Centered Leadership The secret to this lies within a particular recipe...

In today’s hectic world, people need the tools necessary to block away the white noise and return to their center. By doing so, they can achieve great things and accomplish dreams and goals. The secret to this lies within a particular recipe.

Joanna Barsh, McKinsey director and author of How Remarkable Women Lead, addresses these core values through what she calls Centered Leadership. In all, there are five values, or elements critical to Centered Leadership – meaning, framing, connecting, engaging, and energizing (Barsh, Cranston & Lewis, 2011). Let’s examine them!

Element 1 – Meaning

Without meaning, passion or something that keeps you going; it’s difficult to push ahead and see things through until the end (Barsh et al., 2011). Fact is, some people get discouraged because they do not know how to find meaning.  To this, Barsh et al. (2011) suggests keeping an eye out for what stirs up emotions and reactions. In other words, look out for what lights the fire from within. That, according to Barsh et al. (2011) is the first sign of meaning.

Element 2 – Framing

Framing is about being able to see things the way they truly are (Brash et al., 2011). You need to ask yourself what is actually going on here and how can I keep an open mindset? This concept helps people see situations differently and assist in removing negative focus, paranoia, and ultimately, self-doubt. Instead of jumping to conclusions when things do not go as planned, look at the situation differently and find out for certain what is going on (Barsh et al., 2011).

Element 3 – Connecting

This concept talks about the importance of networking and keeping the connections alive (Barsh et al., 2011). One does not get to the top or attain goals alone. It’s important to build relations, to keep them going with brief but authentic contact and to be vigilant (Barsh et al., 2011). In fact, West (as cited in Barsh et al. 2011) states that she sets aside ninety minutes each week to call people and maintain contacts. Simple but powerful!

Element 4 – Engaging

Engaging is where your actions lead. You get in there and do the physical work needed to accomplish goals (Barsh et al., 2011). It’s also a way of putting yourself out there and claiming an official voice for something that is of profound meaning to you (Barsh et al., 2001).

Element 5 –Energizing

Last but certainly not least, is the importance of taking the time (daily) to regroup and redirect energy levels (Barsh et al., 2011). If one does not take the time to recharge and refuel, energy levels drop and reserves deplete (Barsh et al., 2011).

Meaning, framing, connecting, engaging, and energizing are the essential elements of Centered Leadership (Barsh et al., 2011). All-in-all, not only is this a great way to lead, but also the best way one can approach a full life.


Are you unknowingly implementing one or more elements of Centered Leadership? If so which one?


Leave a Reply