The big impact of applying the principles of compassionate leadership is to create what I call “Collective Brilliance”. Individually we can all be great; and we are. We are all extraordinary people in our own way. We all have unique abilities and attributes. I always say that “Everybody has a book inside them”.
A book of personal courage and achievement, of overcoming the odds and of making a difference. But that is not enough. Being individually “brilliant” is all jolly good, but it won’t get us that far; we can shine, but only so brightly; a single candle in a cave just creates a sea of shadows. No, we can only truly be brilliant when we come together in a meaningful way. When we can collectively commit to a common cause, a common purpose and a common goal. When our individual brilliance combines with the individual brilliance of others, the light can be blinding; even the deepest darkest depths of the cave become clear.
Sometimes to explain what something is, it is easier to show what it is not. There is a superb, though irreverent, sketch from the crazy minds of the Monty Python team that, for me, aptly demonstrates what collective brilliance is not. (For those not in the know, Monty Python was a group of hugely intellectual madmen who shattered all conventions on comedy and humour in the 1970’s and 80’s, with the ripples of their TV shows and films transcending generations and cultures). One of the athletic events in their “Silly Olympics” was the “100 yard dash for people with no sense of direction!” The athletes are seen warming up and taking their blocks, the starting gun fires and they all disappear off screen in completely different and random directions; watch it, it is hysterical and brilliantly done.
That is not collective brilliance. No, Collective Brilliance is when the starting gun shatters the peace, then all our training, preparation and drive is focused in our headlong sprint down the track, and as we glance over our shoulders, left and right, we see our colleagues and team mates with the same steely focus alongside us. We charge down the race track side by side, and though still in our lanes of expertise, influence and responsibility, our common goal comes closer with each stride. We encourage each other, we challenge each other, we support each other as we aim for the same goal and cross the line together, exhausted, elated, excited and keen for the next challenge. That is Collective Brilliance. Our collective energies aligned to a common and purposeful goal. Bouncing and feeding off each others passion and commitment, we achieve far more than we thought we ever could, or would. Collective Brilliance is about growth, purpose, self-worth and achievement. It is fun.
As a Compassionate Leader, you are alive to the possibilities that collective brilliance brings, and you are driven in creating the two aspects needed for its existence; individual brilliance, working with yourself and others to be the best version of yourselves, and a commitment to a journey of purpose and meaning feeding individual and collective self-worth. In the coming months as you embark on this life changing journey of compassionate leadership so you will develop your own and others individual brilliance and, you will bring these bright lights together with great meaning and purpose, thus creating a lasting Collective Brilliance serving the “Global Balance” that is so keenly needed.
You are not alone on this journey. In fact it is far better that you're not alone on this journey, by definition, it’s about collective brilliance after all.
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