The Client Letters 2011 – Seven (Rob)

Rob,

About your love, my brief response was, “It’s not the words, it’s the action.”

This is the Rob so many know; a man who acts on what he believes and knows in his core. I have the privilege of being your Coach and of knowing you long before the coaching relationship. This is the last of my letters to select clients for 2011; a series corresponding to each of the seven chapters of my book. Chapter seven is Love. While some have praised me for writing about love in leadership, I write this to thank you for living it in how you lead, influence, and serve.

I heard a story about two old farmers, Joe and his neighbor. Both had lost their wives and only had each other to talk to so far out in the countryside. One day a dispute over a calf broke the relationship. They did not speak for months. Old Joe hired a carpenter to build a high fence so he would not have to look across the creek at his neighbor. Old Joe came back from town the day the fence was to be built, cleared the last hill, and saw no fence. Instead, the carpenter had built a bridge. Before old Joe could give the carpenter the what for, the neighbor crossed the bridge, embraced old Joe, and asked for his forgiveness in the argument over the calf, stating that Joe was the bigger man for providing the bridge.

Rob, you are the carpenter. We need men of courage in this 21st Century. You are a man of practical faith; the source of your down-to-earth consistency in all matters.

About Your Love
You care about, and for, people one-by-one. You take time to encourage. When you are in someone’s presence, you are present with them.

About Your Storytelling
You weave a good story. You tell for a purpose. You tell for the love of the hearer.

Thank you again for being a courageous carpenter,
Jeff

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The Client Letters 2011 – Six (Joe)

Joe,

“Hello Joe, what do you do?” Your response, “I Build the Foundation for Collaboration and Success.”

At this point, your Brand connects individually when you demonstrate how you build this foundation: You create an environment of care and value by pushing others to go further than they thought possible.

You are extremely valuable in the industry because of your vast experience, depth/breadth of knowledge, and the ability to thin-slice this experience and knowledge for credible application. Early in our coaching relationship, our first attempt at a personal brand produced an accurate, but not very meaningful, answer to What do you do. The best answer I could get you focused on was, “I keep the lights on.”

Yes, others depend on you at this basic level, but they Trust you for so much more. You have leveraged your own personal brand, combined it with the skill of Collective Facilitation, and become focused. In light of the wisdom of your Brand, I share with others here your 7 Steps for being presently strategic about the future:

  1. Consider the strategic timing of needed dialogue
  2. Consider direction for the issue in the light of the team and associated process
  3. Put time and attention into how you lead others in preparing a plan for dialogue
  4. Invite the right people into the focused discussions as you collectively build the plan
  5. Lead the team to focus on solving the issue at hand
  6. Assign follow-up actions to responsible parties
  7. Learn together from tracking and reporting activities; and make change as needed

My hope is that others, like you, will believe in their ability to collectively facilitate the future, the collective story, in our work today.

Thank you for the privilege of working with you,
Jeff

The Client Letters 2011 – Five (Deanna)

Deanna,

When we began our work together, you said, “I want to do some homework on what makes me feisty.” You explained that you become feisty when you cannot find a connection between what is being asked of you and your own understanding of purpose. What you and I learned together was how powerful your value of Purpose/Meaning was to your very presence.

You feel less of the collaboration you value when the disconnect between action and purpose distracts you from being in the moment; and thus, you become feisty. It was a thrill to work with you and see feisty simply become confidence. You confidently challenge others to look at things differently when you are in the moment with the business model of your brand of leadership. That model is Creative Purpose to Collaborative Challenge to Conscious Connection.

Your leadership business model is the power of your presence. It is how you give your gift in this world; creative purpose through challenge. Confidently being you, standing on a foundation of unique values, is a 21st Century style of giving.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your growth and development as a leader as you give through the flow of Purpose to Challenge to Connection. Continue to leverage that feistiness, and keep on being you.

Jeff

The Client Letters – Four (Garrett)

Garrett,

Your 2010 focus was, “Be consistently aware of what I desire to do.” I believe it was this focus that got it all started; the energetic interaction in which you engaged with key nodes in your network.

You and I talked about shopping your value in the market. However, if I accurately remember, I encouraged you to first understand value in the language of those who had been served by that value.  Servant leadership is only achieved by a serving spirit. You are a serving spirit. Your personal brand is in how you provide caring, coaching, and confidence in each interaction. At the base of this brand is your Voice: Caring.

