How awe strengthens leaders of meaningful change

Hello!

That was embarrassing - a broken link to a great article. Now fixed. Sorry about that!

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As the days start to draw out our thoughts are turning to spending more time outside. Time in nature is increasingly recognised as important for health and wellbeing. What's less well known is the potential of nature to deepen and broaden our innate compassion and concern for others. In doing so, our capacity to be leaders of meaningful change is strengthened.

seeking out experiences of awe

"Brief experiences of awe redefine the self in terms of the collective and orient our actions toward the interests of others," argues psychologist Dacher Keltner. 

While the article emphasises the benefits to health of seeking our experiences of awe in our daily lives, we were struck by how this echoes our experience of leaders finding strength and renewal through connecting with nature. 

narcissus, look around you

"Narcissists are divorced from the consequences of their judgements and actions, whenever these do not affect them directly. Other people are seen as objects to be used.

Marianna Fotaki, professor of business ethics, looks at the impact and role of narcissism in the public policy, work, management and organisational settings.

Fotaki argues that we need to recognise and understand narcissism, if we are to counter socially destructive forms of management and policy making.

don't out-source conscience or ethics

"Leaders, and those who advise them, must find the moral courage to do the right thing in the context of the greater, public good – or they are not leaders at all. Courageous leaders will need to step outside of their organisational norms (and their echo chambers) to drive change for good."

So writes Robert Phillips, former PR supremo, looking at the challenges of the year ahead.

Phillips's call for courageous leadership is perhaps the flip side of our experience that people are increasingly hungry for authenticity and meaning in their work. The moral courage required may be considerable, but in doing the right thing such leaders are in fact being themselves at last.

solutions from natural change

Short course: 23rd-28th April 2017

5 day residential in Glen Feshie for people in the private, public and third sectors who want to improve their ability to lead and bring about change – in their team, organisation, community or across wider society.

Leadership Programme: 15 days over 9 months, starting October 2017.

Catalyst Projects: for critical, complex challenges. Bespoke.

Netwalking: Edinburgh, Stirling and other regions to be announced. 2-3 hours.

an ode to wilderness

Scottish-born naturalist, writer and environmental philosopher, John Muir, famously took President Roosevelt wild camping. Roosevelt's experience in nature is credited with promoting the formation of the US national park system.

This short film, shot in some of the most special places in Scotland, brings Muir's philosophy to life.

we need a transformation

"I used to think the top global environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought with 30 years of good science we could address those problems, but I was wrong.

"The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy - and to deal with these we need a spiritual and cultural transformation and we scientists don’t know how to do that."

Wrote Gus Speth, environmental lawyer and advocate.

It's clear that scientists are not the only ones who don't know "how to do that". While we would never claim change is easy, our experience, and that of many others, is that connecting with nature provides one powerful starting point for just such a transformation.

what we do, what we love

The purpose of Natural Change is to help create a fair and sustainable world; a world where individuals, communities and organisations flourish together – as parts of a flourishing natural world.

This is what we do, and it's what we love. Read more about our approach here.

Long term subscribers will have noticed a new style to our newsletter. Each month we will now be offering a handpicked selection of insights, inspiration and resources for people leading change for sustainability, environmental and social responsibility; all linked to key aspects of the Natural Change approach.

If you would like to pick up on anything in this email, to know more about our work, recommend items that you've found inspirational or helpful, or just to say hello and catch up, please do get in touch.

Best wishes,

Osbert, Morag, Joy, Rupert, Rob, Richard, Debby, Rachael, Pam & Dave
The Natural Change Team

PS: Could you help us spread the word? If you think our approach might be useful to someone you know, please tell them about us. Many thanks!

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Natural Change Ltd

Natural Change Limited, SC461672

Regd Office: 121 High Street, Forres, Moray IV36 1AB

naturalchange.co.uk

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