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As our dialogue moves in the flow from purpose to presence, consider that your purpose serves your Trueness only in the present.

“Presence knows, but with a wide-angle lens and no filters.” —Richard Rhor

In this 21st Century, presence can be hard to grasp. More specifically, being present can become extremely challenging to understand, and do.

Living purposefully informs my presence.

Anytime I think deeply about presence, I am reminded of the power of listening and the clarifying force of paying attention. Listening—true hearing—is a present moment activity. Paying attention is freedom to be in the moment what what is. And freedom is in expecting good, not defining it.

“How tragically precise we can be at creating well-intended, misguided expectations that ultimately limit us in actually holding what might really be possible.” —from post, Know Thyself – Presence in the 21st Century

A bullheaded attachment to a predetermined outcome distracts from the relationship necessary to get there. Don’t get distracted in the process of setting expectations to a depth where you then miss all the opportunities to listen and simply pay attention. With your voice fully engaged in presence, others hear loud and clear. As a leader, our stories converge in your presence with us. Your Trueness encourages mine.

How do you stay balanced in your Trueness?

I suspect, however you might answer this, it is when you are truly present with another and with what is; a reality seen with a clear, wide-angle lens and no filters. The impact you desire is an intentional, conscious, and directed energy. Such impact is unfolded moment by moment; not what might happen, but what is happening. A Poem for Your Clear Presence IMG_0664

Purpose – Surrender

Leading from the middle of her own Desire & Intent Susan calls it Being Genuine. This is Susan’s voice. Undergirding this voice are values like respect and trust.

“Surrender is entering the present moment, and what is right in front of you, fully and without resistance or attempts at control.” —Richard Rohr


Katie and I were in the session that followed the creation of her guiding objective—a conscious commitment to generate the flow of her authentic presence; and its consequent impact.

There was a particular relationship challenge she wanted to discuss. As she gave me a bit of history between she and the individual, my eyes were drawn to one phrase at the core of her objective: Trusting Relationships.

So, I challenged her to think through how this objective commitment might guide her in connecting with this person; a relationship of significance in her work. While Katie logically approached a plan focused on the upcoming debrief of the current project, I kept pulling her back to the core phrase.

Eventually she understood the difference between a structured debrief and a courageous conversation focused on improving a relationship.

After our call I began to question why I had pushed so hard on that specific phrase. Suddenly I wondered, Could it be that the phrase was also her voice? As I opened her Development Story where I would find her voice recorded, I thought, Let it be so!

And there it was …

Trust (Trusting Relationships)

What a relief!

And now I can summarize like this:
Ultimately, it seems, I was encouraging (yes, strongly) Katie to be present with what is so important to her and surrender to her voice of Trust & Trusting Relationships.

A Poem for your Authentic Voice

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Susan is a leader with whom I worked, and subsequently wrote about, two years prior. Since our initial work she found her role expanding in a direction seemingly counter to her deeper purpose. She was thrown off-balance in her stand.

I am privileged to once again become engaged in Susan’s Work of Trueness. In a wise move she has consciously placed her leadership journey into transition. While we have only begun our work together in this transitional journey, I’m convinced of this: The important questions, and true answers, are right in the middle where Susan stands—in her Trueness.

Coach Judy (my Coach) calls it your Why it Matters. This energy is definitely the source of A New Confidence. What’s new about such confidence is its demand to hold together assurance and action; and to hold in a place, as Susan calls it, Being Genuine.

Then, as now, Susan has a deep commitment to her Trueness as a leader. And from this stand is the embedding of her commitment to the balance and harmony of those she leads, influences, and serves.

The root cause of her own imbalance was the feeling she could do nothing about the perceived imbalance of the individuals on her team.

So, why does balance/harmony matter to Susan?

Of course this is a question (one of many) she will have to answer for herself. And as my role is to assist her in doing so, I will speculate specifically.

I believe it matters because it first indeed does matter to her. Instead of pushing this belief in balance/harmony out on others, she has rather consciously decided it is more important to listen.

And why does listening matter to Susan?

It matters because she knows what listening can bring forth. Two years ago, as part of a development strategy, she said:

I take interest in the work of others to encourage the interest that gives energy for the work and supports the confidence of the individual in the work.

And this, my fellow Encourager, is A New Confidence.

A Poem for your own brand of A New Confidence

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Beginning several years back, I became separately fascinated with the desire of a leader and the intent of a leader. Over time, and a field of practice, my active fascination moved the plural of desire and intent into the singular focus of Desire & Intent.

In this singular and creative tension is an individual leader’s flow of passion to purpose to presence. The tense swirl of desire and intent hands you over to the pulse of purpose. In unified form, Desire & Intent brings purpose to a conscious and practical level.

