What’s a leadership cave?

A  place to step back from your everyday leadership life. Inside the leadership cave, there are no meetings, demands, interruptions, distractions, text messages, email, etc. It’s where you see things in a different light, because you can actually see the light, and it’s different.

Leadership cave

Leadership cave

Leadership Cave - why you need one?

If I had a nickel for every time a client said, “I just need to step back”…

We all need to step back, on occasion. Most of us need to step back on frequent occasions. Stepping back requires time, distance and a change of setting to establish a different head space.

Why do we need a different head space? At work we’re inclined to act and re-act, not to reflect. Reflection leads to insight. Insight leads to deeper understanding. Deeper understanding leads to more effective responses and less damage producing reactions.

A different head space allows us to see X (situations, people, problems, opportunities, ourselves) from a different perspective. Different perspectives open up new ways of thinking. New ways of thinking lead to different solutions, or perhaps the realizaiton that the problem is not a problem at all.

Leadership Cave Rules

To create the head space that works best for you, follow these rules.

  1. Your cave should be
    • Comfortable
    • Aesthetically pleasing, according to you. (I find the one pictured above quite appealing.)
    • Quiet
      • Away from or protected against external noise
      • Nature’s sounds are not noise
    • Free of distractions
      • Laptop
      • Cellphone
      • Notepads
      • Other/all electronic devices
  2. Your cave should have
    • Natural light (at least one ray for shedding new light on things)
    • Paper
    • Writing implement (to note your fresh insights, new perspectives, solutions)
    • Reading material that expands your headspace and puts you in touch with your deeper thoughts, feelings, emotions, the world
      • Poetry
      • Coloring books
      • Not a compelling mystery, page turner, or anything that takes you away from yourself
      • Not the news
    • Do Not Disturb sign
  3. Tell people you’re going into your cave and are not to be disturbed except for emergencies.
    • It’s my experience that children under the age of 14 need to be told what an emergency is. Otherwise you’ll be summoned to answer:
      • What’s for dinner?
      • Can you help with my homework?
      • Where’s my favorite sweatshirt?

What To Do Inside Your Leadership Cave

Ask meaningful questions.

Where are we headed and why?

Ponder important situations.

Organization trust has taken a nose dive this year.

Begin the most important and honest conversation you can have with yourself right now.

I’m avoiding talking to Ron about his performance.

Let your mind wander.

We mind wander because it produces tangible rewards when measured against goals and aspirations that are personally meaningful. 

According to research reviewed in Scientific American, benefits of mind wandering include:

  • self-awareness
  • creative incubation
  • improvisation and evaluation
  • memory consolidation
  • autobiographical planning
  • goal driven thought
  • future planning
  • reflective consideration of the meaning of events and experiences
  • simulating the perspective of another person
  • evaluating the implications of self and others’ emotional reactions
  • moral reasoning
  • reflective compassion

Quite the list, ey?



Anne Perschel
Anne Perschel
When she is not consulting; coaching; reading and writing about leadership; or enjoying her work in other ways; Anne can be found:

Listening to ocean waves receding over stones.
Enjoying the spontaneous expressions of young children who haven’t yet learned to hide their emotions.
Taking in the scent of freesias, lilacs or salt water.
Enjoying the great, or not so great, outdoors and all variations of nature’s gifts.
At the gym.

As Seen In:

Leadership Cave - Why You Need One