life is anchored and from which I can reach out with hope and courage and confidence?
The level of noise and distraction that we all face in our daily lives, especially as leaders in organizations, is immense. More and more, our bodies and minds have been trained to react to each incoming stimulus – we multi-task, we drop one thing to take care of another, we become distracted by what’s interesting or urgent but not important. As a result, we often lose connection to ourselves and to others.
To be excellent leaders – in our organizations, our families, our lives – we need to be able to cut through the noise and clutter and drop into a still place beneath the competing demands and ongoing pressures. That’s where we find clarity – about what’s important, about what we want, about what’s necessary. It’s also where we find the quiet confidence needed to act on the clarity. When we are able to be truly present with ourselves, with others, and with the circumstances we find ourselves in, we can act with dignity and respond skillfully to the challenges of our world.
If you’re facing challenges in your leadership situation, and would like to know more about how cultivating your still point can help you resolve them, my Centered Excellence Leadership Coaching Program may be for you. I invite you to learn more about it.