An advent reflection … and a challenge

Dr Anthony Howard

January 10, 2022

This daily challenge will change you, your leadership, and 2022 for you. …
Leadership is fundamentally a relationship between persons. The leader is a person. Her colleagues are persons. And it fails when we treat the other as something rather than someone. What then, does it mean to be a person? You need to find an answer to that question in order to decide how you will live as a person, how you will live your purpose in the world.

During the last six months I have given numerous talks on Personalist Leadership, a model of leadership grounded in the person and who they are, rather than what they do. Hence, what it means to be a person, and how we are fulfilled, is fundamental to this model.

The model explains that a person is someone unique, self-knowing and self-determining, who has an end, or purpose, in themselves—ie we don’t exist as a means to an end, as a tool for someone else. And most of all, we are relational beings. We become who we are in quality relationships with other people who encourage, support and challenge us.

And, somewhat counterintuitively, we grow by giving ourselves. Victor Frankl said the more we forget ourselves, and give ourselves to a cause or another person, the more human we become.

What it means to be a person can, therefore, be summarised into four key dimensions: persons are purposeful, relational, responsible, and self-giving. This means that we are fulfilled not by an inner search for an elusive self, but by finding purpose and meaning, by establishing and maintaining quality relationships, by taking responsibility for our actions, and by contributing our gifts and talents in the service of others.

Here then, are four questions I invite you to ask on a daily basis between now and Christmas. Then take the week to through to New Year to ponder what you have learned.
  • How will I find meaning and move toward my purpose today?
  • Who am I in a relationship with today?
  • What am I responsible for today?
  • Where will I bring my gifts to play today?
Along the way, please let me know how these questions resonate with you, and what the answers reveal. Send me a video, or text. A sentence or paragraph. A question or challenge. I would love to hear from you.

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About the Author

Dr. Anthony Howard

Dr Anthony Howard is a CEO, entrepreneur, thought leader, philosopher, and author who focuses his energies on helping high level leaders excel in their leadership. People started calling him ‘the CEO Whisperer’ over a decade ago, as they recognised his uncommon insights about people in complex challenging leadership roles, combined with an understanding of the true nature of leadership, and how it impacts communities and corporations.

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