Transformation and Hold & Release


I speak and write often about Story and The Flow to honor therein. Also in broken-record fashion I say …

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

In this series of 7 posts, ending with this entry, I have focused on transformation (a movement into Trueness) and how certain points of consciousness can serve your leadership journey:

Transformation and Yes
The leadership life is about effortlessly holding ambiguity−the mystery in our own Trueness. The first holding must be for self; a commitment to your own growth and development.

Transformation and Authentic Tension
The purest communication and the deepest connection will naturally come to you as you live in that tense union created by the desire that drives you and the intent that draws you.

Transformation and Purpose (Vision)
When your messaging is clear, we are brought into the moment. We take the clearly expressed vision and begin to self-describe what it looks like to us as individuals; releasing creativity and building sustainable present action.

Transformation and Legacy
In your work, who are those who will remember you? It is those whose life and living were enhanced by the interaction. Networking is leaving a legacy one person at a time.

Transformation and Wonder
If  living in and through a transition is individual art, then it is so because of conscious design with wonder. To be with work you love−and in such work, love−is the energy for active giving in the world; flowing generosity from the best of who you are.

Transformation and Attention
To simply pay attention is to step into the accountability of artful presence; your hearing is focused. In caring enough to demonstrate such focus, we are drawn in by clarity and then out through individual engagement to co-facilitate connection.

And now …

Transformation and Hold & Release
As Trueness evolves into a living performance you are transformed. There is equanimity in the art of holding and in the necessity of releasing. Such powerful and personal transformation, and the subsequent building of leadership confidence, is precisely the energy we need from you−and with you.

As you hold us in the task of co-creation, you simultaneously release us into the larger story. You do this because you know you cannot build or tell this story alone. Storytellers love the listener through the well crafted and consciously told story.

And you, the 21st Century Leader, you love what you do−and in what you do, you love us! This moves us forward in the Story together.

BCL Blog 4


Transformation and Attention

Confident, flowing presence is the source energy for focus.

Ads for certain energy drinks spout tiring clichés in an effort to provide you with an answer to the focus they think you need. Such boiler plate bull is no help in the complexity we know in this 21st Century.

The focus needed in the whirl of this century is not what we might think; if we are fooled into believing what the hawkers of such hooey are slinging. It is a beautiful ability when one learns to simply pay attention.

Attention given to the moment−and to the other−frees your purpose as you focus through each success and above every failure. Such purposeful focus keeps us in the story with you.

I had a dream where I was employed at a firm where creativity was supposed to flow; but it was not in such abundance. Others began to look to me for inspiration in order to once again see creativity flow. As I was in the middle of my inspiring action, I awoke. Immediately I grabbed pen and paper and recorded the following;

Leaders look out beyond themselves …
Their power out there is in how they look out there …
They see out and beyond as they see thru themselves−they embrace who they are.
They see what is unfolding ahead of the union of the internal and the external.
To put it simply … They See!

As a 21st Century leader you have stepped into the accountability of artful presence. In such presence you share the power of a stand in the middle−a neutral stance facilitating each of us toward a collective energy. This collective energy is the story of us. Any story worth our collective attention pulls us into the present by the energetic flow of clarity to engagement to connection.

What does it mean to truly pay attention? In my own experiential joy in moments of presence, I find myself listening diligently−attending with an energy that allows me to even hear what is not said, to see beyond words.

“When we listen with our mind, we understand more of life. When we listen with our heart, we feel more of life. When we listen with our entire being and spirit, we are transformed and joined with life itself.”
Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

It is painfully impossible to listen with our entire being and spirit when we fail to be present. In this 21st Century, giving such attentive interest facilitates the collective energy needed to move us forward.

When you, as a leader, care enough to demonstrate such focus, we are drawn in by clarity and then out through individual engagement to co-facilitate connection.

BCL Blog 4


Transformation and Wonder

If living in and through a transition is individual art, then it is so because of conscious design with wonder. To be with work you love−and in such work, love−is the energetic core of active giving in the world.

I remember the annual emphasis on corporate giving campaigns; which many times included “permission” to be away from work. Of course such campaigns were, and are, focused on raising the dollars so needed by service organizations. Yet I cannot help but wonder what it might be like to simply give in the natural flow of the work we so naturally do.

Your full presence is the ultimate gift!

The flow of your presence−the ultimate gift−is at the confluence of your internal desire and your external intent. And yes, this is always the order of flow; from the inner to the outer. United, desire and intent fund the present power of your voice. In such presence others receive clearly.

