Leading with Emotional Courage

Sunset, Kripalu, Berkshires, MA
Sunset, Kripalu, Berkshires, MA

I spent the last few days at Kripalu (www.kripalu.org) a Yoga Retreat Center up in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. Known for it’s silent breakfasts, excellent food and -morning, noon and night time- yoga , Kripalu is a place to go when you need to take time to slow down and experience healthy living.


Kriplau offers many workshops from Zentangle (drawing) or yoga to weekend seminars on relationships or leadership.  I chose to sign up for a course called An Introduction to Peter Bregman Leadership led by Peter Bregman and  psychotherapist Jessica Gelman. Peter is the author of 18 Minutes, Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done  and frequent writer for such publications as Harvard Business Review and many of today’s top business magazines.


In this weekend leadership workshop Peter and Jessica had us experience “emotional courage” which had everything to do with facing our most deepest leadership fears and then moving through that fear towards a solution.  The solutions involved getting support from other members, voicing our true thoughts and ignoring what our heads were saying to get into what was in  our hearts.


We practiced passion, stepping back, listening, providing support and sharing our experiences by taking risks and relying on the support of others in the room… literally relying on each other as strangers.


“Leaders need to be able to feel uncomfortable and take emotional risks” stated Peter. I saw the results of this philosophy to be astounding. During the weekend we not only tapped into our authentic leader selves but through emotional courage exercises we were able to center to be able to best lead our teams. From the feedback all around, “Our Hearts are the source of our real power.” was a the overwhelming conclusion.