Andrea Kayne’s graduate students, consulting clients, colleagues, and those who have attended her speaking engagements and workshops appreciate the distillation, applicability, and relevance of Jane Austen’s unexpectedly modern and relevant instructions for what Andrea calls Internally Referenced Leadership™.
When we are internally referenced, we are not looking for other people to validate or approve of us so we can listen to them, learn from them, and share our authentic selves with them. When we internally reference our power, value, and worthiness, we can be open to learn and share from and with others for the benefit of the whole. There is no threat or competition or jockeying for position.
Real World Examples
Andrea has taught these principles to a group of female Chicago police officers who were struck to realize there were so many kinds of “corsets” they find themselves in that their male counterparts do not. The fifty educators in Beijing she worked with even connected these principles to aspects of the Tao Te Ching regarding the illusory nature of seeking external power. A group of women who were going through divorce found that these principles helped them find some sense of power and agency even amidst life altering situations which seemed beyond their control. A group of young women in tech used these principles to initiate a dialogue with their manager regarding power dynamics at their workplace.
Indeed, these six principles for Internally Referenced Leadership™ inspired by Jane Austen have impacted women in many different circumstances. No matter who she is, she is inspired, uplifted, and empowered by Elizabeth, Elinor, Anne, Fanny, Catherine, and Emma.
Each of these heroines represents an aspect of Internally Referenced Leadership™ by sourcing her power from within even while living in confining circumstances. Through their various strategies, these fictional heroines from the 1800s achieve a kind of independence and personal agency that is astonishing and unexpected in patriarchal Regency England and is even revelatory today.
The six principles of Internally Referenced Leadership™ are:
- Like Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, know your own internal and inherent value.
- Like Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility, respond to external tumult and adverse change with an internal calm, acceptance, and problem-solving resilience.
- Like Anne Elliot from Persuasion, choose and create paradigms based on internal worthiness, hard work, and merit.
- Like Fanny Price of Mansfield Park, insist on faithfully following your internal moral compass.
- Like Catherine Morland of Northanger Abbey, protect and retain your internal childlike dreaming, wonder, curiosity, passion, and hope.
- Like Emma Woodhouse from Emma, constantly be willing to learn from an internal place of openness and humility.