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Manifesto Musings

For Whose Benefit?

February 2024
— Reading Time: 2 minutes

Over the past month, several national and international leaders in the fields of psychology, leadership, coaching, or change management have kindly reviewed our manuscript. One such review arrived this week that contained the following sentences:

“Authors Robinson and Wong take us through a gradual process, in accessible, yet significant steps, that enable any one of us to create a statement of intent and import…the kind of statement we have all longed for at one time or another. The kind of statement that centres us in the best of ourselves and what we are devoted to bringing alive.”  Dr. Maria Sirois

We treasure Maria’s reference to the personal manifesto as a ‘statement we have all longed for at one time or another.’  For interest’s sake, from our personal work with clients, the ‘record’ for the shortest manifesto comes in at two words, and the ‘record’ for the longest manifesto comes in at 547 words! So whilst we believe it is common at different times in our life to yearn for a personal manifesto, there is considerable variety and individuality in the length of such a statement.

Now, why might people long for the clarity of such a statement? Well Maria’s second sentence gives us a hint, as it ‘centres us in the best of ourselves and what we are devoted to bringing alive.’ We whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment. However, it also raises another interesting question – for whose benefit is a personal manifesto?

The obvious answer is the individual creator, the person who has gone through the 7-Steps, completed the activities, pondered the reflections and arrived at their current, unique, personal manifesto. But the realisation for many individuals who complete this work, is that they are very clearly not the sole benefactor.

General Sir John Monash – whom Monash University is named after – was a famous Australian who contributed fully to almost every level of Australian life. Within a speech he gave to a graduating class of university students, Monash exhorted, ‘to equip yourself for life, not solely for your own benefit but for the benefit of the whole community.’

At my manifesto we’d like to suggest that equipping yourself with your personal manifesto fulfils Sir John Monash’s proclamation. Due to the energising and calming nature of the process, and the commitment to centring ourselves in ‘what we are devoted to bringing alive’, we discover that our private declaration of our wisdom and intentions benefits family, friends, colleagues, and in the words of Monash, ‘the whole community’.

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