In her book, Wrestling with Our Inner Angels, Nancy Kehoe highlights lessons from her vocation as a nun and clinical psychologist working with the mentally ill.  She cites one patient who described his Zen practice as a way to stay centered and his music as a way to stay connected. Staying centered and staying connected are simple but profound pursuits at the core of spirituality and leadership.

Staying centered is at the heart of most religious traditions and spiritual practices.  It involves being present in the moment, developing awareness of self, being mindful of others and the world around us and opening ourselves to the sacred, however we understand it. Staying centered in leadership requires aligning performance with key personal and organizational purposes and values and flexing with inevitable changes in the environment.

Staying connected is a spiritual practice of nurturing our essential relationships with ourselves, partners, families, friends and the animals we tend. Staying connected as a leader involves holding true to the mission, cultivating relationships with customers, team members and other stakeholders and anticipating both threats and opportunities.

Reflecting on staying centered and connected to self and all that surrounds us, I am reminded of a line from As You Like It: “these are counsellors that feelingly persuade me what I am.”