21st Century Skill Paradox – Part 3

Individual purpose and collective purpose can seem like opposites, and often working one against the other.

The leader’s personal purpose brings to light a confidence we who follow need to see. And we need to feel and hear how such confidence becomes our own. The 21st Century leader speaks from A New Confidence−a clear articulation rooted in purpose.

We can all appreciate the one who is practiced in the third skill of Messaging. When practiced and present, the messenger brings clarity in the moment. Such clarity becomes the foundation for engagement and the fuel for connection, combining to inform the future by our individual and collective choices in the present. Aimed at the collective, the engagingly clear message encourages individual purpose.

As a leader you must stand strong for us in the middle−in the creative tension of the space between what we need as individuals and what we need to pull and keep us together. This creative space exists only in the present.

Without getting into all the varying reasons, I think we can agree that change is a constant in this 21st Century. And while there are indeed many levels and types of change, any particular alteration can throw individuals in seemingly competing directions. From the same experienced change some begin a grieving process and others become excited to move forward. While we may react to change uniquely, we must soon come together in a proactive move through the change.

Skill 3Enter the 21st Century leader who leads us to connective clarity. This leader is not held back by a need to be understood that overwhelms the essentiality of understanding. Someone in a position of leadership who holds a selfish focus diminishes individual contribution−belittling efforts beyond their own capacity. But you, in A New Confidence, lead us with personal purpose, modeling for us in your message how individual purpose joins with and empowers collective purpose.

What a message eventually produces is not nearly as important, to those who need its clarity, as the creative space opened by the engaging view.

The clear message is basically Storytelling in its purest form. As it is told to us together, we each are engaged in seeing, hearing, and feeling it as our own.

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

For more on A New Confidence, see post:
Shadow Strengths – Chapter Three (A New Confidence)

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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.

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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.

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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 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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A Soul Dance with Impact

The call of the wild is a call to the elemental levels of the soul, the places of intuition, kinship, swiftness, fluency and the consolation of the lonesome that is not lonely. Our fear of our own wildness derives in part from our fear of the formless; but the wild is not the formless−it holds immense refinement and, indeed, clarity. −John O’Donohue in Beauty

George is a leader with a serving presence. He does not overshadow others as he builds individual confidence leveraging integrity and clarity. As George is bringing to my consciousness, there is no impact without clarity.

Our impact in this world demands present attention and focused intention. The soul does not dance to commercially produced music. A soul dance is uninhibited art as it flows from our wild clarity. Impact comes into view only in the marriage of attention and intention. Care, however, is required in the purification toward clarity; do not continue to invest all your energy to only attention or to attention before intention.

Attention is about focus outwardly. Intention is authored in your purpose inwardly. The flow is from the internal to the external. It is in this order that we balance intention and attention toward impact; where we perfect the dance into a soul dance.

While George and I have just begun our work together, I look forward to the grace of discovery as he courageously journeys into the coherent territory of purpose and clarity.

For George, clarity is an abiding value given in the beginning. I am excited to see what he discovers in the clarity of his own wildness. This I know, we are benefactors as his intention gives rhythm to his attention and we are dignified in the impact of a soul dance.

Skill 3: A Generational Alliance

The message is meaningless unless focused in the clarity of a shared vision−The Larger Story.

How very important to take accountability for your own growth and development, to make every effort to connect in each interaction, and to be clear and unconditional in our messaging. As we link such skills, a world of evolving experience unfolds for us.

Mentor as Teacher/Learner of Experience
(Skill 3: Messaging)

Among my generation I have found (sadly) many who have navigated an entire career unconscious of who they are at the core. More sad still is any system that rewards such unconsciousness.

In this stimulating 21st Century, I’m discovering a wonderful desire common among the generations; to make a difference in life and with work. This can only happen consciously as one holds the union of desire and intent. In this consciousness we discover the message in us, and that we are the message.

Mentee as Learner/Teacher in Experience
(Skill 3: Active Listening and Engagement)

It is likely that we view solutions to problems in radically different ways, using a variety of tools that are familiar to us, but that might not be so familiar to our mentors. Give us the opportunity to prove the value of considering new, innovative solutions to problems. Listen to what we have to offer and provide feedback that will challenge us to deploy our talent and creativity in ways that will best move everyone toward a common shared vision. −Jason Guinn

It is time for a focused generational collaborative formed for the larger story.