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Shared Love

See the Impact

The more aware you become of your brand of love the more you see the alignment, the movement and order of things, that flows your love out into the world. The shared love of my friend Ric is the reason I now have a treasured relationship with Jen.

Jen’s desire, through the life of her work, is that others realize their potential. The intent drawing her forward is that those influenced by her work find the creative tension of comfort and challenge, as they live more consciously.

If I were employed once again in an organization, I would want Jen to be in charge of the learning experiences designed to make me more fulfilled and impactful from the core of my authenticity, ever evolving from my strengths.

Jen’s Change, and Influence

Like many others right now, Jen is between gigs, not currently employed in a typical job in an organization. Recently, she found herself empathetically identifying with the questions of a friend: “Who am I, really? Who do I want to be? I’m all these things to all these different people in my life, but I don’t know who I am for me.”

Several years ago, when in the Navy, she and friends were out for dinner. Jen’s fortune cookie strip said, “You are the warmth that illuminates those around you.” She said to me, “I’m not much of a luminary if I’m stumbling around in the dark.”

Her purpose type (see Imperative.com) is a Luminary, shining a light on others and what they need to see inside themselves. Jen is an instinctive connector; people to people. She is passionate about opening the other person’s vision toward impact of individual purpose, and being the provider of resources supportive of individual impact.

She may be in transition (between professional jobs), but she is not in-between; the way in which the world often thinks of it, in neutral, not in gear, not moving. The change upon Jen is really not so much change, per se. It is much more accurate to say that she is now, in what feels like transition, becoming more free in being who she really is.

The Rapids of Influence

Jen is asking herself “What does it look like to put more energy into being with my purpose?” Answering this question is at the heart of what it means to be a leader in this 21st Century. Taking the time for herself, to step back and look at her Trueness, Jen has become more conscious of what she values most, what she most wants from her life and work. Everything she needs in order to gain what is most desired and intended is already right there inside. Trusting her own Desire & Intent, she can now more freely experience the pulse of Feel, Hear, and See.

Feel the Rhythm. You get a feel of your own rhythm as you open to the gratitude that wells in your core. To forgive your own assumptions, about self and others, requires courage and frees the flow of your voice.

Hear the Middle Melody. To stand in the middle with any clarity requires you to listen to the leader within. From this firm stand in Trueness, you hear the voice of self, singing over the rocks in the streambed of experience.

See the Impact. The more conscious you are of your own true rhythm the clearer you see, and your confidence crescendos with your brand of love that must be shared as you wade the confluence of Trueness, your true self and that of the other.

For Jen to feel is the inner part of her work of being human, and to know her unique interest to energy connection. To see is to embrace the impact of her work in the world, and to know further opportunity. And right in the middle of feel and see, she will hear what really is, brightly aware of the impact of her own rhythm.

Finally committing to the rhythm of your Trueness, you can now grasp the truth of your love. Our individual, unique brand of love has been given to us to share. What may feel like change and transition to Jen is more likely her own Trueness finding its place in our needy world, and in her Trueness finding the ways to share her love.

A Leadership Poem: Here’s the Thing

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Rhythm

See the Impact

I have always required a fair amount of alone time. As a child I spent hours with modeling clay as a playmate. I molded short stories and full movie scripts with the consequent figures. In my teen years, in the midst of much activity with a base of life-long friends to be, I often turned down the offer of an outing to continue working on some scale model, or other project–alone.

My first memory of feeling lonely was some time during my last two years at the university. In those days, because the university had a sprawling campus outside a small town, activity was often sparse on the weekend.

It was one of the few weekends I stayed on campus. My home was 140 miles away and I was not long with money, cooking in my room quite often in an electric skillet with ingredients brought from home, and living the remainder on about five dollars a week. I walked the campus for what I remember being hours. I was alone and walking into loneliness.

In the Middle of Alone and Lonely

I found myself outside a small chapel. Suddenly present inside, I quietly stood in the middle experience of alone and lonely. Such experience was a space asking me to be with what is, all that has been, all that will be–it’s all now.

Nearing 21 years of age, graduating with a degree in accounting, an impending job search, and our wedding, it was a beautiful, settling moment, a present grounding. Forty years later, I find myself in that small chapel, metaphorically, quite often as I coach individuals and write for you.

