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Memory against forgetting.


I heard an interview this morning where the quest speaker quoted from the Book of Laughter and Forgetting , by Milan Kundera. She was discussing how do people of dangerous actions achieve and stay in power. The quote was:


" The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."


It is one of those moments in time I will not forget. For that simple sentence put in to perspective how important it is that we not forget. That when actions are taken that affect us personally and professionally in a detrimental way, we must not forget. To forget is to in some ways condone the action. And yet, we are also in a time when information is coming at us so fast, how do we safeguard our own sanity if not by forgetting?


There is a thought process and action I adopted a few years ago, that has helped me navigate this area of my life, both personally and professionally. There is a difference between hearing what was said and absorbing what was said. Some might call it detaching, our ability to disengage. There is a line though between detachment and dissociation. I would suggest the first allows us the ability to hear without forgetting, where dissociation is where we go to forget.


As leaders within our communities and businesses, we have a responsibility to those we serve not to forget. We have an obligation when necessary to move from being disengaged to engage in the tough conversations and be clear as to our expectations. To show up from a place of being a Daring rather than an Armored leader.


I coach to these principles in my Dare to Lead Groups, base on the curriculum and research of

Dr. Brené Brown.

  • Rumbling with Vulnerability – Learn how to face risk, uncertainty, and tough conversations with courage, clarity, and empathy.

  • Living Into Your Values – Identify what you stand for and how to show up from a place of integrity every day.

  • Braving Trust – Discover how to build meaningful and authentic connections with your teams, colleagues and customers so you can work together from a foundation of trust.

  • Learning to Rise – Become aware of your emotions and stories and learn how to show up and lead with courage – even when faced with failure, disappointment, and setbacks.

By learning and practicing these four skill sets to empower leaders in all walks of life, we begin finding common ground with others, believing everyone has the power to make a difference, and feel grounded by a strong sense of our own self-worth.


We learn that to lead by not forgetting and by showing up and engaging from a place of grounded clarity and authentic connection is where the true power begins.

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