Skill 4: A Generational Alliance

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.


Release Love into Skill 7

What is your story of leadership? Is it a love story; a story unfolding in work you love and how you love in your work? Do not be afraid of making this so.

There is a narrative of meaning that is ever-present. We must learn to consciously embrace this narrative. This present narrative is there to assist you in understanding the what, why, and how of being you. … You are applying love in work you love. −Wading the Stream of Awareness (Love Chapter)

Love flows through you, but not until doing its work in you. Building a story with me is your love applied. I boldly write and speak about love in work because I have seen love produce more than all other tactics combined. From much study, it is my belief that any tactic researched was seen as effective because of who was studied−a loving leader.

The 21st Century belongs to the aware, focused, and loving leader. A sequential unfolding of why, what, and how is important in order to lead others in the flow of the collective story: Clarity to Engagement to Connection. Think on how dependent this flow is to the internal flow of a confident leader; an aware, focused, and loving individual.

We love purely when we release other people to be who they are. −Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love

As an aware leader, your inner clarity more easily translates externally for the clarity we need as we latch onto the collective story. As a focused leader, you confidently hold the tension between your desire and intent for us; this is engaging. And as a loving leader, you release each of us to authentically connect as we flow in the larger story that is our work together.

See sister post, Letting Go into Love

Release A New Confidence into Skill 3

In the post about Impact and Skill 1, I wrote about Leslie. She and I have in common the spiritual gift of encouragement. We have each learned how exercising our gift places us square in the present.

The 21st Century leader is modeling for us a new confidence; a presence that is both selfless and powerful. Focusing her leadership in the present … ensures that we put our attention to the right priorities; thus building fulfillment in our present work and assuring the rewards of tomorrow. −Wading the Stream of Awareness (A New Confidence Chapter)

Leslie’s acts of encouragement are in the moment and become an engaging message about tomorrow−about what ought to be. The clarity of a message is a gift−a connection point found only in the present as we gather in the clarity. When a leader is truly clear, a collective future vision begins to become more individually organized in the present.

No vision is collectively good until we individually engage and connect. And we cannot achieve any vision without holding its story in the balance of the present; together. As with Leslie, leadership challenges us to find a confident stance in that delicate, tight space of understanding. If I cannot stand there as a leader, how can I expect others to stand with me and hold the tension of our future.

Any story worth our collective attention pulls us into the present as it flows from clarity to engagement to connection. It is leaders like Leslie who understand the importance of consistent messaging to keep us on an unfolding path as we live the story.

See sister post, Letting Go into A New Confidence

Skill 6 Encouragement – The Capacity of Hope

To facilitate simply means to make easy. The leader/teacher makes the process of dialogue look easy, but please recognize how difficult it is to facilitate such a connection in a collective.

A balanced dialogue becomes harmonious only as it is allowed to flow over the purifying rocks of agreement and disagreement−simple, safe debate.

Minimize management, maximize leadership. Minimize obstacles, maximize potential. Minimize instructing, maximize teaching. Get out of the way, and watch great things happen. Along the way, through your example, your articulated vision, your leadership voice, you will teach those who choose to follow you and choose to learn. −Ric Gonzalez, Woo Woo Leadership

Like the loving teacher, great leaders maximize individual learning in the power of a collective. Learning is not from information pushed in as much as it is from knowledge pulled out. I require a lot of alone time. This private space is where I renew, refresh, and restore energy−the energy I so love to expend for others. After a day of collective facilitation I’m left in a mental puddle, and how happy I am.

Your joy, as it results from your committed action to teach us, invites us into the capacity of hope. Your authentic action as teacher/leader expands the volume of progressive confidence in the student.

Lead others into the capacity of hope:
1) Courageously create space for balanced dialogue.
2) Boldly interpret each learning moment.
3) Summarize the hope found in committed action.

See companion post, Loving Application

Skill 4 Encouragement – Our Experience Together

True connection is in our experience together:
1) Connection is an art.
2) Inspirational art is authentic.
3) We connect only at authenticity.

A transitional, introspective journey has forcefully granted access into the thin space between soul and spirit. In this space I found that it is not either attachment or detachment, but both/and.

Being in this ambiguous fissure seems like the last experience of any value to true, real connection. Yet, in any true connective experience, the spark that fires our spirits together is rubbed from this space. It is a combustible result of the friction between who we are individually and what we need collectively. This, in my view, is what art is all about.

Art is an expression from the core of a unique individual to the collective union in a larger story; with each artistic expression intended to bring us closer together.

What does it mean to connect at authenticity?

What if we have nothing in common?


Like it or not, regardless of what shows on the outside, we are all interconnected. Our experience together is advanced by authenticity−yours and mine.

See companion post, You; Intended from the Beginning

Others and You (Reach)

Trust yourself. This is not a one-time statement closing the issue for good. This internal communication needs to be transmitted often. Most of all the message is one you must unconditionally hear.

The impact of reach begins in your own story. The connection you desirefrom the communication requiredis not accomplished without the story. Desire & Intent is authentic energy from a deep expression of interest. Please do not become entangled in one single act of your own story. Find release.

We need you to be free in your story as you lead us to a larger unfolding experience. We are not led from a larger story as much as we are led to the story: Inspired by our own purpose in an unfolding narrative.

As you seek collective alignment, assist the individual in making a personal connection. Communicate from your strengths to their strengths. What others desperately desire, you gladly share.

21st Century impact is the unfolding story of personal reach. The impact of your purpose is in the sustainable influence of your brand of leadership; as influence grows, reach expands.

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.

−J. Brunson

The Reach of a Story
21st Century Skill: Communication and Connection
Book 1, Chapter Two: Desire & Intent

Strategic Storytelling

If I share a story with you, it is because I care. My own leadership love compels me to tell you a story. And from that, I desire you find a purposeful role in a larger, engaging story; a story that compels your own authenticity in a turbulent 21st Century experience.

Through my work with story, I am committed to the power of the individual. Organizational (collective) impact will never materialize without the commitment of the individual. In the 21st Century there is a level of enlightenment expected. Part of this enlightenment, as explained by the authors of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, is to understand the individual behaviors required to drive desired outcomes, and focus there.

The 21st Century belongs to the aware, focused, and loving leader. The impact of your leadership is intended for the benefit of all.

Why Story and Storytelling?
Interest creates energy. In this 21st Century, strategic behavior is more important than ever throughout the organization. It is time for individuals to be energized by a common story of interest, and to collectively align energy in a strategic balance in order to tell the story.

The Story Objective
We must create an implementation experience where we leverage individuality and the power of the collective energy in designing our future; a strategic view that brings the future into the present with Clarity, Engagement, and Connection.

The Next 7 Posts are a journey through the power of story. I will travel along the path of the 7 Skills for 21st Century Leadership as I align each with the chapters of my book, Wading the Stream of Awareness – all the while integrating what I’ve learned (and am learning) as a facilitator of Strategic Storytelling.

The Journey
You ( A Source of Impact)
Others and You (Reach)
Others and Your Purpose (Push and Articulation)
A Foundation of Service (A Confident Connector)
Service with Purpose (In Your Presence)
A Purposeful Teacher (Expertise)
A Steady Walk (Free in the Story)

There is indeed a new confidence discovered in the connection that story provides. It is my desire and intent that you find joy in the journey.