Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Your authentic self (Trueness) is your energy within the space of creative tension – your stand in the middle – the respectful space where being (internal) and doing (external) find flow, and conscious resonance through your original voice (the focus of your integrity).

One of the questions I’m asked is about the most common concern among the leaders with whom I work. For the first few years of my practice (the very first few years of this still young 21st Century) my answer was focus. Now, 15 years in, the answer has changed. Whirling change, economic instability, political immaturity, and so on, have seemingly redirected our attention. While the topic of focus often remains part of the coaching dialogue, it seems the perceived need to focus has settled into the varying value systems of those with whom I work.

It seems many leaders have tuned-in to both the power of being focused and the influence of consistently doing all they do in light of a deeper motivation. Why this is happening is the reason my answer to the most common concern of leaders has shifted from focus to integrity, and the corresponding mystery.

The mystery is created, I believe, by the imbalance of measures. While we may know the source of integrity must come from within, it becomes too easy to judge our integrity by external measures. Integrity, in my experience with the individual’s Trueness, seems to be a value that stands alone while infiltrating and influencing all the other values that an individual holds.

I have often said that the 21st-century belongs to the aware, focused, and loving leader. I believe it is the intrinsic value of integrity that actually pulls these three value-driven behaviors together, and into a powerful rhythm.

Let’s consider Cathy and Priya. They are each mature souls with different levels of experience in what we label as management on corporate organizational charts.

Cathy and I had only just begun to work together at the time of this writing. In our very first session our individual integrity met soul-to-soul. Cathy immediately told me about a relationship where collaboration needed to improve, and she was taking full responsibility for such improvement. Whether she consciously realized it or not, her inner integrity was in full force.

Cathy’s value of integrity is labeled, ‘Doing What’s Right.’ She is naturally focused on getting things done, getting them done in the right manner, and for the right reasons, a deeper motivation. Being delivery focused, she recognizes the importance of leading everyone to pull together, in the right direction. She knows such collaboration is foundational to success.

Richard Rohr says, “How we look at anything is how we look at everything.” As I write this, I am also aware that how I see integrity (in others and myself) is probably based considerably on what I’m looking for. I do want to believe there is a trend in the making when it comes to integrity in our behavior.

Priya is not questioning her integrity. However, I want to be sure that integrity isn’t under question, based on possible misunderstanding on her part. Albeit unconscious, Priya’s integrity is questioning whether she should be in the role of management. While both management and leadership are important, I reminded her that management and leadership are not synonymous. You manage processes, and you lead people; an individual does not want to be managed, he wants to be led.

The situations causing Priya to question her desires, abilities, assets, are related to managing difficult processes with people. From a leadership perspective, her desire, ability, assets, are fully intact from what I can see, all rooted in her integrity. For Priya, integrity and purpose are partners in meaning as she operates with an honest way of being in the presence of another, and being present with them. Priya’s stand in the middle is a tangible experience for others as she provides empowering clarity for the sake of opening individuals to the resources supportive of performance and execution.

Authenticity is who one truly is, since the beginning.

We must come to know this mystery of authentic integrity, not as something to be solved, but as something to be held, observed, and released into the flow of our Trueness. Now flowing, in authentic rhythm, integrity becomes the way your Trueness shows in the world. It takes great love to nurture and honor this internal to external flow.

The ability to hold mystery, observe its workings, and release its power into our leadership, is our unique brand of love.

The Word

Saying it, the word
often we may not
but unfolding, the essence
often we must.

Something to be feigned, it is not
fingers placed quickly to lips
demanding never again to lie.

For another can patiently be
observing, as time together goes
trusting, the essence to manifest
accepting the word when spoken.

The word itself
used precisely, or not
just the same, felt
by giver
by receiver
when from truth it flows.

To make one’s mark
to leave an impression
to know you’ve made
an impact
this is the stuff
of treasure, true gold
found in the self
the self you are
founded on the reality
of who you are.

