As the Qatar National Convention Centre swarmed with presentations stimulating the mind with copious food for thought, one unique workshop brought stillness to these minds racing with ideas. The workshop by Mr. Steve Lawrence gave an unprecedented dimension to leadership which began not with controlling the world around us but with controlling ourselves.
Introducing the center of our being or our soul and the four functions of our mind – the Unconscious, the five senses, Buddhi or the deeper conscience and the Ego, Mr. Lawrence created an introspective atmosphere in the room.
The discussion focused on the Ego function of our mind due its relevance with leadership. Mr. Lawrence explained ego to be that function which creates a sense of identity and duality or separation between “I” and the world around it. Ego was also introduced as the source of all fears, anxieties and selfishness.
Nevertheless, going beyond the negative connotation surrounding the Ego, Mr. Lawrence revealed the protective virtue of it through an example that while driving, it is our sense of “I” and that “I” have to protect myself which makes us chary.
Relating the Ego with leadership, the discussion moved on to how the Ego and its voice, “I lack” feeds on our sense of unfufillment and fear. The participants were now introspecting the “I” and which they used so very often while voicing their want for leadership and its source. Participants experienced questions such as: Is it a sense of inner discontent driving me? Is it a fear that I lack something that is driving my want for leadership? Or is it love?
Participants next contemplated the consequences of having a leader driven by a sense of inner discontent and fear, and love. With the dawn of subtle realizations of hidden fears, Mr. Lawrence alleviated the atmosphere by the observation that fear exists only in the future.
Instead of the typical question that leaders ask themselves: what they can give to the society, the burgeoning participants of the session were now asking themselves if they are ready to give with love.
Mr. Lawrence thus highlighted the importance of an inner sense of contentment, love and stillness
which fosters it. Lastly, participants were suggested to take up meditative practices for it is in stillness that a control over ourselves thrives.
By Shubhangi Kumari