Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Peace to you all.

Paddy’s Day is a day for celebration and partying and, if you’re that way inclined, drinking some of the ‘Black Stuff’ (dyed green, obviously!).

St. Patrick was known as being the “Apostle of Ireland” and bringing Christianity to our country. Thinking of St. Patrick recently, made me think of a well-known prayer written by Fr. Esther Bouquerel (and often wrongly attributed to St. Francis).

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console,

To be understood as to understand,

To be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.”

I find these words hopeful and challenging. Many of the teams and individuals I coach experience tension and conflict and I view it as one of my fundamental roles (& honours) in these interactions to attempt to establish peace.

Peace isn’t passive, ignorant or timid. It demands a courageous spirit, an inquisitive enquiry and the ability to look deeply into the mirror. Peace calls out leaders who are prepared to commit to being themselves and changing themselves at the same time. It doesn’t play games with positive intent, it commits to the good stuff and sees things through. It is active, vibrant and demanding.

I love leaders who are committed to a courageous culture of peace and who can see past their own greed and insecurity enough to reach out to their brothers and sisters and build strong cultures, companies and countries. I want this to be the direction of my heart and I hope it’s a journey you’re interested in too?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone and may you be builders of peace and not sowers of hatred.

Johnny Parks