The word
yes, the essence
originates in, with
and from, this reality.

–J. Brunson

img_0760

Read Full Post »

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

2016-06-18 10.26.43

Read Full Post »

Dragonfly lessons of BEING true

 “The freedom you need to lead in loving rhythm
is secured by the privilege of being true.”
~Jeff Brunson

“Too often we get wrapped up in the here and now, the day-to-day, and we don’t take the time to take a step back and look at who we are and who we have become. We often overlook the messages that are telling us to get out of our rut and try something different, even uncomfortable. Or maybe we just need to get back to who we really are. Exploring these messages is where we can find inspiration that often leads to the creative tension that becomes our pivot point of innovation. That chance to actively make a change.”

These are the words I wrote last August when Jeff and I began this Creative Tension journey, for ourselves and for you. And as I began to reflect on this journey that began at then end of summer, and where we are today at the edge of a new summer, a familiar being has made its presence known to me again, the dragonfly. I’ve known for a long time that the dragonfly has a strong symbolic meaning in many cultures. So I did some Jennifer 7B-1research to find out what the symbolism behind the dragonfly was. As I was reading through various sites, it became obvious that the dragonfly symbolism was very relevant to my personal journey over the past few years. In many cultures, the dragonfly is a symbol for change. This isn’t so much about doing as it is about being. It’s about the change that comes from a deeper understanding of yourself, a greater sense of self-awareness. It’s change as a result of a deeper mental and emotional maturity. My journey through the recent few years included a lot of change: personally, professionally, mentally, and emotionally. For much of this time, it seems the dragonfly was making its presence felt. So as we conclude our current journey and prepare for the next, I wanted to share five lessons from the dragonfly as a way to acknowledge where we have come from, what we have learned, and embrace the journey ahead of us and the potential this will bring.

Lesson 1: Take time to reflect and embrace what you see.

Jennifer 7B-2GATHER. A dragonfly can live as little as 3 months or as long as 10 years with most of its life as a nymph, a child, living in the water and not yet flying. Once the dragonfly emerges from the water as an adult, it can immediately fly. It goes through a metamorphosis and spends a short time as an adult skimming lightly across the water.

As leaders, because we are so busy worrying about others, we often don’t take time to reflect on ourselves. The lesson here is take the time to look beyond what is on the surface and look at the deeper aspects of life. Look inside and clearly identify what makes up who you are, your most important values, your strengths, your personal purpose. This exercise in Gathering will help you to be better prepared mentally and emotionally to embrace a change when the time is right.

Lesson 2: Dance with strength and agility.

RENEW: The dragonfly has the ability to move in all six directions: up/down, Jennifer 7B-3forward/backward, side to side. It can fly up to 45 miles an hour or just hover. And all of this is done with a grace and strength that defies the simplicity of effort used. The dragonfly’s wings beat only 30 times a minute. Through the power exerted, and the agility of movement, the dragonfly is able to “dance” through life rather than fight to survive.

As you look to create life balance for yourself, remember to identify ways to renew and replenish your energies: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. This renewal will help you to build your own strength and agility so you can engage in the dance rather than the fight, and lead others to do the same.

Lesson 3: Focus on living IN the moment.

PRESENCE: The dragonfly is the epitome of living IN the moment. With only a short time as an adult and able to fly, the dragonfly lives a full life and leaves nothing to be desired.

Living in the moment is something we humans find very difficult to do. We are almost always worrying about the past and how we could have done something differently, or concerned about the future and if we are going to do something just right. Living like this has a way of transforming human beings into human doings. By slowing down and living IN the moment, we are more aware of where we are, who we are with, what we are doing, and most importantly, WHO we are. With this internal and external clarity, we can make more informed decisions about those we lead, including ourselves.

Lesson 4: Eliminate self-created illusions.

