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Archive for the ‘Confidence’ Category

If we are going to be rebuilders of society, we need to be “rebuilt” ourselves.Richard Rohr, Hope Against Darkness

This is the beginning of a writing project with the artistically loving Ric Gonzalez. Together, and for you, we will focus on transition and transformation. Our navigating thoughts will traverse Transition as individual art and Transformation as both individual and collective experience.

The World Needs You!

The world needs your Trueness−your self transforming into its true presence. To build your confidence as a leader in a now global society, Ric and I want to deliver content that lovingly supports your transformation journey as a leader in this 21st Century composition.

It seems transformation must be forced on us. This forceful application is providential navigation through one transition and then another.

As the late William Bridges taught us in his book, Managing Transition, in order to benefit from transition, we must consciously acknowledge each one: transition is not a one-time affair. Consciousness, or lack thereof, is the problem. The transition itself is the space-between−the tension in the middle of something that has ended and of something new that has yet to begin.

Again from Fr. Rohr: “Change just happens, but transformation is always a process of letting go, living in the confusing dark space for awhile, and eventually being spit up on a new and unexpected shore.”

For at least two years now I consciously know that successive transitions have been feeding my own transformation. It causes me to wonder, because of transformational awareness, if each transition becomes more specific. Maybe each becomes more specific simply because I become more conscious−and if more conscious, then I am becoming more present and each transition may now better serve my transformation.

Ric and I are honored to share in your journey. Our deepest desire and guiding intent is to direct you to the inner territory of your Trueness.

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The Molly Tree (Repose)

When we settled into our current home, there was this one tree we held in question to its seemingly devastated trunk. Twelve rotations around the sun and it still stands. As a matter of fact, here in mid-November, it is a bastion of remaining color among the other 65 plus trees on the property.

The morning I began this composition, I found myself standing in awe of color, shape, and form I’ve admired in this tree through the ???????????????????????????????years. The beauty it brings is one reason I have made effort to care for it as best I could.

On that morning contemplating this tree, its name suddenly occurred to me−or maybe I simply heard its name for the first time. You see, this tree bears witness to the dignified stand of its namesake, our niece, Molly Brunson McAlpin.

It is one of those difficult to understand things in life: Molly’s liver at birth was void of the necessary for life bile ducts−the absence of such leading doctors to prognosticate her life to be no more than 2 years. She was 6 years old when she received her paradoxical new liver (a blessing from a tragedy).

Stories have been written about Molly through the years. While this is wonderful, there is one fallacy to this storytelling; leaving a reader to believe a happy-ever-after ending. Molly’s entire life has been one seemingly insurmountable health struggle after another.

Molly may have been cheated out of an essential physical basic, but she has compensated in sheer stubbornness! As I look at the Molly Tree, I find myself focusing on its beautiful form and presence in all seasons. Bereft as physical normality may be, our Molly continues to bring to this world love, and a story of courage and determined presence−without which this world would not be as blessed and beautiful.

Like the namesake tree, Molly makes it easy for us to see beyond the physical into a reality of Spirit!

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On Sunday, May 6th, I helped facilitate my last graduation of students from our Region’s Youth Leadership Program on the beautiful Milligan College campus. In the last 10 years, I have had the blessed privilege of seeing around 300 students to this point. There were a few unique things that made this last time special.

One of those I share with you here. At this graduation exercise, the students present a brief talk before the attending crowd. Following is one talk on which I found myself hanging on her every word. Consequently, I asked Hannah for permission to share the manuscript of her speech here on my blog. Enjoy, share, and please respond with a comment and be part of continued encouragement for this wonderful young leader. Thank you Hannah!

Hannah’s Talk …

You know sometimes when you’re standing right in the middle of something so substantial, it can be hard to see the big picture; and my generation is living in the very heart of a technological revolution.

Fifty years ago, you would actually have to get out of your seat if you wanted to change the channel, and computers were as large as bedrooms and not something you could use at home. Likewise, one hundred years ago portable telephones were just a dream and the radio was gaining popularity. If you look into medieval times or even the early renaissance period, you would see that one new invention or change in one hundred years was an accomplishment.

Now, we are impatiently awaiting the arrival of the new iPad, iPhone or wireless vacuum cleaner that does the cleaning for you. New technology is just a part of our modern culture and although it’s all fun and useful, there are also some negative effects involved. The things that are supposed to make our lives simpler can cause clutter, and also be a source of division.

Yes, with phones and video chat we are able to keep in touch with friends and family that have moved away, but they also keep us from face-to-face conversations with those who are close to us. For example, a minivan with a TV attached to the ceiling of the car. These can be useful on long car rides when kids get really bored; but I think a child can survive a 15 minute car ride to the grocery store without having to watch cartoons. I remember whenever we would go on long car rides when I was younger, my brother and I would make up stories and reenact them with whatever stuffed animals I happened to bring so we didn’t really need the TV.

Other examples can be seen at any average high school with teenagers walking down the hallway on their phones listening to music or texting … while that thing standing next to them? Why yes, that is a fellow human being. Our imaginations and creativity, along with the discoveries of those who came before us, are what enabled us to come this far; however, if we don’t take some time just to stop and think without the aid of a television or discuss something with someone face-to-face, we might lose the thing that has carried us through wars, diseases, and disagreements among friends: our humanity.

