21st Century Skill Paradox – Part 2

Communication does not achieve connection when the communicator has not made the effort to hold the paradox associated with Skill 2.

Skill 2 is Communication and Connection; number 2 of 7 skills I’ve found to be critical in leadership as we’ve fallen forward into the 21st Century. The 21st Century leader has become conscious of the power transferred through the energy of Desire & Intent. The power is in communication backed by purpose (the Why this leader does What she does). And such reinforced communication makes the connection intended.

Learning to hold & release comes about in that tense intersection of the desire that drives you and the intent that draws you out. Motivated by internal desire we are drawn to see more clearly the intent drawing us out. And while we want what is intended just as much as what is desired, we begin to realize the distance between desired reality and intended possibility. And thus a tension blasts into our consciousness. What a wonderful welcome into presence!

Passion evokes Passion.

Separating the internal energy of desire needed for communication clarity from the external intent of connection buries passion. In my work I continually find individual after individual whose passion has been buried in the avalanche of 21st Century busyness−a belief that we are too busy to spend proper time for self. If too busy for self, then one is inevitably too busy for those led−too distracted to truly absorb information, and so busy wiping away the swarm of data that listening is nonexistent.

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” −Simon Sinek

Your Desire & Intent is the energy for successfully exercising the skill of Communication and Connection. The melody of your passion is composed in Desire & Intent. Yes, communication is a skill that when properly applied creates connection. For communication and connection to come together and form this second 21st Century skill, you must become very attentive; placing Listening at the heart of articulation and association.

Skill 2The paradox of Skill 2 that must be held is with our desire to speak with credibility and the intent that our associated voice find resonance with the receivers. Your intended connection gives your desired communication a structure in which to come together as Communication and Connection, and subsequently deploy with impact.

This is holding the paradox of Skill 2, allowing credible articulation to overlap with associated reception. Confident openness flows from an authentic core; this is organic transparency valued in this 21st Century.

See post Shadow Strengths – Chapter Two (Desire & Intent)

BCL Blog 4

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Wisdom from a Young Leader (Hannah)

On Sunday, May 6th, I helped facilitate my last graduation of students from our Region’s Youth Leadership Program on the beautiful Milligan College campus. In the last 10 years, I have had the blessed privilege of seeing around 300 students to this point. There were a few unique things that made this last time special.

One of those I share with you here. At this graduation exercise, the students present a brief talk before the attending crowd. Following is one talk on which I found myself hanging on her every word. Consequently, I asked Hannah for permission to share the manuscript of her speech here on my blog. Enjoy, share, and please respond with a comment and be part of continued encouragement for this wonderful young leader. Thank you Hannah!

Hannah’s Talk …

You know sometimes when you’re standing right in the middle of something so substantial, it can be hard to see the big picture; and my generation is living in the very heart of a technological revolution.

Fifty years ago, you would actually have to get out of your seat if you wanted to change the channel, and computers were as large as bedrooms and not something you could use at home. Likewise, one hundred years ago portable telephones were just a dream and the radio was gaining popularity. If you look into medieval times or even the early renaissance period, you would see that one new invention or change in one hundred years was an accomplishment.

Now, we are impatiently awaiting the arrival of the new iPad, iPhone or wireless vacuum cleaner that does the cleaning for you. New technology is just a part of our modern culture and although it’s all fun and useful, there are also some negative effects involved. The things that are supposed to make our lives simpler can cause clutter, and also be a source of division.

Yes, with phones and video chat we are able to keep in touch with friends and family that have moved away, but they also keep us from face-to-face conversations with those who are close to us. For example, a minivan with a TV attached to the ceiling of the car. These can be useful on long car rides when kids get really bored; but I think a child can survive a 15 minute car ride to the grocery store without having to watch cartoons. I remember whenever we would go on long car rides when I was younger, my brother and I would make up stories and reenact them with whatever stuffed animals I happened to bring so we didn’t really need the TV.

Other examples can be seen at any average high school with teenagers walking down the hallway on their phones listening to music or texting … while that thing standing next to them? Why yes, that is a fellow human being. Our imaginations and creativity, along with the discoveries of those who came before us, are what enabled us to come this far; however, if we don’t take some time just to stop and think without the aid of a television or discuss something with someone face-to-face, we might lose the thing that has carried us through wars, diseases, and disagreements among friends: our humanity.

So, while extremely useful and fun in many ways, technology can also be a hassle. It can cause clutter and be a source of division in our lives. I’m not saying that you should throw away every worldly device you have so you can find yourself, but maybe every once in a while instead of turning on the television, you could discuss something with a friend or family member, or maybe try something you never have before.

It’s a big world out there with lots of different places that don’t require 10 lbs worth of devices, and plenty of sights worth seeing through your own eyes and not the screen of a computer … so just enjoy it!