Two Leadership Ideas

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Two Leadership Ideas

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Jonathan Kessel-Fell has written a 4-part series of articles on a leadership concept he’s exploring called Sendatsu. It has three primary parts of your Sendatsu leadership. Sendatsu as—

  1. Leader

  2. Guide

  3. Pioneer

Here’s an explanation of the Sandatsu role.

So, what is a Sendatsu?

To understand this, we need to go back over a thousand years to the late Heian period, a time when the practice of pilgrims, samurai and emperors visiting Shinto shrines such as Kumano and Yoshino became popular. These enlightening journeys, through the deeply forested, mountainous regions like the Kii Peninsula, were not a single track but a network of trails with no official start or end point. In order to safely complete these pilgrimages through such dangerous terrain, especially at a time when maps, guidebooks and GPS were not available, you needed someone to step in and help.

That person was a Sendatsu, a spiritual mountain leader and guide, defined as “the one who has gone before”, one who acts as a pioneer to seek out new paths that enhance learning and spiritual growth during these pilgrimages.

And then, later on, exploring the notion of Guide—

For this role I specifically chose an icon of a Japanese Torii Gate. Unlike gates in other parts of the world, which block or deter entry and stop our onward progress, Torii gates are always open. They invite people take a step onto the path and start a new journey of exploration and learning.

As a leader it is our responsibility to help those people in our care to grow and develop. Not to push them down a certain path or force them to change, but to step onto the path ourselves and invite then to join us on a journey of discovery, learning and personal change.

Sometimes I like to share what I consider essential writing that perhaps hasn’t received the exposure I think it warrants.

IMHO, Heidi and Jonathan’s work falls into this category. I hope you find it interesting and worth your thoughtful consideration. Enjoy!

Stay agile my friends,


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