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Posts Tagged ‘Collective’

In a world loaded to the brim with distraction both enticing and detestable, voice keeps you focused in the power of the present.

Voice is that one driver of all goodness in each interaction of life, living, and leading; that one thing that must be consistently present in order for interactions to honor the possibilities.

Trueness is reality−the truth of who you really are; true since the beginning. And it is your commitment to this truth and reality, for yourself and the other, that is The Work of Trueness.

In my own work of trueness I find the beautiful power of flow in the collision and respective tension of the desire that drives me and the intent that draws me out. In this creatively tense and middle space I stand in a clear and conscious presence of the experience.

The genesis of all awareness is your voice. If your voice is not engaged and clear in a conscious presence, then it is near impossible to give and gain from the particular experience. Your unique voice is a dynamic contribution into a collective, transforming awareness.

The freeing of individual Trueness is indeed a collective, collaborative effort. With such a cloud of connection voice continually clears. Your voice is authentic articulation intended to flow into and through all you do.

Voice has been with you since the beginning!

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The 21st Century highway of management is jammed with those speeding to solve as they exercise limiting judgment, fixes, and attempts to otherwise set another straight.

We manage process and we lead the individual. As a leader you are a facilitator. To Facilitate means “to make easy.” This doesn’t mean you ignore conflict or difficulty. Quite the opposite is true as you facilitate the necessary holding together of good process and desired outcomes.

“For peace and agitation are stitched together and, tugged on, they unravel a thread of Oneness.” −Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

I was very fortunate in my corporate career to have opportunity to take advantage of good learning experiences. Such learning was in the balance of classroom and application; practicing knowledge into a skill. The skill I treasure is that of Listening. This skill has served me well in my coaching, and molded me into a facilitator who can create and navigate dialogue.

Listening is the foundation of 21st Century Skill 6: Collective Facilitation.

In my corporate experience I was given much opportunity to practice as a facilitator. Early on I knew enough to be moderately effective and dangerous at the same time. Let me illustrate.

My customer service manager and his team approached me and asked that I facilitate a session to assist them in working through an important issue with their service work. We scheduled everything, gathered together, and got to work. So there I was standing in front of them facilitating. The team came together around the information needed and I dismissed them to go and collectively implement what they thought best.

A week passed and I had not heard any follow-up or follow-thru on their decision. I called Bill, the manager, to my office and asked what they had decided to do. His response, “We did what you told us to do.”

I was stunned. I asked Bill to tell me what he had heard from me. He did. And I was stunned even further−not by him or the team. I was slapped with the reality of the lack of neutral focus in my brand of facilitation. As I supposedly facilitated, I had unconsciously also participated: participation at a level that was easily perceived as an order or a request from their division leader.

I had unintentionally held their loyalty in a manner that diminished their full creative abilities and individual and collective contribution.

Skill 6If left apart, good process and desired outcomes pull against one another.

If focused upon one at a time, as is usually the case, they are left in conflict causing us to ignore one or the other.

To expertly be with the skill of Collective Facilitation, you must hold the two circles together where they merge in support of the depth of listening required.

You then facilitate in the power of a neutral focus.

 

Read about the shadow strength related to Focus; Shadow Strengths – Chapter Six (Focus)

BCL Blog 4

 

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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

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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.

BCL Blog 4

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Your unique Desire & Intent for those you lead, influence, and serve is your Living Methodology as a human being.

This Desire & Intent is what makes you a leader in this 21st Century.

This swirling together of desire and intent forces your presence in the middle; a place of natural tension from which you lead in the balance of Trueness (who you really are).

My coach said something powerful after she pointed out, making me super-conscious of, how I had built my life around my natural strengths−a Living Methodology. She said, “There is no veil between this methodology for you and this methodology for your clients. My methodology of Gathering, Giving, Growing is my story: a living unfoldment.

My work and life are rich because of this.

I desire this for you.

The Living Methodology for you must become your guidance for executing on the most important issue for you, those you lead, and all that is collectively represented.

My studies over the past few years have pushed me into the ground of who I am−my own Trueness. I have become vividly aware of two facts concerning my own Desire & Intent. One is that once committed to it, as I am, there’s no getting out of it, only getting into it. Two is the realization that it is not about soaring or running in the power of Desire & Intent, it’s about becoming a grounded being−a steady walk in my Trueness.

Do not underestimate the importance of Knowing Thyself, and sharing accordingly.

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You may have noticed a theme building in Jason’s definitions with each of these 7 21st Century Leadership Skills. He is clearly expressing a desire for inclusion; to be in on the why and to be a partner in bringing about a vision (a story).

Mentor as Teacher/Learner of Experience
(Skill 6: Collective Facilitation)

Think of a leader in your experience who truly prepared you for the journey. This would be someone who did not guide you from the periphery of their own context. Instead, they guided from the core of their own experience undeterred by border distractions.

As my wade has taken me to the middle of my stream of experience, I feel the definite current of accountability.

Interest creates energy.

Mentee as Learner/Teacher in Experience
(Skill 6: Guidance and Steering)

Creating interest in a common vision is of incredible importance. Help us to first understand the direction we are heading and what “success” might look like. Then give us the freedom to fill in the blanks by using the particular skills and assets that we bring in a manner that is familiar, comfortable, and productive. Create meaningful boundaries that focus efforts. Then genuinely allow us the freedom to devise new strategies and develop new processes to reach the desired end. Challenge fundamental beliefs about the mechanics of “work” – where, when, and how it must take place. Realize that we want desperately to succeed and that we will demonstrate desired outcomes, even if we use nontraditional processes to achieve those results. −Jason Guinn

More than ever, free the core of who you are, launch into the skill of Collective Facilitation, and share focused guidance with an attentive generation.

Individual and collective impact is a complex outcome from the simplicity of focus−illuminated by your confident stance in the flow of accountability for those led, influenced, and served.

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True community is not produced; it is invoked and awakened. True community is an ideal where the full identities of awakened and realized individuals challenge and complement each other. In this sense both individuality and originality enrich self and others. −John O’Donohue, Beauty

Mentor as Teacher/Learner of Experience
(Skill 4: Networking)

From my generational experience, I−and many like me−have learned volumes about networking. A lot of the learning contains what not to do and what has actually never worked. So why do so many of my generation still tell those younger to do that same old ineffective crap? Are we demanding they pay some stupid due? This is not very helpful.

Building a network is probably the single-most important thing any worker in the 21st Century can do. Throw out the idea of the cocktail party schmoozer. Throw out the idea of the business-card-pushing conference enthusiast who can only waste precisely 240 seconds of their time on you because somebody much more important than you just walked in the door. −Ric Gonzalez

Mentee as Learner/Teacher in Experience
(Skill 4: Intentional Networking)

We thrive on sharing our world with others. Help us focus our efforts to build communities and participate in social networks in order to grow both personally and professionally. Also allow us opportunities to provide innovative new media to help you build your networks. Together, we have the tools and knowledge to further flatten the world and share our story with others that need to be included. −Jason Guinn

True community is formed by the collective of confident individuals−those who’ve been encouraged in their own voice and who encourage others from that voice.

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