Monday, 25 June 2007

EUDAIMONIA - "creating happiness by doing what you’re best at for the good of others".

“Life is for living. Go find what you’re good at and do more of it for the good of us all ….” Nicki and I concluded after attending a St Nicholas’s Hospice fund raising leadership seminar in Suffolk.

Charles Handy and Richard Olivier took us beyond the breach .....

So what was the over-riding theme that came across? Envisioning the future? Building the team? Finding the strategy? Communicating the strategy? Knowing your customers? No. The over-riding theme was: “Life is for living. Go find what you’re good at and do more of it for the sake of us all, please”. Or, as Aristotle put it way back when, “eudaimonia”.

We’d heard about “eudaimonia” – thanks to our colleague David Criddle whose holding company for his various businesses and investments shares that name. But many people hadn't.

So how was this theme communicated? Powerfully and by stealth.

When Charles Handy took to the stage, we knew what to expect and we were not disappointed. Charles used his new book The New Philanthropists, co-authored with his wife Elizabeth (Charles and Elizabeth pictured above)  whose incredible photographs lead the narrative, to express his perception of the essence of great leadership. So what is that essence and who are these New Philanthropists?

“The secret to great leadership? It’s simple: 1. Know yourself. 2. Know and trust your people. 3. Know what you’re about and make sure your people know what you’re about,” advised Charles warmly, yet with a hint of irony. Irony, not because it isn’t true – it is. Rather because it’s one of those eternal truths that is “easier said than delivered”.

And Charles – what is he about? This is a question he had to ask himself when writing his autobiography. Aristotle had the answer apparently - “eudaimonia”. Translated by many as “happiness”, the true translation of this concept according to Charles is “creating happiness by doing what you’re best at for the good of others.” Makes sense to us.

On hearing the building fill with soulful applause, we turned to each other and asked. “How on Earth do you follow that?” Luckily the next speaker, Richard Olivier, founder of Mythodrama and author of Inspirational leadership, Henry V and the Muse of Fire, knew exactly how.

His passion may also have been ignited thanks to the video St Nicholas’s Hospice showed before setting him loose on us. The overwhelming message we received from this and our various conversations with The Hospice’s staff was:  "HOSPICES ARE ABOUT CARING FOR THE LIVING.”  Living, and how great leaders do work that makes them feel alive, is a theme Richard picked up on later.

Awesome. That’s one word you could use to describe Richard’s performance, Inspiring, magnetic, moving, memorable would be others. Using the plot and some of the Bard’s narrative from Henry V, not only did he take us to the breach once more, he took us beyond.

A former theatre director talking about leadership lessons from Shakespeare’s Henry V. He sent waves of energy, inspiration, charisma and wisdom crashing through the room. He was on fire.

He explained how before opening Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre with Henry V in 1997, he bought in a group of City leaders to do a workshop to analyse which parts were still relevant to leadership today. They concluded “all of it!” He then talked us through the play and its eternal wisdoms.

Picking up on Charles’ theme of “in the service of others” and the difference between inspiration and charisma, he talked about great leaders having the ability to reflect accurately back on their life and to sow the ‘Golden Seed’ Charles had talked about earlier (also known as The Mentor’s Nudge) within others. He talked about being fully alive and connected to your work and how to orient yourself towards the thing that brings you alive and then do it. He showed how Henry V did it and told us how he did it. He talked about vision being about quality not quantity. Mission being measurable but vision being about core inspirational values and he quoted Henry V again to illustrate the difference, tears filling his eyes (and most of the audience’s too).

He concluded that great leadership was about finding your inner sense of purpose and the inner conditions you need to produce inspired work. For him it’s working with wisdom stories and people interested in self-development. He has certainly found his niche.

What about us, what did we get out of it? The gift of humility – here were two masters at work, “spreading the word” and “getting it heard”. They did not simply appeal to the head. They reached out to the heart using words, pictures and performance to captivate us all. As Richard put it “Some people see the light. Some people need to feel the heat”. Our light bulbs were switched on and our internal fires were well and truly stoked. As Mentor Mike Pegg regularly reminds us “it’s not just about the words – it’s about how they’re used to engage the other senses to achieve a goal”.

Consider us well and truly nudged and on fire…

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Nice stuff. I found a cool news widget for our blogs at www.widgetmate.com. Now I can show the latest news on my blog. Worked like a breeze.

Anonymous said...

Katie,

I love your BLOG. I have written a book, titled A WALK WITH DAIMON: where fate & free will collide. You should check out my website www.roadsigns.cc I think you may find the book interesting....as it is ALL ABOUT EUDAIMONIA!

PHILIP JOHNSON said...

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open.Yours is a nice blog.

Affordable Luxurious Wedding Dress Blog said...

cheap wedding gowns
discount bridal gowns
China wedding dresses
discount designer wedding dresses
China wedding online store
plus size wedding dresses
cheap informal wedding dresses
junior bridesmaid dresses
cheap bridesmaid dresses
maternity bridesmaid dresses
discount flower girl gowns
cheap prom dresses
party dresses
evening dresses
mother of the bride dresses
special occasion dresses
cheap quinceanera dresses
hot red wedding dresses
Replica Handbags
Replica watches
Replica watches
Replica handbags
Replica tiffany jewelry
Replica UGG boots
Laptop Batteries
China mobile phone
Wholesale Electronics
car dvd player

Anonymous said...

Great job on the site, it looks wonderful. I am going to bookmark it and will make sure to check often

cialis said...

Interesting article, added his blog to Favorites

モテる度チェッカー said...

もう年末でお酒の席も増えてると思いますが、こんな時こそ自分のモテ度をさり気無くチェック出来るのが、モテる度チェッカーです。診断結果にはモテる為のアドバイス付き!!これで君もヤリチンの仲間入り

人妻会館 said...

人妻との出会いなら人妻会館!旦那とのHがマンネリになり、性欲を持て余した人妻たちは理想のSEXが出来る男性を探しています。ヤリたくてたまらない!そんな彼女たちの欲求を満たしてあげましょう!

Kaylee said...

we offer Wedding Dresses,Wedding Gowns,
and A Line Wedding Dresses
welcome to buy our more products such as Beach Wedding Dresses
Prom Dresses
Wedding Party Dresses
Bridesmaids Wedding Dresses
Flower Girls Dresses

bridalgownonline said...

According to the occasion, wedding could be separated into two styles, formal or traditional wedding and informal or casual wedding. Wedding Dresses should really be fitted for that wedding occasion no matter what sort of occasion you like. There are two examples. For informal summer wedding, it’s great to select island wedding gowns or Beach Wedding Dresses because they are mainly casual bridal gowns. Another example is formal wedding dresses. Perhaps floor-length mermaid wedding gowns are most brides’ favorite. The Mermaid Wedding Dresses are able to make brides more elegant. If you’re planning to possess a formal wedding, mermaid wedding dress on sale provided by our web shop is the best option on your behalf.

翟伟 said...

Different United kingdom marriage clothes shops are created designed for anyone white prom dresses who can be on the restrained spending plan. We offer wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, beach wedding dresses,my friends welcome to visit and see!
wedding dresses

charming date said...

So professional!

Anonymous said...

Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.

mesa ob gyn

Alice feng said...


[url=http://www.weddingpartyqueen.com/]Wedding Dresses[/url],cheap and beautiful

JAMES DEAN said...

I am also interested in this topic. I have spent a lot of time on searching this kind of topic. It is very informative.
advertising | top advertising agencies in Pakistan | Marketing Agency | Advertisement