A recent remodel of my office had me culling a good quantity of my lifelong collection of books. One of the books I came across was one from 1995 entitled An Unused Intelligence by Andy Bryner and Dawna Markova. The title spoke to me and I sat down to read it again. The authors tell a story about a tribe of artisans living on the east coast of Africa who do fine wood carvings. The groups of carvers sit on the beach contemplating a big block of wood. They sit with their hands on the wood it is said listening for the song that is captured in the wood. Once the song’s whisper has been heard they begin carving.
I thought what a beautiful analogy for the art of leadership development and somatic coaching. Teachers and coaches are not meant to create but to listen deeply to an individual’s story and allow the wisdom of the body to come forth. To create a path of questions, if you will, for people to experience their strength, humanity and human connection. To create a safe place to explore different ways of being.
Leaders, especially now, need to be able to hear the song in the wood of themselves and their organization in order to lead in turbulent, disruptive and distributed times. Times with no easy answers