Through the particular lenses of Negative Capability and Care
of the Self, we argue that an aspiration to practice caring leadership involves a commitment to the development of self-knowledge. Following an exploration of our key themes, we will draw upon a case study of organisational leadership to illustrate how a phenomenological inquiry into one’s experience of self may serve to heighten the quality of attention that leaders give in complex situations. In a sector increasingly dominated by systems and driven by targets and performance indicators, we suggest that the case study reveals a dedication to re-humanising leadership which this senior manager challenges his organisation to recognise that being human matters. This implies the need to develop a capacity for courage, trust and care in order to make decisions that are not driven by our personal agenda and fear of failure.