You took the challenge and networked for value with those key nodes. You entered these conversations in a manner that would support your living desire for yourself and others:

  1. Increase confidence in what you bring to the table as a leader
  2. Consistently act on  your mission of helping others get to a place they could not get to on their own
  3. Prepare for career events and opportunities as they are presented to you

After these conversations, you said to me, “This direct stuff has validity.” The stories you shared from these networking for value appointments illustrate the following: The power of purpose (brand); The power of commitment; The power of presence. You increased your confidence in what you do as a leader. You reinforced your commitment as a servant. You now flow through each moment more aware of the opportunities offered to you.

On behalf of all who are benefactors of your brand of leadership, I say, “Thank you for confidently being you.”

Jeff

The Client Letters – Three (Ric)

Ric,

Serendipitous? Frankly I do not believe it was completely by chance that I came to my Saturday morning writing place – to write this to you – and found myself in a conversation with Jacob.

Jacob is a young man who works at this coffee shop and continually pays value to me and my work with his interest and very presence. Today he talked about how he has expanded his connecting efforts from groups to a one-on-one genre. Hence my relationship with him. Jacob is living and modeling A New Confidence.

It was funny how neither Jacob or I said good morning, he just jumped right into conversation. Immediately, I was smiling as I felt the correlation of Jacob’s words and my writing objective for the day. That objective includes my appreciation for who you are – the power of your presence. It is also about being certain you know how much I value the trusting friendship that has grown in our connection.

“The most successful messages are a story. Understanding the why makes the how so much more tolerable.” This is something you wrote in your guest post on Messaging. Purpose provides direction. You have committed to getting to your why; your purpose. To be engaged at this level is to live A New Confidence (the lizard brain is roadkill).

Squashing the lizard brain moves you beyond the ‘tell’ where you are personalizing a larger story by personally and courageously telling your own story. Your power (your art) flows to others because you care about them – their creative freedom.

Thank you for shipping,
Jeff

 

The Client Letters – Two (Dave)

Dave,

How fitting it seems to write this as we approach Memorial Day. You will understand why. You came  to me after receiving the charge to transform your yellow pad. If I remember correctly, it was something like; You are really good at carrying around the yellow pad with tasks that must be done. I need you to transform that pad to become more strategic. This is when you and I began our dialogues to discover and understand the unfolding narrative; the story unique to who you are as a leader.

As we talked, I learned your basic story; you were raised by a Drill Sergeant. Your wonderful dad taught you well. You earned your reputation as one trusted to implement. Your dad taught you how to act and implement efficiently. You then told me how your implementation experiences through the years had led you to the guiding philosophy of HITC FITM (head in the clouds, feet in the muck). I began to know you as a great storyteller and to understand your ability to lead with story. You manage interactions during implementation in a way that assists the unfolding purpose of the larger story.

So, I learned your back story. Also, I learned you have a driving front story; your Desire & Intent:
~ Challenge, motivate, and inspire individuals to thrive, succeed, and own
~ Lead strategically while making the future real in what we do today
~ Be truthful, honest, straightforward, and caring – make others feel that what they do makes a difference and is appreciated

As you lead in this Desire & Intent, you have set an overarching goal as you lead with ever-increasing levels of effectiveness: Take the value of getting things done, combine with my ability to design the future, and tell the story.

From your dad, you learned to leverage the middle ground – between the story (strategic vision) and the actions presently required to implement.

It is a pleasure to be a partner in amplifying your voice of Integrity & Honor into the world,
Jeff

The Client Letters – One (Jimmy Neil)

Jimmy Neil,

Because of your impact in this world, I chose to write to you first in this series of Client Letters. I love the camaraderie we share as students of great 21st Century thought leaders. We don’t just read their writing, we study. You are diligent in your learning to support your brand as The Architect of Experience.

Although we have not worked together in the Coaching relationship for several years, I want you to know how meaningful that time was for me. While I trust  benefit was achieved on the part of the Client, be assured the Coach found treasure in the experience. It was my pleasure to be in the presence of the leader who has done so much in the conscious cause of Story and Storytelling.

Since going public with your organization’s challenges, I have not followed through on my intention to schedule one of our meaningful dinners. For that I am deeply sorry. We will remedy that. It is the reality of the challenges, and the awareness of your impact, that made me choose you for the first of my letters.

The Architect of Experience. In building this brand, you committed to not only telling your own story, you have lovingly shared with us how to tell our own. My work – my art – was forever impacted by your challenge to narrow my focus and providentially broaden my own impact.

From our work:
Jimmy Neil is committed to the architecture of experience … experiences that are designed to discover the hidden power and potential in our lives and communities. Jimmy Neil is a visionary and is not afraid to dream of things others see as impossible. He learns … he loves … he lives. Life is short – live it fully. He’ll leave this world better than he found it.

Thank you my friend,
Jeff