Surveying the years since that moment in the small campus chapel, I see how providence moved me, through experience, toward my own voice. Early on, my voice of Love, and its strength of Encouragement, struggled to find focus. Eventually, my voice became my focus as I translated voice into a personal/professional purpose and brand.

“The voice emerges literally from the body as a representation of our inner world. It carries our experience from the past, our hopes and fears for the future, and the emotional resonance of the moment.”

–David Whyte, The Heart Aroused

I truly believe that the more narrow your focus, the broader your impact. Narrowing focus is a disciplined practice supportive of the developing ability to let go.

The Middle Stand of Trueness

Trueness is the impact of your presence; a presence grounded in voice applied. The impact of your methodology of focus is faithfulness to a cycle of energy that has been diligently built on your Trueness throughout your journey. If I did not know voice, I could not know rhythm.

In a chapel of awareness, Kelly has embraced her voice of Respect and Dignity and is applying her rhythm of impact. Upon seeing in writing, her voice, and its strength of A Clear Voice at the Table, her boss said, “The better you listen the better you are at executing your personal brand.”

As Kelly has learned, and is now practicing, to focus at her best she must listen. She came to me, and our work together, at a beautiful, providentially timed moment. She was aware of key perceptions about who she was in her work, and she didn’t like what she saw. As with any perception, it is the one being perceived who makes the choice to do something about changing any specific perception.

Kelly came to me in light of her courageous commitment to change the perception, “Give it to Kelly, she’ll get it done.” While that may have the mask of a compliment in our work society, it is a very narrow view, limiting Kelly’s ability to apply her Trueness as well as the ability of anyone to observe such authentic rhythm in action.

Kelly felt alone, and thus lonely. She didn’t know what to do beyond what constantly bubbling emotions were saying loud and clear. Now, when her voice of Respect and Dignity is in the lead, she will consciously listen in each situation. As she will continue to discover, the more she listens, the more her voice will have its place with influence, inclusion, and impact.

Being true to self is not possible standing to one side or the other. Trueness is found only in the middle stand.

A Leadership Poem: Quiet and Clear

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Voice of the Other

Hear the Middle Melody

Through the years of consciously supporting the growth and development of others, I have consequently learned much about personality preferences. We learn about these individual preferences through instruments that type our personality.

I don’t care much for the term “personality type.” I much prefer to reference one’s preferences, for that’s all the varying personality scales are supposedly measuring, a first order of go to in one’s regular activities and interactions. The natural reflex of such preferences can also find us automatically holding a clouded filter through which to feel, hear, and see.

This level of knowledge with preferences has, through experience, taught me much about voice. There seems to be a rather consistent (although somewhat generic) correlation of voice preference with behavioral preference. Instead of a false confidence with such knowledge, I feel a growing accountability to better understand what I know about individual voice, the correlation of voice to Trueness, and the unifying influence of voice consciousness in a needy, 21st Century world.

Fortunate I am to have individuals with whom I regularly learn as we talk, with mutual intentionality, about voice in life and work. Dan Roller is one such person. He willingly holds the creative tension of leading in the 21st Century. Dan’s voice is Centeredness. His work, and purpose, is about showing others the value in what they do through who they are.

You Lead Who You Are

In a podcast conversation with Dan, he talked about being present to others by being present to self. As part of a contemplative practice as a leader, he asks himself in the moments with others, “Who am I being?”

Dan says that to be in relationship with others, and really pay attention to what makes them come alive and contribute in work that they value, we must employ generous listening that actually helps the other know his or her own value. That is when the individual can feel, hear, and see that what they do indeed makes a real difference.

In the work he does, Dan has become a facilitator of conversations intended to draw out the voice of the other. Who he is being in such work is most effective when he is operating from his Trueness. A determining factor of what and how you hear, when with others, is the influence of who you are being when you listen, or when you think you’re listening.

What You Choose

We all have filters clouded by unconscious wearing. Dan believes we can consciously choose to see differently, and therefore to see much more. In the process of choice, you can open to other ways to see situations, and other ways to see the other person.

When in the presence of another, Dan pays attention to who he is being and to what he is choosing to do. As he encourages us, this takes discipline to practice. Filters find their way over our way of feeling, hearing, and seeing very easily.

Dan tells a story of a young man who stood at the microphone at a meeting being conducted about a code of conduct being instated by a school district where Dan consults. He admits to a filter he was wearing as the young man talked; viewing through his get-to-the-point filter (one of those preferences I mentioned), Dan felt the speaker was rambling. He caught himself, removed the filter, and opened his listening (letting go of the filter’s clouded script), and began to hear the voice of the other. He chose to listen for the voice of this young man in what was being said. In the process, Dan found the meeting to be a much more meaningful experience.

Learning to listen to self allows you to become a more generous listener to the voice of the other. Learning to consistently practice present listening to another makes you better able to hear your own voice.

Being able to see yourself, and how you are being with a certain situation, can open your practice of presence. Dan told me that presence, or being present, must become more than something you turn on and off. It is a way of being, a way of being with the other. It is a choice, a choice to feel, hear, and see the reality spoken through the voice of another.

“A moment of Trueness exists when passion, purpose, and presence have aligned and I’m being true to both self and the other in the moment of presence I’ve been given with them.”

When you are truly driven by desire and drawn by intent, then from the middle melody of Trueness you are able to expand into other dimensions of preference and behavior. Successful expansion occurs as you apply your own voice and practice hearing the voice of the other. Together our voices find flow and confident resonance.

Thank you Dan for being a leader willing to be in the conversation with us, and for choosing to feel, hear, and see with us.

A Leadership Poem: Earning the Return

Dan Roller 2Dan Roller has dedicated his energy to helping leaders and organizations build the capabilities they need to execute on what matters most to them. Dan founded Acris Consulting to bring the expertise of those who have a passion for execution to the field of education where he first began his career as a secondary and post-secondary teacher.

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Voice of the Leader Within

Hear the Middle Melody

Fortunate I am, and a blessed place to be on this interior journey, as I continue to learn how to firmly, openly know this middle space.

The exterior part of all experience has equally been a series of blessings. For so long I wondered why the rub against judgment was placed in me, in my spirit. Now, I feel I know why in my soul. It is because my calling needed a beginning, something on which to build a journey. I suppose it’s like the grain of sand inside the shell.

For this grain I am thankful, for it has played a part in a pearl of great price. On “price,” and such pearl, I have to wonder if the great part of price refers more to the cost along the journey than simply the generic value of a pearl.

Mayra’s story begins with a point of suffering on the inside–the illness of a child. I am certain you agree that we don’t need all the details to imagine, or feel, the sorrow of such a reality.

As a child, Mayra knew what she wanted to do with her life. She wanted to teach peace. Peace is what she now teaches, in literally everything she does. It is how she does so that is the impetus for this piece.

The Messy Middle

Mayra is a very contemplative person. She is deeply moved by things, by experience. In each experience, she listens deeply to both intuition and to feeling. Everything she does and sees has meaning to her. This includes even the smallest of activities where many of us so often find our minds wandering to the next thing on the list.

Mayra’s challenge to us as leaders is to try to do everything from a place of love – not a place of obligation (moving our attention from “in order to” to “for the sake of” as Allen Huff’s dad taught). Her entreaty is to only do things out of love: while the outcomes may look the same as those done from obligation, the intentions are totally different. To not act from this place of love can be degrading, to self, to others.

While one may be “obligated” to do something, it behooves one to learn how to do it out of love. How does Mayra remain in such presence, and act in such grace? She said to me, “I’m inspired every single day. Challenges in my life have only brought me closer to who I am, to my humanity.” In limited human terms, she could find every excuse to hide under a blanket of self-pity. Instead, she released the leader within, the leader born in her Trueness.

Failure is not the opposite of success; it is just on the other side of the seesaw that is the reality of life & living, and of being a leader. There is peace in the middle melody –the middle stand as a leader. Only at this fulcrum of the middle do we truly release the leader within. Mayra calls this level of awareness the messiness of the middle.

In this beautiful, middle space, the external and the internal become one, the inner life and outer life are one. This is the point of the middle melody, if we only listen.

 Voice and Tension

Mayra’s voice is Respect (Civility). From this voice, she talked to me about how the work of a leader is the work of protecting humanity and the environment in which we find ourselves working together. We need each other. Although we may do individual work in our separate spaces, we are all connected. It is all about you and not about you at the same time. Welcome to the creative tension of the middle.

As she had described herself to me as a contemplative person, I asked Mayra to give me a visual of what it looks like to be a contemplative leader. Here is what she said:

A contemplative leader is present. You are aware of not only what is happening in the environment, with the people involved, but also very aware of what is happening with you. We are very complex beings.

Further, she said that if we operate only from our minds, and our ego, we do damage to those we supposedly lead, and to self. To avoid such individual and collective damage, Mayra implores us to “Stand in the freaking tension that hurts like hell!” I know that Mayra has learned to do this! From within, she leads. From within, she feels with us, hears in the present experience, and sees the impact–a rhythm made possible by trusting the unfolding.

We Lead Who We Are.

Parker J. Palmer, an impassioned teacher, believes that we teach who we are. In studying his book, The Courage to Teach, I found myself replacing teach with coach, and eventually with lead.

Coaching hundreds of individual leaders brought me to the conviction that we indeed most effectively (and affectively) lead from the ground of who we are. Imagine the discoveries we could experience if we consciously navigated with the sextant of who we are at the helm – our Trueness.

Working one-on-one with leaders–building individual confidence–has taught me many things. These many individuals, through the generosity of trust, opened me to what I’ve been teaching, and so passionately desire to continue teaching, Rhythm.

Like Mayra, I’m still finding a more abundant answer in how to continue teaching from the powerful calling of voice. She and I are learning to continually trust the unfolding. The essence of such trust can only flow because of voice–a courageous, conscious application of Trueness in each circumstance.

A Leadership Poem: Peace Betwixt

Mayra Porrata

 

Mayra Porrata is an educator, writer, publisher and  speaker on community health promotion, social-emotional health, personal peace, conscious leadership, social entrepreneurship, and establishing cultures of collaboration and support.


Sunny Day Publishing
Follow Mayra on Twitter

Cuyahoga Morning – by Anna Sabino

Courageous Influence

Feel the Rhythm

In the 5th grade, or so, I wrote an essay entitled ‘The Therapy of Work.’ I suppose the commitment to do my part in influencing our places of work to be more animated with love, abundance, and freedom goes back a few years.

Many years later my Mom gave me a box packed with art work I had done through my growing years. In the box was this composition from my developmental years. Seeing it again made me think of those who, intentionally or not, influenced me.

To live from Trueness is to live A New Confidence−a way of being true to self, true to another, where gratitude flows free from expectation.

From the time I was a senior in high school until the very week I married, I worked off and on for a large department store chain. My first position was called porter, or carryout. Among other assorted duties, I took merchandise to customer’s automobiles: TVs, rugs, patio furniture, lawn mowers, (I’ve tied more than one boxed swing set to the top of VW bugs). The management of the store treated me well, but the one individual recollection I hold fast is that of Curtis Luckett.

Curtis was around 10 years my senior. He had a grateful way of being. In checking the shift schedule each week, I found myself actually praying I would have many of the same slots as Curtis. When it was just the two of us, I felt as if I’d hit a jackpot. Working a common shift, he was grateful to be in my presence, and I in his. He was kind, gentle, and in my eyes an incredibly strong leader.

Curtis may have not been my first experience with a sage, but one I shall never forget. It occurs to me all these years later that his courage was grounded in his consistency of being true.

Our unique strength preferences, when accepted at accurate face value, and held in the rhythm serving our Trueness, become a guide to us.

A compulsive need to be right, and anxiousness in looking good, gets in the way of standing firm in the present, especially in the face of relationship challenges. Such need to be right and look good, always at the cost of another, embezzles the storehouse of gratitude.

Courage is what love looks like when tested by the simple everyday necessities of being alive.” –David Whyte, Consolations

Forgiving Assumptions

Christie is practicing a new confidence as she becomes more practically conscious of her rhythm. In everything she does, she is committed to purpose, trust, and authenticity. She is specifically committed to clarity in each relationship, leading to purposeful connection, participative trust, and collaborative success.

Christie is a high-energy leader operating full tilt in her preferred extroverted space as she processes for self and with others. She has an ability to mentally gather information from her observation and rapidly assess it in her open, extroverted manner. Her processing has more than once caused me to smile so largely that I think she could actually hear through the phone the crinkling from my cheeks, mouth, and eyes.

It is Christie’s voice of positive, open intent that sets an example of the confidence we need to see in our leaders. Recently, she needed the guide of her own rhythm as she set her intention toward building a stronger relationship with her immediate boss. She put her voice to work and structured an approach to create a positive, open, and ongoing dialogue with her boss. First, she had to forgive her own assumptions about him in order to enter the conversation and work to bridge any relationship gap.

“It takes courage to allow your voice to have its place.”

Yes, it does take courage to have influence, to be influential. A synonym for influence is encouragement. To have a lasting effect on something, you have to live your rhythm and honor the rhythm of the other. Thank you Curtis and Christie for your impact in this world.

A Leadership Poem: Intense Influence

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A Flight of Gratitude

Feel the Rhythm

One weekend evening, sitting in my easy chair watching TV, I heard a scratching sound. It seems it was coming from downstairs in the den next to my office. There is a wood stove in that den and something was in the chamber just before the stovepipe connection. I wondered if it was a leaf moving to a draft coming down the flu and into the pipe. I simply tried to ignore the noise for a few days.

Eventually, I became concerned that it may be a living … something. I got my tools and prepared a contraption to cover the opening once the pipe was disconnected. My improvised cover was a halved, gallon milk jug. Upon placing over the opening, I saw an arm-like appendage slowly reach toward the white glaze of the covering letting in light that hadn’t been seen in days. It was the hand-like portion of a bat’s wing.

I pulled on some gloves, placed my hand inside a black garbage bag, removed the covering constructed from my fear of what I’d find, and pulled the helpless little creature from his iron prison. And that is when the coolest thing happened.

I took the bagged bat outside and gently uncovered him on the ground in a clearing among the trees in our yard. It was a breezy day, and to be sure he was okay I stood right there with him. The little mammal was weak, but soon opened his wings and allowed the breeze to lift his body into flight. He began to circle me in a tight spiral for several rounds that kept going until he reached an altitude sufficient for going home. I’m convinced to this day that it was a flight of gratitude.

The Melody of the Middle

Through the years, Allen’s dad taught him about the flight with gratitude. Without gratitude we are grounded by the politics of resentment and the politics of vengeance.

I wanted to interview my friend, Rev. Allen Huff, and write about him because I know him as an individual who truly lives, loves, and leads from the middle, a position and stand where one can generously hold what too many quickly lock away in cast iron judgment.

The need to win over others (be right versus do what’s right), Allen believes, comes from fear; and fear is the source of vengeance and resentment. Strong in the middle with a commitment to gratitude is where we constantly find the energy needed to forgive, and be forgiven. To forgive is not about assuming an authority position over another. As Allen’s dad exhorts us, “Be grateful in the presence of the person where you find yourself.” To be grateful for the person, regardless of the circumstance, is a present moment practice.

“Doubt is welcome. But fear? We must learn to manage our fear and to Love like our lives depend on it. And, in truth, they do.” –from Sermon, 4/3/2016

Leading from the middle, in the power of gratitude and unafraid presence free of judgment, is where we practice forgiveness in our individually unique brand of leadership love. And, when you get here, to this middle filled with gratitude, you can now let go of either/or and truly understand, and live, both/and.

Your freedom is your rhythm. Freedom within your own rhythm is not to the left with desire, not to the right with intent. You only find your rhythm in the both/and−by consciously and creatively holding the tension of the middle.

Strategic Gratitude

Allen’s dad taught him to cultivate a powerful present-moment strategy for gratitude: to move his attention from “in order to” to “for the sake of.” Attention focused “for the sake of” changes the whole feel of the rhythm that is your Desire & Intent, and your solid, present stand as a leader.

Allen told me that to forgive is not about adding to one’s suffering, but about freeing all parties into the flight of relationship. In the realm of leadership, and as a leader standing firm in the grateful middle, forgiveness is always about more than just the issue or situation at hand. The leader who becomes accountable with forgiveness always sees farther than the manager of simple process−she gratefully holds accountability to the future, our future together.

The challenge we feel with topics like gratitude and forgiveness in the world of our work exists because we so easily judge one another, and assess situations as if there is a requirement to separate into right or wrong, and left or right.

What is it we have to forgive? It is paradox. Where is gratitude found? In the present. Paradox exists in everything we are faced with doing, especially in leading. And leading, in its truest form, occurs in the present and in the presence of others.

Living one’s Trueness, a true life, and the individual and collective rhythms associated, is essential to individual completeness and to collective wholeness in a needy world. Leadership is not about power; power over another. Leadership is about generosity−a practical appreciation (gratefulness) for those you lead, influence, and serve.

Thank you, Allen, for being a champion for freedom, gently showing us the opening that is there for our own flight of gratitude.

Allen Huff is the pastor for Jonesborough Presbyterian Church in Jonesborough, TN. Allen loves nature and is a skilled photographer.
Allen’s Blog

A Leadership Poem: Graceful Tension

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Deep Impact

Feel, Hear, See


What is the deeper context to which this work has led me?

Somewhere in the four years of living this beautiful question the answer began to surface. The flawless answer was first a seed, predestined to sprout within a deep, inner and original conversation. Such conversation is born in Trueness.

Trueness is your authentic self, from the beginning, with colors and hues on the original palette, simply waiting to be stroked into beautiful, present being by the dance and dialogue of artist and canvas.

“Part of being present has everything to do with being true to yourself. If you are true to your passion and your purpose … then, they align with presence.” –Dan Roller, Acris Consulting

Trueness, it seems, was my one-word answer to the question of deeper context. I had been brought to the middle of my own Trueness, and I became more dedicated than ever to support the shift toward Trueness in others.

A Story of Impact

This work I’ve been given to do allows me the opportunity to journey at length with special individuals. One such privilege is my colleague Ric Gonzalez. I’ve known Ric long enough, and have been close enough over the years, to observe his evolution and transformation into the realm of his Trueness. Ric, through his life and work, is making an impact.

Writing about Ric brings to mind a project I learned about when working a gig with the Jet Propulsion Laboratories and the International Storytelling Center. The JPL project was called Deep Impact. I interviewed one of the project team members and heard what it was all about. A probe was launched with the intention of colliding with a nearby comet.

The probe was described to me as a solid mass about the size of a coffee table, with no damaging ordnances aboard. Once it would meet the targeted comet, it would make a deep impact and send out debris that could then be studied, resulting in a better understanding of the comet’s makeup and origin.

Why would I compare Ric to a solid mass meeting a target? Ric intends no harm in the work he has chosen, and that has selected him. However, his intention has drawn him forward to make a deep impact. He then pays attention to what swirls in the space between what he desires and what he intends–being present in the creative and tense space of the work he does. In such space, Ric becomes more aware of his own Trueness while simultaneously gaining a better understanding of those he leads, influences, and serves. This is Ric’s deep impact.

Feel, Hear, See

In and with Trueness, I had my why and what. This left me with the question of how. The answer to how was tucked away in my authentic self. In one word, my how is Rhythm.

The answer of Rhythm opened yet further conversation as I found myself asking, What is it about rhythm I so desire to teach?

Writing this series on Your Rhythm in Leading is part of the journey toward an answer. As I’ve learned to live the questions, I’m finding I must many times live into the answers–it is an unfolding.

The methodology I’ve found to illustrate one’s rhythm with passion, purpose, and presence has sub-rhythms within. One such pulse contained within is associated with the outcomes one values. I know this pulse as feel, hear, see.

As for Ric, and the reality of his impact, he has taken accountability for why he feels, what he hears, and how he sees. He listens in the flow, and in the process honors his rhythm.

We desire and intend the same for you!

“What would it be like to take a professional approach to the longings of our soul for fulfillment in the world?” –David Whyte, The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America

And thus, thanks Mr. Whyte, answering this question has been my journey for the last 20 years!

A Leadership Poem: Soul to Soul

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