Leadership Lesson Found in the Serenity Prayer

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Marianne Allison, former executive vice president and chief innovation officer at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, likened leadership in public relations to a daily testament to the serenity prayer.Her words and the serenity prayer concept, more than any other leadership style examined before, struck me as being the most appropriate manifestation of leadership – and truly the most accurate definition of what I want my personal style to be. In Allison’s mind, effective leaders have the vision and foresight to acknowledge those things that are or are not in the realm of their control, the fearlessness to approach what they can change and the ability to perceive the difference.

Wow. What a perfect concept to encapsulate my own personal thoughts on leadership! Since hearing Allison’s metaphor, I approach every day with a new sense of confidence and personal peace. Whenever life presents me with challenges that seem beyond my control, I ask myself for the strength and patience to get me through. I have learned to address those things that I can control, and to stop worrying so excessively about the things that I cannot.

Allison’s association is no different than Covey’s version of prioritization or Buckley’s systematic scheduling – it’s just a different lens for looking at a similar leadership framework. But for me, the serenity prayer is such a familiar thing that her metaphor resinates with me.