TRUENESS: The iridescence of the dragonfly’s wings and body will appear as different colors depending on the angle and polarization of the light touching it. This property of the dragonfly is seen as an end of self-created illusions and a beginning of self-realization and a clear vision of the future. The magic of the iridescence symbolizes a discovery of one’s own strengths and abilities, helping to reveal the true self.

Jennifer 7B-4We all have our stories that we tell ourselves. These stories can reinforce a negative cycle of doubt and worry, or even delusion. Or these stories can support a positive move forward toward our goals, our purpose. The key is to cast aside any stories that hold us back and strengthen those that reveal our true selves.

Knowing who we REALLY are, will help us to set appropriate and achievable goals.

Lesson 5: Keep your eyes, and your mind, open.

GROW: One of the key traits of the dragonfly is the eyes. Over 80% of a dragonfly’s brain is used for vision. And with the compound, spherical vision, a dragonfly can see in all directions at the same time.

This symbolizes the ability to see beyond what we may be currently experiencing, the Jennifer 7B-5limitations and the barriers, to see a much bigger, more complete, picture. As leaders, we set goals for our personal and work lives, and as we diligently work to achieve those goals, it’s easy to lose sight of a bigger picture. Remember to stop and look around, in all directions. Reflect on the past, BE in the present, and look forward to the future.

As one of the oldest living species, going back over 300 million years, there is much we could learn from the dragonfly. From the beginning, it lives in creative tension, yet manages to dance through life with a strength and agility that defies perception. As leaders, the creative tension we often feel is the conflict between trueness and perception. When we lead with our true selves, the result is freedom.

I hope you have enjoyed this journey and engaged in a bit of divergent thinking and play. Thank you, Jeff, for this wonderful opportunity! I look forward to traveling with you all again someday. But for now, I can’t help but look forward to warmer days, by the water, looking for a chance meeting with a colorful dragonfly. May your future be full of elegance, strength, insight, and color!

References:

1 http://www.dragonfly-site.com/meaning-symbolize.html

2 http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2009/07/08/30000-facets-give-dragonflies/

3 http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/uniramia/odonatoida.html

Jennifer Rainey "Strengths Expert"

Jennifer Rainey
“Strengths Expert”

All that Jennifer does is driven by a commitment to help you look inside and identify your passions and strengths. Jennifer is a practitioner and consultant for organizational effectiveness.

Sign up for her curation:
Through the Door of Possibility

Read Full Post »

Rhythm

As Jen has said, purpose is the embodiment of strengths. Love flows when you lead and live with purpose. In Trueness, you are unrestrained to lovingly lead us from the rhythm of your strengths applied.

Jen and I were in a call with three other important individuals to our own work and rhythm: Dan, Mayra, and Ric. Dan had asked a powerful question causing us each to tell a story of a point of turning in our work; a moment ultimately, for sure, guiding us to deeper context, purpose, and Trueness.

As I listened to the individual answers, and beautiful stories, a story from my journey suddenly crystallized as that definitive pivot. When it came my turn, I told the story. Knowing our final posts in this series would carry a theme of love, and story, Jen encouraged me to write about this point of turning. I did write about this in 2014, but forgive me as I briefly share the story again as we close this series.

Close to a quarter century now, 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. As it was a lovely Ohio evening, the kitchen window was cranked open. Through the window I heard Cliff say to Becky how much the individuals on 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 my rock of support for who I am and what it is I really do, my purpose. She knew then that all I did to lead, support, and develop the individuals in my care was done from a place of 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

When you finally commit to lead from the rhythm of your Trueness, you can grasp the reality that there is no priority higher than that of your love.

Love, for me, is the creative tension in the Gather, Give, Grow rhythm of my strengths. Love is my voice. To encourage is the strength of my voice. Love flows through the cadence of passion, purpose, presence.

My passion is my desire that you embrace the power of who you are. My purpose draws me toward work, and a way of living, that encourages the loving leader in you. This passion and this purpose bring me into a space with you, to share presence.