I am still trying to understand all I know about the power held in one’s Desire & Intent. Here is what I know about my own—and yes, your—Desire & Intent. The Passion of my desire drives me. the Purpose of my intent draws me toward impact. And my Presence can then honor the flow of internal to external; as I now lead, influence, and serve from Trueness.

For the pulse of your purpose draws our trust to your brand of leadership love. The rhythm we experience is formed by your dedicated desire and actionable intent.

Regardless of your age, your Trueness is in tact. And regardless of the practical experience you may yet require, all that is needed to empower your authentic leadership is right there inside you … Now!

I know also where this practice with Desire & Intent has brought me. What I don’t know is where it will now take me. I suppose I’m simply along for the ride.

Bring your Desire & Intent to a spoken, conscious presence.

Then … enjoy the ride.

A Poem for your Desire & Intent

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I often use the phrase life & living in my writing to leaders. In part I think this is so because I’ve come to see that life is an unconscious emptiness unless one is living consciously.

To live consciously—out loud—is to live with and for Impact.

“If we devote ourselves to the life at hand, the rest will follow. For life, it seems, reveals itself through those willing to live. Anything else, no matter how beautiful, is just advertising.” —Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

While impact is technically an outcome—oftentimes expressed in virtuous terms—it is paradoxically also the beginning. And while I believe the flow is Passion to Purpose to Presence, the reality is, that once in rhythm, the flow becomes a stream where all of who you are is one.

This is Trueness moving in and for Impact.

The seed for any, and all, impact is passion. And passion, consciously freed, becomes the elemental braid holding together all you do.

In my own life & living, my passion developed my purpose. Living purposefully informed my presence. And now they are one in living consciously.

Passion allows me to have the vision.” —Ken, Coaching Client

Passion flows from the core of who you are, rhythmically engulfs you, and draws in life.

A poem for your Impact

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What’s love got to do with it?

It was 22 years ago, and it still plays in my mind like it was yesterday. Cliff (her nickname) was at our house for a southern supper. She had family in Alabama and had told me how she missed southern BBQ.

At the time I was a manager of a field accounting team. Cliff was my staff specialist and the team’s technical support.

I was on the brick terrace just outside the kitchen tending to the grill and the main course for the southern delight we were about to share. Being a lovely Ohio evening the kitchen window was cranked open. Through that window I heard Cliff state to Becky how much the team liked working with me.

That’s when Becky said what has stayed with me all these years: “Cliff, Jeff loves each and every one of you.” Becky has always been a tremendous support of both who I am and what it is I really do. She knew then that all I did to lead, support, and develop the individuals in my care was done from a place of love.

In the brightness of your Trueness you are freed to lead and love. From the strength of your real self your work is brought into a powerful reality and presence. In the reality of such true work there is no higher priority than that of your love.

So again, What’s love got to do with it?

Everything!

It’s okay to love your work, and in your work … Love!

“If we devote ourselves to the effort to be real, the Universe in all its forms will find us, the way that wind finds leaves and waves find shore.” −Mark Nepo

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When leading from your authentic self you inspire others from balanced focus. After all these years in my work, I’m certain this is the only path to inspiring another.

What is focus?

I offer as an answer a balanced way of seeing through this portal. Internally, focus is the purpose through which your passion prepares to flow by your unique presence into the world. Externally, once flowing in the world, focus becomes an attraction to a common and collaborative center.

I’m writing this just days after returning from work at a client location. I was there to open a dialogue with John’s executive team around organizational transition and cultural transformation. While I had prepared an outline for the conversation, I knew that if I listened carefully enough, it would take on its own life. And indeed it did.

This team of leaders had been diligently working for the past year acting on specific behavioral commitments as a result of strategic dialogue focused on the story of the organization. John listened to his group of leaders. After this year of good work fueled by the clarity of a strategic story, he realized that each individual, through the cloud of busyness, had lost focus.

As is almost always the case−in the reality of the ‘J-Curve’ or the Dip−our movement toward the goal takes a turn down. This is when it is imperative to not lose focus on Why we are doing all we are doing.

It is only in the energy of why that we push through.

That’s when it happened; one of the most powerful pictures I’ve ever heard painted by the words of a leader. John sat back in his chair. As his words came forth he leaned into the presence of each individual in the room: “A chance to do what we have the opportunity to do with this organization comes along once, maybe twice, in an entire career.”

The renewed energy for focus was in John’s confident and open presence, where he drew individual energy to a collaborative center.

I only hope each person present felt what I felt. The doors of possibility flew open in my mind. Collaborative energy burned red and hot.

Impact was broadened through such focus!

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