“Put your own oxygen mask in place first…”

Oxygen masks in a plane

Leadership starts from within. But when so much change is happening all around us, the noise can sometimes drown out our inner voice.

The process of Inner Leadership begins with three sets of tools that enable us to connect quickly and reliably with that inner voice and amplify its sound. When everything is calm around us, these tools might seem trivial or obvious. But is that also true in a crisis?

If we practice these tools before we need them then we not only strengthen our ability to respond well in a crisis, we also deepen the solid foundation on which the rest of our inner leadership practice will be built.

The first steps of Inner Leadership are to centre, ground, and deepen our connection with ourselves:

— Centring means letting go of any inner churning we might be experiencing, calming ourselves, and regaining focus

— Grounding means reconnecting strongly with who we are at our best

— Deepening means maintaining an ongoing practice that strengthens our relationship with ourselves, recharges our batteries, and brings a deeper understanding of who we are and what matters most to us

By practicing these three steps we make ourselves more able to face whatever situations we find ourselves in, make clear sense, and find the best way forward.

Or, think about it this way: when you’re on a plane and the oxygen masks drop down, every single pre-flight safety check tells you exactly the same thing:

“Put on your own oxygen mask, secure it, and breathe normally before helping others with theirs.”

These tools are our ‘oxygen masks’. We won’t need them all the time, but it is good to know that they are there for when we do. And it is good to know beforehand how to put them in place and fasten them securely. Then we can help others with theirs.

On a scale of 0-10, how strongly do you remain centred and grounded, even in the face of a crisis? What proportion of your time are you living in line with your own priorities and values? If you wake in the night, how easily do you calm any worries?


Adapted from Inner LeadershipBuy the Book


Photo By Miikka H via StockPholio.net

Leave a Reply