In my twenty-year career in the field of purposeful leadership, I have read, digested and repeated many quotations from leaders past and present. If I had to identify the one that has impacted me most it would be this:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor E. Frankl
There is so much depth and wisdom in Frankl’s words, especially when his personal experience is considered. Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist and a Holocaust survivor. He survived Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Kaufering and Türkheim. He was uppermost in my mind when I personally visited Auschwitz and Birkenau last month (June 2019). He was also uppermost in my mind when I chose to follow the footsteps of several of my Primeast colleagues by enrolling to become a practitioner in The Leadership Circle, a powerful diagnostic to help leaders tap into the wisdom identified by Frankl.
The Leadership Circle is a 360 degree instrument to give leaders feedback on the extent they are creative (top half of the circle) or reactive (the bottom half). It is grounded in leadership research from not one but many respected sources. Having gone through the process as a participant, I can speak first-hand on the profound effect it had on me. But that’s another conversation that I’m very happy to have another day with interested parties.
The reason for writing this article is simply to make the connection between Frankl’s wisdom and this modern-day leadership development tool.
To what extent do we really make use of the space between stimulus and response? I am aware of the profound difference between being reactive (not using the space) and being creative (using the space). I catch myself frequently failing to use the space, reacting to stuff that happens, at work, at home, in restaurants – you name it. I also notice that, when I’m busy, the chances of “reacting” are increased.
Let’s face it, in today’s busy world of work, is anyone not busy? Is there anyone that wouldn’t benefit from understanding their leadership gap (between reactive tendencies and creative capability)?
If you are (or know) that person who could usefully tap into the wisdom of Frankl, aided by the most powerful leadership diagnostic that I’ve discovered in the last twenty years, either let me know or take a look at some of the articles on Primeast’s Insight pages such as this one by my colleague Sarah Cave.
By Clive Wilson – Primeast Director, writer, keynote speaker, facilitator and coach. He published this article on LinkedIn see it here and connect with him to start a conversation, share your thoughts and comments. If you prefer email him directly here.