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A blinding flash

A crisp, bright autumn Saturday morning and we had gathered together some of our coaches to look at how the global dimension might feature in the one-to-one sessions we have with leaders from business, the public sector and voluntary and community groups.

The group quickly reached a consensus that in this work we always start with, and stick with the issues that the executive brings. So we would not want to “shoe-horn” in environmental or social issues. That said, we also noticed that the core of one-to-one work is often to do with values – what are the core values that drive me, where do they come from, how can I bring them more strongly to my life and my work, and what happens when they come into tension with each other – or with the stated values of my organisation?

So public purpose, care for others, our impact on society will almost inevitably form some part of the work. So far, so good.

And then someone mentioned “alignment”. It went something like this: the essence of one-to-one work is to develop as much alignment as possible between an individual’s inner-self and their outer-world, how they live their life. I have to admit I panicked slightly at this. How does that relate to Globally Responsible Practice, to caring for the planet and everything living on it?

What I did at that point was something slightly new for me. Instinctively I knew there was something in “alignment”. Normally I would try intellectually to work out what. Instead I decided just to accept that it was part of the answer and to move on, without having solved the riddle.

The next piece in the puzzle came when someone else in the group asked at the end of the session what it meant for me to care about global issues as much as I said I did. I’m not sure I quite answered the question, but my reply went something like this: I believe that at a very deep level each one of us has a unique connection to something about the world around us, something we care intrinsically and passionately about. And that if we can find this, we can find our energy for working on a “global” issue at a personal level.

And there it was. That’s how fits in: If we can find that element of our inner-self that connects with something in the wider world and if we can align this energy with the way we live our life, we become more alive and more conscious – more globally responsible.

What struck me on the journey home was that wherever we can then connect these individual passions, these energised souls, we have a real opportunity to achieve something magical – at a group, an organisational and even a global level.

Lesson learnt. Thank you to everyone concerned.