About wonder, here’s one definite learning in my journey: A need to be right−to justify any defensive stand−is a substantial block to the free flow found in simple wonder.

In order to fuel our wonder and benefit greatly from it, we must shift into transformational awareness. In such awareness each transition becomes consciously specific to us−making one ever more present within the experience.

“When we are in sync with life, the wonder continues to flow unless we ignore the fine-tuning of intuition.” −Jamie Sams, Dancing the Dream

The 21st Century leader, no matter chronological age, is discovering the power of a stand in the middle. It is from this middle stand where authentic generosity finds the external impact so long sought.

To no longer be surprised by anything is a tragic state. Even if I know that synchronicity is real and shows itself, I can still be amazed and continually awestruck by each artistic stroke of connection.

Learning to be truly present requires one to open to the interconnectedness of us all. Holding such connection clears our view of giving. It is in such clarity where you find yourself in the flow of activity that is leveraging the best of who you are−albeit most often unconsciously. Yet in such flow you are giving from the best of who you are−in total presence. Isn’t this the way we should each be allowed to work?

Such presence is art.

Such presence is a divine collision of desire and intent−an impact of authenticity … when who we really are is precisely what is needed in the moment before us.

This is the ultimate gift, the gift of full presence.

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Transformation and Legacy

Together we are transformed, driven by individual purpose and drawn into a collective vision.

In my past corporate life it was natural for me to consistently share what I was learning along the way. The same has been true in the solo-preneur part of my journey. However, at this stage of my life and living, it feels very different. The trained accountant in me so wants to pick up the mechanical pencil and figure it all out (yes, I have an accounting degree; go figure).

It is not just about sharing, or even teaching. there is a push, and pull, to leave the gift of my work to another.

Is this Legacy?

Entering yet another transitional period in my life and work has me a bit preoccupied with my legacy. For a very long time I’ve worked hard not to separate my life into compartments. This fed a commitment to do the work before me with purpose and eventually to do work that elected me.

Talk about beginners-mind! In this challenge I am taken it seems back to the very beginning. In my review and research for this writing, I was reminded of a poem I composed three years prior.

Present Passion (From Love to Vision)

What others see as risk, you see as reality.
Passion allows vision;
It is in the crosshairs of your present.

What others fear losing, you claim for energy.
Energy funds passion;
It is the source of art in your work.

What others desperately desire, you gladly share.
Love is energy;
It is an advocate for their confident passion.

This transition from passion/work to passion/legacy is one of the toughest challenges with which I’ve been confronted. And so for me, legacy is leaving the gift of a work and love that chose me.

Who are those who will remember me? Clearly, in my mind, it is only those whose life and living were enhanced by the interaction. As my favorite writer David Whyte says in his book, Crossing the Unknown Sea; “Death is not impressed by what we have done, unless what we have done leaves a legacy of life; … What is remembered in all our work is what is still alive in the hearts and minds of others.”

We leave a legacy one person at a time.

The world cries out for the energy of your impact. And your impact is born in your passion. In my transition this is an encouraging reminder.

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Transformation and Purpose (Vision)

Misuse and abuse begin in a lack of understanding. If you see a powerful implement−heavy-duty cord and lots of technical looking settings−and you don’t know precisely what it is for, do us a favor and Do Not Touch!

Vision is a necessary tool; and like any power tool it can be dangerous when misused and abused. The 21st Century leader not only understands the power of Vision, she knows how to use it.

The proper use of vision by a 21st Century leader is grounded in personal purpose. There is first this internally rooted purpose which then flows externally in the form of clearly articulated vision.

So, what is the connection of individual purpose and collective vision? It is visualization. When the 21st Century leader’s messaging is clear, we are brought into the moment. We take the clearly expressed vision and begin to self-describe what it looks like to us. Such positive visualization of our collective story releases individual creativity and thus builds sustainable present action.

Personal purpose brings one into A New Confidence. When confidence is low, or missing, look for missing purpose. When a leader is truly clear, we are led individually to open to, and see, the collective possibilities; a collective future vision begins to become more individually organized in the present.

Sure, we need a vision to stand by and give meaningful support to our actions. I know this sounds like purpose, but it is not necessarily so. Purpose is first individual. And when that propels us through our own connective cycle, then we stand firm in the collective and share a vision.

We are transformed by an ever-evolving awareness. And our confidence is deepened in action that is connective−bringing together the clarity of application with purpose. Action that is connective is so because it flows in a cycle.

Purpose is the foundation of all vision of Impact.

