Leadership is the Practice of Discerning What is Useful and What is Beautiful

Image Credit: William Morris Gallery, wmgallery.org.uk

Image Credit: William Morris Gallery, wmgallery.org.uk

Leadership is the practice of discerning what is useful and what is beautiful… and curating accordingly.

I was fifteen when I learned of Victorian poet and designer William Morris’s view that you should,

…have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

And this idea has continued speaking to me.

Have nothing in your life, have nothing in your workplace, have nothing in your relationships, have nothing in your actions, have nothing in your thoughts, have nothing in your words… that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

And I don’t mean to suggest that I have finished this work or arrived somewhere, but that this is a beautiful and useful practice. As leaders we need simple and elegant filters, strategies for discernment, to be clearly and consciously at choice about what we are leading towards and what we are leading away from.

Standing in a vast river of information, the difference between what we invite in and what we leave to flow past is vital. Faced with many and complex decisions, the more we cultivate our knowing of what’s important, the more effective our decision making becomes.

Curate your inputs, curate your connections, curate your actions according to your practice of discernment and the filters that you choose.

Start small and let your practice evolve. Leaders curate reality.

If beautiful and useful is your kind of leadership practice, here’s how you could work with me.


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