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Presence does not have to be loud.

AdobeStock 68575323 Presence does not have to be loud. What it comprises is a body that is integrated, energised and grounded in action: it means a daily routine of practice: filling the lungs with breath, using the diaphragm muscle to enable breath to work the larynx that makes our voice, strengthening the lips and tongue so that diction is clear, and getting our body aligned with the pull of gravity so that our legs, head and torso are in harmony. This daily practice is more of a workout to raise self-awareness than a preparation for a performance, although when it comes to public speaking, Presence will aid us as well as our audience. But Presence is first the basis of how we are experienced as people. And, most crucially, when we concentrate on, and train, these components of physical Presence, we lose our fear, because by focusing on crafting the integration of...
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Learn to master Presence...

AdobeStock 87878758 Actors, singers, orators, all performers, have to learn to master Presence so that its integration of voice, posture and diction can carry the creative, empathetic and authentic elements of the performance to all parts of a performing space. But the principle applies to leaders too. A client recently told me that one of his mentors had told him that the most important thing in becoming a leader was abdominal breathing. It was the source of his composure.  Leaders are looked at; they are listened to (though not always heard); they are sensed. Even in the quietness of a meeting or a personal development session or a team strategy meeting, the leader’s Presence is the power that will carry her or his inner inspiration across to others.
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When it comes to inspiring others...

AdobeStock 80244989 When it comes to inspiring others, it is often said that actions speak louder than words. And if we reflect for a moment on the people who have inspired us in our own lives, we will find any number of friends, relations, bosses and colleagues who have in some way exemplified for us virtues like selflessness, courage, compassion, cheerfulness, hard work and wisdom. They have been an example to us of the kind of people we would wish to become, and have infused us with feelings, thoughts and principles, as if by breathing, into our mind or soul, so that in many cases we have come close to the ideal they set us. As we reflect, however, we will realise that their actions were not silent, but communicated through words as well. And our conclusion may well be, as mine is, that words are part of those actions, and are...
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Wealth must fulfil two functions.

Growth and inspiration I believe that all of us will be richer if we live each day with the certainty that we will be inspired, that we do not need to forget to look with our eyes and listen with our ears; to understand with our heads and feel with our hearts; to end the day with the surety that we have grown. This growth is not only the domain of artists, philosophers, prophets and gurus. It is fundamental to real leadership. Corporations have a practical as well as a human interest in making things better, because ‘better’ means growth in people within the enterprise, which is a basis of growth in performance and, consequently, in wealth for society. Such growth is a sign that the connection between the producer and the buyer is healthy, and with that comes the joy of achievement. I see no intrinsic conflict between inspiration and wealth creation,...
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Jasmine infusion.

Jasmine   In my window I can see through the jasmine to the blue sky of the Andaluz winter. Yesterday at tea time the sun was hot on the skin. The wind of the previous days has left me with a headache, but today the air is as still as silence itself. The morning light is making patterns on the broad leaves of a creeper whose name I can never remember. That’s what I see. How do I feel about it? Glad, and more than glad. Why do I care? Because it’s just for me, so it’s like a present. Deep breath and blow the air out through the lips, like blowing out a candle. Do this for about 3 minutes. Get the body centred in the chair, the weight of gravity on the feet, backside and hands. Feel my pulse – the beat of the heart. There is no pulse...
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