#72Sep 19, 2022
Welcome to Weekly Whisper #72.
Like many around the world, I’ve been both touched and numbed at the passing of the Queen. I’ve got 3 people on my list in public life that, on their passing, I knew I’d shed a tear. George Michael, Billy Connolly & THE Queen.
There will be many kings and queens to come but for many of us who’ve known nothing else, she’ll always be THE Queen.
Putting aside for the moment any views on the legitimacy of any monarchy and what it may represent - historically and presently - I’d like to dedicate this whisper in her memory.
She was an exemplar of service, humility, leadership, wisdom and humour.
“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.'
The Queen's 21st birthday speech, April 21, 1947
One could argue that anyone born into a royal household either won or lost the genetic lottery. Of course, it’s a life of unimaginable privilege. And yet at 21 she already had a sense of what lay before her. Three score plus 10 of unimaginable service.
There are many who dedicate their lives to a cause beyond themselves but perhaps none more so than the Queen through such a globally public lens.
What’s your appetite for service beyond yourself and how long could you commit for?
"To be inspirational you don't have to save lives or win medals. I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organisers, and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special. They are an inspiration to those who know them."
At the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, 2016
Inspiration and connection can happen in moments of ‘ordinary-ness’.
It struck me that this strength was generated from connection with others despite her position.
What strength do you draw from those ordinary people doing extraordinary - often unseen - things?
"I know of no single formula for success, but over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together."
It’s unequivocal for me that in most circumstances people are usually better together.
Yes there are pursuits that suit individual brilliance but there are also many that lend themselves to collaborative genius – if only we’d ‘build upon’ not ‘tear apart’
‘It has been women who have breathed gentleness and care into the harsh progress of mankind.'
The Queen's Christmas broadcast, 1966
And didn’t she do it with a huge heart, limitless compassion, and a steely resolve.
Where could you breathe gentleness and care – perhaps even without any need for acknowledgement?
What a great story and typical of her wicked sense of humour.
We don’t take enough time to laugh (and cry) and in particular, at ourselves.
How could you take yourself a bit lighter this week?
Freedom Fridays Podcast Episode #59 with Alison Cameron
An exploration of what freedom means. Through a series of conversations with experts and leaders in their field, we explore some of the ways we can be free from whatever is holding us back. We’ll share some of the ingredients – easy, hard, and almost impossible.
The lessons are hiding in open sight within the conversation – it’s up to you how you apply them.
They dive into some distinctions Alison makes in her book “Leadership for the New Millenium” and they ponder and discuss questions like who am I, where am I, how do I fit in with myself, and explore the extent to which life has become a habit or a ritual.
Alison offers some practical tips to reconnect with our wildness and sit with questions without the need for an answer. If you’ve ever wondered what the most pervasive and durable leadership skill is then listen in for some clues.
Feedback is my fuel so if you have any comments please send me an email at [email protected] and let me know your thoughts.
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