So, while extremely useful and fun in many ways, technology can also be a hassle. It can cause clutter and be a source of division in our lives. I’m not saying that you should throw away every worldly device you have so you can find yourself, but maybe every once in a while instead of turning on the television, you could discuss something with a friend or family member, or maybe try something you never have before.

It’s a big world out there with lots of different places that don’t require 10 lbs worth of devices, and plenty of sights worth seeing through your own eyes and not the screen of a computer … so just enjoy it!

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The staff here understands why some of the administrative tasks they are asked to carry out are necessary. They understand that billing is important and that billing accurately is essential to the operating model of the business. They understand that their timekeeping tools are there to help achieve that end. Some of it may seem absurd and unnecessary to them, but, in the end, they comply.

Why do they comply?

They comply because they understand the “why.” Their leadership has made it clear that the administrative tasks help them make decisions, help them demonstrate value to the business, and help them tell the story of their company. Understanding the “why” makes the “how” so much more tolerable. And they understand the “why” because they can see it at work around them.  Their leadership is committed to that level of transparency.

Whether or not I agree with the administrative tasks, the why, or even the how is totally irrelevant. I have had the opportunity to observe and learn a crucial lesson about messaging.  It’s not enough to just tell people that something has to be done. A story has to be a part of that telling, and that story has to be repeated. Often. Clearly. Consistently.

The most successful messages are a story. The best stories are personal.  If you make the story your own as part of the telling, it will be that much easier for your audience to attempt to make it theirs, as well.

Ricardo González is an IT manager for a Fortune 100 company who strives to inspire freedom to innovate, teach the value of personal leadership, and influence others to exceed their limits.

I am privileged to call him Friend.

Read more from Ric at woowooleadership.com

For more on this 21st Century Leadership Skill … Skill 3

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Don’t neglect the satisfying parts of your job. -Ken, Coaching Client

The stress of what is going on around us can distract you from what has always been most important to you. Ken was telling me about the environment of uncertainty in his organization and answering my question about why he seemed to be coping so well. As we talked, he told me a personal story where someone very important to him was also struggling with their job in a situation of uncertainty. When they focused together on the most satisfying parts of her job, the dialogue began.

The Meaning of Satisfaction
While on our Virginia Creeper Trail outing, my wife and I talked as we hiked in the Spring warmth. The situation surrounding her work is clearly one of uncertainty for the organization. She had an interesting and wise take on her own satisfaction.

As we have moved around the country, only in her current job has she been in a position long enough to experience a level of satisfaction where she could feel paid by her energy expenditure. I know this job uses the best of her strengths on a regular basis. She can work hard and rest satisfied. Whether a situation is certain or uncertain, she takes personal accountability to perform in this manner; acting on strengths.

Acting with personal accountability on a regular basis. Is this not the best we each can do?

What is the most satisfying part of your work?

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A Coaching Client sent me his resume to view; and to pass along should I find a proper party to review it. He is looking to test the external waters as to his value as a leader. This is an intelligent strategy for the 21st Century Leader.

I thought I would share my response to reviewing his resume:

My only suggestion for the resume – and what you will do with it – is to ‘tell’ that story of what you do. Don’t just depend on the facts (bullets under each position) to do that. Prospective employers are conditioned to see the typical resume. What would happen if they saw a resume that used the ‘typical’ to tell a succession of stories – one story per position leading to the ultimate desire of the prospective employee being told by the document?

Remember – that while you are seeking to estimate your value in the marketplace – you are ultimately interviewing the prospective company as much as they are interviewing you. So make it very plain ‘who you are’ and ‘what you bring.’ That way you can engage ‘all’ in the right conversation. Again, while you are seeking to estimate how others perceive your value, you are also making a definitive statement of value. Do that confidently.

Thanks for trusting me with your resume; your story. It is a privilege to be your coach; and partner in your growth and development.
Jeff

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Role Confusion

A colleague – new to his franchise – needed an ear as he contemplated his focus; his personal brand. He asked for some of my attention. I was glad to respond with some time and energy.

This request came as I had just wrapped up the review process with the copyeditor of my book, and while I waited for the feedback from my advance readers. I told my colleague that completing my manuscript had thrown me into yet another transition.

There we sat, two colleagues each in his transition brought on by very different circumstances. While the circumstances might be different, the reasons were similar.

Upon hearing of my sense of transition, my colleague (who sought comfort from me) spoke some very confident, comforting words to me; “You are where you need to be.”

He said this to me prior to giving him that time and energy in response to his call for assistance. He is smart. He cares.

In light of the similar reasons for our respective transitions, we shared as friends – trusted colleagues. As friends will do, my colleague offered me assistance for my transition; a particular version of a personal development profile. The results of this profile told me I was experiencing anxiety in the present. This I knew.

What I didn’t know was why. The profile summary spoke of how I define myself based on how well I follow my own internal guidance system … right again.

At present, it said, I was unclear as to one of my primary roles in life. Right yet again – and I didn’t know this. It further explained by saying, “Due to this, you are probably experiencing higher levels of anxiety than normal because you feel obligated to follow your internal rules or guides, but are not sure of the best role to allow you to do that.”

Role confusion.

So, I knew I was in transition. I knew of the anxiety. I am aware of that internal guide. And now I have language that explains the current anxiety.

Now, thanks to my friend, I know what I need to allow in the transition; to identify what it is about the role that is giving me trouble.

It is a challenge, but it is where I need to be.

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