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Leadership by Choice: Increasing Influence and Effectiveness through Self-Management by Eric Papp

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Chapter 11

Finding Strength in Silence

Leading with Silence

Where do leaders find their inspiration? Where do they go to jump-start the internal drive that promotes inner peace? The answer is in silence. We look at history and find leaders who faced tough times and difficult situations, like Martin Luther King, Jr., in his fight for civil rights during the 1960s. Where did he find his courage and the inspiration to write his famous “I Have a Dream” speech?

In India, where did Mahatma Gandhi find strength for peaceful protests in his country? In the United States, how did John F. Kennedy remain calm in the midst of an apocalyptic threat to world peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis? When England was under attack from her enemies, where did Winston Churchill find the strength and determination to win battles?

The answer is through silence. When we retreat to silence, we tap into the inner calm that allows us to search for answers. We find ideas strong enough to move a country and are able to formulate words that influence millions.

When Is Noise Too Much?

Finding silence in modern times can be very difficult, especially with the ever-present noise that surrounds us. Constant distractions compete for our attention, and we seem to go from one distraction to the next.

Advertisers fight for our attention on TV, on the radio, and even on iPods. We go to work and are bombarded with gossip and office chatter. Distraction is literally everywhere.

Even our cell phones have become somewhat ...

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