Values-Beliefs-Behavior-Results Chart - with Colors 2014To more clearly understand a vision of any substance, look deeply into the values held by the individuals. If the vision is truly compelling it is because of the connective cycle that is the flow of Values to Beliefs to Behaviors to Results. This is 21st Century sustainability at its best.

So, if you are the leader everyone looks to for the vision, don’t let them down. If you are one looking to a leader for the vision, give your all to assure clarity and connection. Then together we can give our individual energy for collective impact.

Together we are transformed, driven by individual purpose and drawn into a collective vision.

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Transformation and Authentic Tension

It’s the “chicken or the egg” thing I suppose; but does transformation flow from the individual to the collective, or from the collective to the individual?

I say Yes, both … and, very often we do not know where the flow began.

Lake a good daddy for his collective family, the family experience transforms him while his own deep reaching tension transforms the family. The most intense space where such tension (passion) exists is in our individual, authentic core. Are you conscious of such balanced authentic tension? This is your middle … your stand.

I write profusely about your stand as a leader−holding the tension of the middle−simply because I believe this to be the practice we most need in the 21st Century.

“Being authentic opens us. There is no getting around this. When being authentic, we often come close to what matters, even hold it in our hand, and just as often put it down. This is not because we are dense, though sometimes we are, but because it is hard to sustain our presence.”
−Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

Your Desire & Intent is a unique, patterned composite of your Impact in this world. In the impact of who you are the world is blessed from your stand in the middle. Your middle is found in the tension where your internal desire meets your external intent.

It takes tremendous courage to stand there.

This tension can be confusing as we too easily assign negativity to the word. The tension to which I refer is the space where polar opposites are held−and both hold truth.

In the leadership journey you become exposed to many philosophies and fads; most trying to sell you an outcome. Not the least of which in the 21st Century are those telling you to be a better communicator and how you will not be successful without connections.

So, here’s what I ask you to process: Learn to hold all things in your middle−your Authentic Tension. The intersection of your desire and your intent is your Impact named. Hold this. Stand there. And then ask yourself:

  • How does this authentic tension inform my communication as a leader?
  • What does this say to me about the connections in which I invest my energy?

Individual impact on the collective is the result of Trueness in practice. From your stand in between your internal desire and your external intent your practice becomes more about being, which clearly guides all consequent doing. The purest communication and the deepest connection will naturally come to you as you live in that union created by the desire that drives you and the intent that draws you.

We are all leaders in some respect. It is time for each to step into the flow of unique, personalized leadership−Trueness.

BCL Blog 4

Transformation and Yes

Because of his skill and love for facilitating dialogue, I suggested that Todd read Patricia Ryan Madson’s book, Improv Wisdom. The next time I saw Todd was during our Strategic Story work in Oklahoma. He had efficiently read Madson’s book and surprised me with his action review. It seems the imprint from the reading was effectively personal. He told me about how conscious he had become of how often he was saying “No” to his children. Todd began to look for ways to say “Yes” to them. While he found it difficult to express, it was clear this practice of ‘yes’ was having a meaningful Impact−on both the children and on Todd.

In his book, Hope Against Darkness, Richard Rohr calls us to a collective transformation. Like Richard I believe this possible only as we “rebuild” ourselves−as we allow our own transformation.

It’s the deep yeses that carry you through. It’s that deeper something you are strongly for that allows you to wait it out. −Rohr

As a dad, Todd is most definitely for his children. This deeper something makes it easy for him to open to his own transformation.

The legacy of true leadership is built by the influential presence of an attentive and active individual.

Yes, because of my own movement toward contemplative practice, I believe effective leadership flows only when an individual has balanced personal attentiveness (contemplation) and action.

We know so much “no” because of how easy it is to begin there. But why is it easy? It is unfortunately so because of reactive betrayal. We betray our true self when we immediately serve unconscious patterns of judgmental reaction.

The leadership life−yes, and all of life and living−is about effortlessly holding ambiguity; the mystery in our own Trueness. The first holding, and balance, must be for self. This is a commitment to one’s own Personal/Professional Growth. It is such obligation that sustains balance in a seemingly out-of-balance world. By holding I mean a relaxed position with reality. This is what “yes” does; opens us to see what is before us clearly−through a lens unclouded. We are continually learning to put aside all need for judgment and assessment.

Let me be clear, it is not about only yes. It is more about being open−beginning with yes, and from such beginning learning to consistently balance yes and no.

As I have delightfully discovered, it is easier to say “Yes” to others when we are becoming more secure in our own yes. Our Impact in this world demands present attention and focused intention.

Yes is transforming simply because it invites you into the present and purifies intent … right where you stand.

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