AS I WROTE IN MY LAST ARTICLE, TRUE GREATNESS IS NEEDED IN OUR LIVES, OUR HOMES, OUR ORGANIZATIONS AND OUR WORLD.
But what is true greatness? Do we have to do wildly extraordinary things and be amazing, out-of-this-world superheroes? The answer is an emphatic “No”! And yet, because greatness does really lie in each and everyone of us, it is a simple matter of drawing it out of us and PRACTICING GREATNESS on a daily basis.
Drawing it out of others is easy for me, only because I discovered how to do it some 20 years ago, took it to a whole new level in the year 2000 and have practiced and honed it for myself and as a professional executive coach and life coach, sharing my coaching tools and strategies with thousands of clients from all over the world in the last 12 years or more.
For everyone and everything, more often than not, practice does, indeed, make perfect. And with greatness, it is the same. Once I have drawn it out of people – both our executive coaching and life coaching clients tell us that the results are amazingly quick, significant and visible – the onus then lies on them to practice greatness.
Greatness of Spirit & Character
This holds true even if you don’t believe that greatness exists within you, as long as you actually do the work. And before we discuss what the work is, let’s properly define what true greatness is.
To me – and I have studied and worked on the subject of human greatness for the last 20 years or more – true greatness is quite simply the highest potential that exists within human beings. I am referring to a greatness of spirit and character rather than great deeds because the latter is secondary.
Also, when I speak of character, I am not merely talking about what is moral or otherwise. Within us all lies an enormous treasure, an intrinsic part of us that is already whole, perfect, pure, magnificent, powerful and wise beyond measure.
To me, it’s utterly insane that this treasure lies there within us and we are barely tapping on it, en masse, as an entire human race inhabiting planet earth. If we did, our planet and our world would not be in the predicament they are in today. Our organizations would not be run the way they have been run such that huge companies can fail and impact the world’s economy the way they have in recent times. And we would have a very different set of leaders running corporations, governments and world organizations.
On the other hand, there are many instances when we do see and celebrate our human greatness. But too often, the greatness is demonstrated by people who have struggled and strived to achieve goals and successes because:
1. They are looking for approval, acceptance and acknowledgement from others.
2. They are willing to do so at enormous expense to their own wellbeing and that of others – in their immediate circle and outside it. Wellbeing here can include physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and financial health, and in terms of moral fibre or character.
3. Their own self worth and happiness depend entirely or almost entirely on these successes.
Nike’s 2012 “Find Your Greatness” series are fabulous and very much coincide with my own absolute certainty that greatness lies within everyone. In Part II of this blog article, we will talk about the natural emergence of leadership qualities and true greatness being needed in organizations.
By Helen Lee, Veteran Executive Coach & Life Coach