There is a powerful quote most often attributed to Wayne Dyer that says…
“You are not a human being having a spiritual experience.
You are a spiritual being having a human experience.”
I was reminded of this over the weekend as I enjoyed a truly transformational experience with a group of exceptional people at the Self Care by the Sea retreat hosted by Cheryl Richardson at the beautiful Stage Neck Inn in York Harbor, Maine.
As we spent the weekend together doing some powerful work, I found myself enjoying being a student again and sometimes even unexpectedly a teacher. We so often get lost in the ‘running’ of our lives, that we rarely take time to slow down long enough to check in with ourselves; to ask the tough questions and face the often even tougher answers.
It was truly inspirational to watch this group of 50 people wrestle with those difficult questions, and through all the laughter and tears help one another find those shining moments of wisdom and clarity. We didn’t solve every problem or even come close, but by the end of the weekend we had found connection and power in our shared experiences.
As leaders, we often forget that the people we lead are just like us. We all have a story – a history and set of experiences that is unique to us and has brought us to this very moment. But we rarely see that whole person. We see productivity and profitability, rather than people and lose sight of our true purpose as leaders – to be of service to those we have the privilege to lead.
So the challenge I give to myself as a leader is to really, truly see those I serve. To see a person, not an employee. To see the whole person – and to allow them to truly see me. It is there that the true work can begin.