Becoming a ‘non-anxious’ presence

By Rick James

2020 has locked many people, organisations and even societies into a downward spiral of anxiety. Many of the things we relied on, can no longer be taken for granted. Many of our ways of working, our programmes, our jobs and even our organisations themselves are at risk. A low-level fear is endemic. The only way to break the spiral of anxiety is the introduction of a ‘non-anxious’ presence. That is the role of leaders today.

Leadership theory agrees. When Bain and Co asked the question ‘What makes a leader inspiring?’ they concluded: “one trait matters more than any other. It is centredness: the ability to remain calm under pressure, empathise, listen deeply and remain present”. (Garton, 2017, HBR).

Not surprisingly, the Bible was there first: Colossians 3:15 says:

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Only as we create space to allow the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts we can become the leaders – the centred, non-anxious presence – that people around us need today.

  • But how do I genuinely ‘let the peace of Christ rule in my heart? What is currently ruling?
  • This week what can I do to enable me to receive this gift of peace?

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