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Leadership

What You Embody

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I am dazzled.

Sitting in the glorious Berlin Philharmonie on a Sunday night, listening to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra tear into Faure, Schoenberg, Ravel.

I am dazzled most by rising-star-composer Matthias Pintscher who is conducting. Whew, this guy embodies music, I think to myself.

Pintscher conducts with his entire body. The fire of his grand gestures. The grace of his gentle coaxing. The effortless dynamic between the two.

The generous way Pintscher acknowledges his musicians during the ovation. The way he bows to the audience, hand on his heart. The vigor which he enters from the wings.

Always from the core, as my trainer would say.

Music embodied.

On a NPR news program, best-selling author and commentator David Brooks is asked to predict the messages Pope Francis will bring to his US visit.

Who Pope Francis IS, Brooks replies, is the message.

The Pope’s easy smile, his wide open heart.

Lovingkindness embodied.

The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert engages in rapid-fire conversation with Apple CEO Tim Cook. I am dazzled by Colbert’s wit. His smarts. His impeccable timing. His ability to swing from the silly to the sublime. His silences. Wicked.

Engaging conversation embodied.

When Colbert inquires about Cook’s recent disclosure that he is gay, the introverted Cook speaks eloquently about his desire to go public when LGBT youth continues to be taunted, harassed, shamed.

Whole leadership embodied.

Let’s take the notion of embodiment into our everyday lives. Here are some comments I hear from the C-Suite executives I coach.

I am really a very compassionate person.

Do you embody compassion?

I am excited about _______ (you fill in the blank …)!

Do you embody excitement?

I don’t stand on protocol and procedure.

Do you embody that assertion?

I appreciate the complexities of leading in a highly pressured, rapidly changing world. It makes it ever more urgent that we contemplate this question: Where is the gap between my core and how I show myself to the world?

Close the gap.

Own your dark side. Manage it, don’t embody it.

Embody everything else.

Embody who you tell yourself you are.

Embody it as much, as often, as boldly as you can.

Embodied folk reap the rewards of true connection, every day.

Go reap.

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