Mind and Heart - Mapping Your Personal Journey Towards Leadership For Sustainability by Petra Kuenkel is a book which shows how we can use our life and leadership experiences to make more meaningful contributions to the world. Petra invites us to review our own leadership journeys in the light of other people's experiences. She offers stories, thoughts and insights of fellow travelers which are truly inspiring. A central concept is what Petra calls our "initial deeper intention". This deeper intention is often ignored by ourselves and the world. Reconnecting with our deeper intention will not only free us to become more authentic, it will also open the way to more responsible and responsive leadership. The personal leadership journey is about discovering these deeper themes in our lives and respond to what needs doing in the world.
Here is a short summary of the book:
Chapter 1: Unfoldment
Reconnecting with our initial deeper intention is not about acquiring skills. It is about integrating our deepest values into our own leadership journey.
Chapter 2: Participation
Leading is a dance with life. At the core of life-enhancing leadership lies a respect for our fellow human beings. An essential part in redefining our leadership is finding and expressing our real voice.
Chapter 3: Coherence
Life is about change. Resonance happens when we reconnect with our core. Inquiry and reflection helps us integrate experiences into our shifting identity. How we integrate feelings of failure and powerlessness is particularly important.
Chapter 4: Awareness
Awareness helps us match our actions with our deeper intentions. Our self becomes less important as we become more whole. It is particularly helpful to acknowledge our fears.
Chapter 5: Contribution
We participate in the unfolding of evolution regardless of whether we choose to contribute or not. Our contribution requires resilience and grows when we support each other. We will always find encouragement if we listen carefully. Over time our ability to act appropriately will grow.
Chapter 6: Sustainability
Sustainability requires the ability to do what needs doing and the flexibility to take on leadership as required. Only together can we find the most suitable path. The voice of our heart is important. The future emerges in the encounter between people.
Petra asks a number of reflective questions throughout the book. Her advice is not to immediately answer the questions, but to live them. Gradually we will become able to listen to the underlying tune which is constantly playing in our lives and yet which is so difficult to hear. The core of our leadership is to lead from our heart and our deeper intention.
This book will be a companion in my own leadership journey. I will return to it again and again.