Leadership as a Path to Self Actualization

What if leadership was a path to self actualization?

I recently listened to a podcast episode of On Being with Krista Tippett and, guest, Jerry Colonna. Jerry is a former venture capitalist and a renowned executive coach. In this beautiful 1.5 hour conversation they talk about work, leadership, and self knowledge.

I was particularly inspired by how Jerry described leadership as a path to self actualization. I know, it sounds a bit grandiose, but I think it’s true. When we show up as leaders for ourselves and others our whole perspective shifts. We begin to take ownership of our own actions, we refuse victimhood when something happens out of our control, and we take care of others around us.

Jerry talks about how many of us carry the emotional baggage that we were handed in childhood and how many of us have never learned to deal with it. And that old workplace adage of “leave your emotions at the door” never actually works. We’re human and trying to hide from our traumas – whatever they look like for each of us – is a recipe for disaster.

So why not take this as an opportunity? What if we could use our workplaces as a place for learning and growth? After all, we spend over half of our lives in our workplaces. And to be clear, this isn’t about turning every conversation in the workplace into a therapy session. We’ve still got jobs to do and goals to achieve. But there’s probably some room for all of us to be deliberate in how we show up to become the type of person we want to be.

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