Reboot Podcast Episode #14 – Shadow and Leadership – with Parker J. Palmer

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.

Episode 14 // March 26, 2015

As Carl Jung repeatedly declared, our goal is wholeness, not perfection. People living soulcentrically are not untroubled or unchallenged. They are not beyond experiencing times of confusion, mistakes, and tragedies. They have by no means healed all their wounds. They are simply on a path to wholeness, to becoming fully human- with all the inevitable defects and distresses inherent in any human story and with all the promise held by our uniquely human imagination.


Parker J. Palmer

Parker J. Palmer

Founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal

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Episode Description

Who are you? What do you believe to be true?  What do you bring consciously to the world? And, even more interesting, what do you bring unconsciously to your work, your organization, your relationships? How does that which you have either denied about yourself, or feel uncomfortable about, shape your life, either positively or negatively?   What lies in this unseen shadow?  And why is it important for you to explore?

The work of today’s guest shows up in just about everything we do here at Reboot so we are thrilled to have one of our key teachers, Parker Palmer, join Jerry for a discussion on a very important and powerful topic: Shadow and Leadership

Parker J. Palmer on Twitter

Show Highlights

Top Quotes

“What’s going on inside us is just as important as what we are doing on the outside.” – Parker Palmer

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

“If you choose to live an unexamined life, please do not take a job that involves other people.” – Parker Palmer amending a quote from Socrates

“Wherever you go there you are.” – Ram Dass

“We have to take responsibility for ourselves, and the first step in taking responsibility for ourselves is to stand in the shade and sit down.” – Chuang Tzu

“Running fast in the external world is really a way of evading self-examination.” – Parker Palmer

“When you are lost in the woods stand still.” – David Wagoner

“Wholeness does not mean perfection. Wholeness means acknowledging our wounds as well as are strengths, and saying I am all of the above.” – Parker Palmer

“To be whole means to be able to claim all of it as who we are.” – Parker Palmer

“Forget your perfect offering, and ring the bells that still can ring. There is a crack in everything, and that is how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

“Welcome to the human race.” – Parker Palmer

“Inwardly I am legions, I recognize every condition of man and woman because I have every condition of man and woman.”  – Walt Whitman

“Most of us live lives of self-impersonation.” – Thomas Merton

“Our shadow quality is like a 10,000 volt power line that is available to us. If we pick it up and plug it in properly it is extraordinary. If we approach it inappropriately it can hurt us.” – Parker Palmer

“All of us together are invariably smarter than any of us alone.” – Parker Palmer

“One of the great opportunities of a leader who understands the shadow, they have the power to reframe failure for everyone which they work”  – Parker Palmer

“By allowing your employees to self-actualize you allow yourself to self-actualize. By allowing your employees to heal, you allow yourself to heal.” – Jerry Colonna

“When we liberate ourselves, we liberate others.”  – Parker Palmer

“In everything we do, relationships are everything.” – Parker Palmer

“Trust becomes the foundation for success at the organizational level regardless of the endeavor.” – Jerry Colonna

“Leadership is so much about reframing.” – Parker Palmer