Creative Tension – Part 3A of 7

Gather to Give
A Transition into Generous Leadership

Generously, is how Trueness flows out into the world.

In the book Immortal Diamond, Richard Rohr says that expectations are just resentments waiting to happen. And as I’ve painfully learned about myself (my false, selfish, limiting side), it is my quickly scripted expectations that cause the very distress I want to blame others for causing–as they miss the mark inked by my stupid expectations.

One who sees himself “in charge” –believing he ultimately has the answers–is going to struggle with actually becoming a leader. A haughty, in-charge, must-be-right individual has nothing to give, for nothing has been gathered through experience; her hands have been too full of herself.

You truly give externally only when you know how to give internally.

Trueness is not just to be acknowledged, it is to be known and cared after. And if there is a solid definition for Trueness, then it is probably generously wrapped in freedom from expectation. This is A New Confidence.

How does all this apply to leadership, or being a leader? If leadership is influence through presence, then we give through our intentional presence. The Trueness of a leader flows into the world only as it is freed from having to be right.

There were many experiences building one on another that began to shake these things from my hands. But such release was further facilitated as I learned and practiced with the knowledge of Carl Jung’s understanding about our personalities and preferences. Each time I gave to another from practicing with this knowledge, I let go of one restriction after another to my Trueness, and therefore my leadership.

Gather flows into giving as we step into the movement that is generosity of sprit.

Go back to Parker Palmer and Jennifer Rainey as they encourage our rhythm and help us set it right and fully experience Gather-Give-Grow:

  • Slow down. Practice disengagement.
  • Do more with less. Discipline yourself to see the patterns around you.
  • Pay attention to rhythm. Deliberately look for people with opposing viewpoints to engage in conversation.

Disengagement is not shutting down all functioning systems. Rather, it is about focusing the best of who you are in order to, as a leader, Gather.

Gathering places you in the middle with learning and consequent practice. This is where you see your Trueness in the patterns, and Give.

Trueness opens you to experience and you find yourself present with others. You gather for such presence. You give in such encounter. And as it is with life-giving rhythm, we all Grow.

A Leadership Poem: In the Middle Space

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Skillfully Generous – Focus (Coming Together)

Dave and John are two leaders who are skillfully generous in their own specialized ways. Each approach, while different, exhibits powerful similarity: Focus−an attraction to a common, collaborative center.

Dave is a natural storyteller. He leads with story−a commitment to the priority of coming together. Dave keeps those he leads in the story. As all are busy with implementation and execution, he continually helps each individual “see” the value of any desired direction, and possible consequent action, in terms of People Value.

Too many in leadership positions know intellectually the right things to do but are held back from generous action debilitated by busyness. Not John. Dedicated to the same priority as Dave to the coming together, John draws individuals toward a collaborative center by simply showing up. As the one in-charge he is anything but elusive. John is committed to his connection methodology of simply stopping by to talk with individuals throughout the organization. He shows up at events where he listens to thought leaders and customers.

Personal presence, confident and open, is the source for focus; a drawing of individual energy to a collaborative center. And the leader’s generous delight keeps us energized for the work of the moment and for the next challenge.

Dave and John seek out information important to collective, focused direction.

Dave’s leadership in and with the story is balanced by his stand that What is for the mind and Why is for the heart. Both he and John know you must have both for people to be engaged.

Whether it is pulling us together in and by the story or modeling for us how to collaborate in the story, it is the generosity of leaders like Dave and John that draws us in and then out.

BCL Blog 4