The freedom you need to lead in loving rhythm is secured by the privilege of being true.

A Leadership Poem: The PrivilegeR1-06932-0024

 

Read Full Post »

The Trust View (Attachment/Detachment)

This part 7 is about the tension (tense holding) that is an opportunity to release some beautiful creativity into the flow of it all. This is about that space between attachment and detachment.

In the midst of this very composition, B.J. and I find ourselves in such an opportune space. For us this space isn’t only about selling a property and moving to a new place; it is about a significant step in how life & living will now look. It is a chance to catch a lot and a time that requires much hold & release.

The early birdsongs were saying it all works together for good, if we but let it. It all works out even if I don’t seem to let it (let go). But if I don’t let it, such becomes a refusal to participate and I miss out on seeing it all unfold. I do not want to miss that, ever!

The Creative Tension (Attachment/Detachment)

When our simplification transition began I realized a difficult tension. In our entire individual and partnered lives neither B.J. or I have lived in any one place as long as we’ve lived here. This is significant. We are not talking just a change, we are talking transition–Major!

This move more than any other from our past has me truly in a space between. I find my mind and heart in a middle, holding past and future. I suppose this middle is the present.

Work among all its abstracts, is actually intimacy, the place where self meets the world. –David Whyte, Consolations

Whyte says so much so briefly about why I write what I write and the way I write to you as a leader. In this 21st Century we need–must have–leaders who lead from the core of self: Trueness.

The need for leadership reminds me of the vision and desire that pulled me into starting this practice: I desire, through the leaders I coach and teach, to influence the space of work in becoming one of abundance and love.

I am attached to all that has gone on before to bring me to this stand, but I cannot hold it in a way keeping me from walking on. Yes, I am drawn forward into a future I cannot control. So I must detach from any expectation too specific to a predetermined outcome; this is always limiting.

To forgive everything is to live the beautiful poetry we each are. Knowing everything belongs is to be open to all that stirs our souls–to be one with it all. Then to see the unfolding becomes a nourished way of being and walking in this world.

Be aware, focused, and loving in your steady walk as a leader.

A Poem at WadingtheStream.com There are Birds There Too

IMG_0428

Read Full Post »

Arriving at real presence is to enter a flow alive with the rhythm of who you are.

Narrowing my personal brand of leadership love, and subsequently broadening my impact, enriched my work and life. The intensity of love strengthened my focus. Love flows through my work, only after doing its work in me.

The love of a leader
a journey you accept, and
thankful we are for the
Impact,
what we know by your rhythm.
—from Impact – The Leader’s Love

Real presence (Trueness) displays the design uniquely visible in your natural, interior landscape. You love when you lead others to trek this original path. Any individual who follows your loving lead will depend on the rhythmic frequency of your uniqueness.

Love defined for the leader is to lead others with confidence while leading others to their own confidence.

The journey is enlivened when you travel conscious of what you most desire to give through your work. The working love of a confident leader builds the confidence of others.

It’s okay to love your work and in your work, love.

“Only those who are totally secure in their love can live thus fully the present moment.” —Thomas H. Green, When the Well Runs Dry

Driven by passion, and drawn by purpose, your presence honors the flow of Trueness. Through a consistent commitment to presence, your reach in this world is extended and your impact broadened. This is Trueness lived. Trueness lived is confident substantiation of your love as a leader.

Story lives in moments
folds into potential
unfolds in love.

In Trueness you become the aware, focused, and loving leader. You listen. You see present need. You are learning to consistently trust the story you see and then tell it to us in order to fill the need.

Driven by your love for us, you tell effectively. You are present with your love and we have love in your presence. To be accountable for your story, and present with our stories, is to have Impact in this world.

To miss the point of love in work, especially in your work as a leader, is to miss out on the work experience altogether and the very point of leading: an opportunity to Love—uniquely!

A Poem for Your Leadership Love

IMG_0664

Read Full Post »

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

IMG_0247-1

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: