Who are you? What do you believe to be true? What do you bring consciously to the world? And, even more interesting, what do you bring unconsciously to your work, your organization, your relationships? How does that which you have either denied about yourself, or feel uncomfortable about, shape your life, either positively or negatively? What lies in this unseen shadow? And why is it important for you to explore?
The work of today’s guest shows up in just about everything we do here at Reboot so we are thrilled to have one of our key teachers, Parker Palmer, join Jerry for a discussion on a very important and powerful topic: Shadow and Leadership
Parker Palmer is a man whose teachings mean so much to us and our work at Reboot, so it’s wonderful to welcome him back to the podcast for a new conversation with Jerry. Jerry invited Parker back to explore some important questions:
- What is the role of community in responding to a toxic environment?
- How do I respond when my leader hasn’t done their work and is leading from that place of shadow?
- What does it mean when a leader is using organization to resolve unconscious issues?
As is always the case when Parker and Jerry get together, this is a conversation packed full of deep lessons on leadership, the shadow, the importance of relational trust, and the incredible power present in community. This episode will leave you with new, profound questions and answers about yourself, your role in your organization, and the power you hold, but may not yet accept.
“The effort to help a leader look at themselves in the mirror and see their own shadow at work is likely to result in punitive action sooner or later.” – Parker Palmer
“The question is how to build (in an organization) the kind of community that creates more resilience in these personal encounters, especially of the tough kind.” – Parker Palmer
“Good leaders are aware of two things: 1) whether they know it or not, they do have a shadow. 2) They need to build a trustworthy network of relationships where people can tell them the truth.” – Parker Palmer
Aging, the continuous passage of time, is a journey upon which we must all embark. As life unfolds before us, we may be naturally drawn towards a state of inquiry in attempt to discern the purpose and meaning in our soul. For many leaders, the draw can be to gaze upon external outcomes as a manifestation of our life’s meaning, allowing our worthiness to be derived from our relationship between mean and end. But what if we were to allow ourselves to abandon the question, “Does my life have meaning?” and instead consider, “How have I lived?”
In this episode, Jerry is joined by speaker, activist, and friend of the Reboot Podcast, Parker J. Palmer, author of the On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old. Over the course of their conversation, Jerry and Parker contemplate the insights they’ve gained in the process of aging, the power of living life with kindness and gratitude, and the importance of remaining open to being human together.
Finally, Sheila Pritchard offers some thoughts on Palmer's most recent book, which still sits on my bookshelf, unread.