The Book Club - November 2020 - reflections from a new member
Travel isn’t really an option for most of us at the moment, so I was especially eager to join hgkc’s November Book Club, because, in the wise words of Dr Suess, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go”.
Although I had heard great things from colleagues and contacts, this was the first time I had personally taken part in The Book Club. Before the session, I was slightly apprehensive at the thought of sitting in front of my screen for two hours. Thankfully, I needn’t have worried because it went surprisingly quickly and I think it’s fair to say that we all could have spoken for longer! This was in no small part due to the hosts, James and Peter, who were both great at getting everyone involved in the conversation. They carefully managed the discussion so that it didn’t become dominated by a few individuals, as these sessions so often can; each of us was brought into the conversation equally and I felt completely engaged throughout. It also helped that the attendees came from a mixture of backgrounds, so there were plenty of interesting experiences to learn from. Plus, we were able to impart as much or as little about ourselves as we liked and James did the same, peppering the discussion with amusing yet relevant anecdotes.
The event was of course focussed on the book (The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership), but it was also about each of us and how we were leaders in our own rights, both inside and outside of our working environments. Some had enjoyed the book more than others, but that didn’t create tension; the relaxed atmosphere meant we were all able to share our thoughts without fear of saying the ‘wrong’ thing. It’s safe to say that hgkc were true to their values, sharing their expertise in an accessible and human way. In turn, this encouraged us to share with and learn from each other.
One of the points that resonated most with me was around approval seeking. This linked to the 11th commitment, described in the book as:
“I commit to being the source of my security, control and approval.”
This point is like many others in the book; it seems obvious. Yet it isn’t until you take the time to really think about certain things and ‘commit’ to them that you can see areas where you can improve. I’ve always been aware that I source approval from others, but hadn’t taken the time to consider how I could shift this by acknowledging myself as my own leader. Creating a sense of obligation around behavioural change is powerful stuff. Add to that both talking and reading about it and things really come to life. I left the event feeling extremely reflective and excited to apply the things that I had learned.
The event worked well online, so I would be interested to join a face to face session in the future too (only partly due to the mention of tea and cake). After enjoying hgkc’s book club so much, I have been inspired to join another online book club – this time to satisfy my fiction reading habit!