Thursday, October 15, 2009


The challenge and pain of terminal illness is, to some extent, mediated when the concept and practice of self-leadership is applied, even embraced, to assist the terminally ill person and their chief care-giver. This entry draws upon the definition of self-leadership noted in italics above and applies it to the situation of terminally ill persons and their carers. In the period of terminal illness the vision, goals and processes lead to positive coping, life enhancing and self-fulfilling aspirations. It provides personal examples of the application of the concept.

Although the development of self-leadership has been fostered in individual sports it has rarely been considered in a health context. One particular couple, when confronted with the wife’s diagnosis of leukemia, developed self-leadership roles that moved through the spectrum of establishing and articulating personal visions of the ensuing period to the minutiae of daily care. The concept provided assurance and strength from the initiation of a pain diary through to the final days and funeral. The personal account of the self-leadership voyage that follows the Background below is taken from a fuller account and is marked with three major perspectives that interweave personal narrative with the professional explanations of self-leadership and its relevance. These perspectives are:

  1. Setting and sharing the vision of the terminal period.
  2. The goals and structures and processes resulting from the vision.
  3. Key influences impacting upon the self-leadership journey

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