“Put on your own oxygen mask first…”

Oxygen masks in a plane

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

Inner Leadership starts with three sets of tools that enable us to amplify our inner voice in any circumstances. This helps us respond to a crisis and when times are calm it increases our capacity to lead ourselves and others.

The first steps of Inner Leadership are Centring, Grounding, and Deepening 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 developing and strengthening that relationship with ourselves over time, to build a deeper understanding of who we are and what we care most about

Many of us can neglect ourselves as we focus on other people, projects, and things instead. But by learning to focus first on ourselves we increase the capacity of our ‘batteries’ and become more able to respond well to any situation.

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

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

These first steps of Inner Leadership help us make sure we put on our own oxygen masks first. Then we become more able to help others with theirs.

How much time do you spend taking care of or maintaining/developing yourself compared with how much time you spend paying attention to other things, processes, projects, or people?


Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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Photo By Miikka H via StockPholio.net

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