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  • Writer's pictureKatharine McLennan

A Poem for i4 Live 2015 by Katharine McLennan

A Poem for i4 Live 2015 by Katharine McLennan

This was a poem I wrote for

Here is the story of a beautiful teacher

A facilitator of leadership, certainly not a preacher

A scientist, an Argentinian, a mother and a daughter

With an idea over the Red Centre on her way to Sydney water

… that leadership models of today are outdated

… that today’s frameworks of command and control highly overrated

… that the brain, the heart, and the gut could be integrated

… into a model so colourful, so loving, and so illustrated

What if we could turn the leadership notion

Upside down, and create locomotion

Towards the honouring of each of our gifts with awe

Instead of the measuring of each weakness, each failure, each flaw

“It is time to rekindle, utilise and nurture,”

To fire up the lighthouse for the leadership wisdom searcher

To show us that this wisdom has never been far

In fact... lurking within us, each of us a star

And so the i4 was born, a model for everyone

For CEOs and tellers, for mothers, for anyone

Wanting to discover their strengths and their gifts,

Their passions, their motivations and their need for shifts

First performance, so red, so vibrant and integrated

Starting with Self, a brain-mind-body calibrated

For integration, balance, mental readiness and ethics

We learn to sleep soundly, to eat well and to move with kinetics

Second collaboration, so yellow, so “we”

It takes a village to grow, and an “us” not a “me”

With courage, communication, generosity and inspiration

We combine as a team to reach our aspiration

Third innovation, so violet and free

An energy to create new patterns of thinking, to see

...through imagination, drive, curiosity and attitude

To see life so splendid, with so much latitude

Fourth agility, so blue and so very adroit

Needed for a VUCA World we can no longer exploit

With adaptability, awareness, influence and intuition

We can respond with light feet as we flow toward our mission

Thus the i4 Model was created and so generously taught

To the pioneers who believed, their talents they brought...

Their integration, inspiration, imagination and intuition,

Their i4 passion under Silvia’s tuition

And now we find ourselves in the not-so-Gold Coast

With Gold meaning collaboration, we’ve been so engrossed

In corporate strategy, in movement, in sleep and nutrition

In design, in neuroscience, we are forming an i4 tradition

For it is in our i4 community, our hearts can touch heaven,

Our guts are nourished, our limbs are strengthened

Our sleep is 8 hours, our brains are integrated

Our community can begin and our passion celebrated

May you know each step forward, or back or to the side

Is the right one, regardless of fear or of pride

May you trust in your stride, believe in your path

Revel in your life, with humility but without wrath

May you know there are reasons for all that we do

For all whom we meet, and all that we rue

All that we ponder, all that we run from

All that we rush to and all that we come from

So, lift your glass, and toast the moment

That’s all that there is, no need for torment.

About pasts that can't change, about futures that don’t exist

About flaws, about jealousies, about pain that persists...

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