Leading From Within
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Leading from Within

Workshop 1 - The Leader as a Culture Developer

Workshop 2 - The Leader as a Builder of Desire

Workshop 3 - The Leader as a Thinker

Workshop 4 - The Leader as a Systems Strategist

Workshop 5 - The Leader as a Doer


Leading From Within

Workshop 2 - The Leader as a Builder of Desire


What kept me seeking out the enemy, looking into the sun and in the shadows by the riverbank was desire – not duty. John Salter, US fighter pilot ace.

In a remarkable little book by Alain de Botton called How Proust Can Change Your Life the author reveals one of Marcel Proust’s fascinating insights.  Proust, an early 20th Century French author, was asked to respond to the question, How would you spend your last moments on earth if you were certain that you were going to die at 12noon in two days time?  Instead of responding, as did many others by filling the time with visits to the art galleries, visiting friends and loved ones, completing the unfinished project, making love, getting high and so on, Proust suggested the following.  Most of us are lazy.  Nearly all of the things we suggest as things we would like to do before we die are things we could do now if we wanted to.  But we don’t do them.  We put things off until tomorrow and then the next day and then the day after that because we believe that we will still have a lifetime before us.  And if it applies to things we like doing, you can be sure that it also applies to things we don’t like doing, a dental check-up, a tax assessment, an awkward letter or email that needs to be written. 

So what has this to do with purpose in organisations?  What is true in our personal lives is also true in our professional lives.  Most of us, for most of the time, work because we have to (out of duty) not because we want to (out of desire) and that’s where having a purpose can be powerful.  A purpose is a tool to lever out desire.    


Leaders who participate in this workshop will: