David Whyte

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Returning in November 2018

half a shade braver and asking the beautiful questions…

Firstly, if you haven't seen David Whyte's TED talk and are wondering who on earth this man is, you really must watch it. It’s a rare thing, a theatre packed with leaders, people responsible for people in huge corporations, human resources professionals and coaches, all presenting themselves, open to vulnerability – open to becoming half a shade braver.

This is what we witnessed in Melbourne at Deakin Edge on 29 April, and in Sydney on 3 May when David Whyte presented to an audience of 200 leaders and executives, cracking them open slightly with his poetry and bringing to the fore an exploration of their own frontiers of leadership and relationship, and the notion of conversational leadership.

David, in his inimitable way, through the recitation of his own, and others’ poetry, took the audience on a journey and invited them to be more vulnerable, more courageous, and just half a shade braver than they have been.  It’s true, if we’re not constantly stepping up to new frontiers, the next threshold of our work and life, we’re not fully alive. We’re not showing up completely at work, so we can’t authentically lead. David says we don’t need to “be superman or superwoman and exercise these extraordinary powers that don’t exist”, we need only step up to become half a shade braver, to take the next step that is calling us, to show up to the invitation to grow.

It was fascinating hearing the stories of our wonderful panelists, who joined David for the discussion on stage following his presentation. Lindley Edwards, Paul Collings, Yvonne Coburn and Kaj Lofgren shared some incredibly personal and poignant stories of their own leadership path and the moments in their life where they met an edge that required them to become half a shade braver.

With only two hours together, everyone was hungry for more, more of the brilliant connection that occurred in the room, more from the panelists, more from David and in an anticipatory way, more from themselves as they committed to stepping up to the frontier of their work when they left the room.