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Posts Tagged ‘Story’

Rhythm

As Jen has said, purpose is the embodiment of strengths. Love flows when you lead and live with purpose. In Trueness, you are unrestrained to lovingly lead us from the rhythm of your strengths applied.

Jen and I were in a call with three other important individuals to our own work and rhythm: Dan, Mayra, and Ric. Dan had asked a powerful question causing us each to tell a story of a point of turning in our work; a moment ultimately, for sure, guiding us to deeper context, purpose, and Trueness.

As I listened to the individual answers, and beautiful stories, a story from my journey suddenly crystallized as that definitive pivot. When it came my turn, I told the story. Knowing our final posts in this series would carry a theme of love, and story, Jen encouraged me to write about this point of turning. I did write about this in 2014, but forgive me as I briefly share the story again as we close this series.

Close to a quarter century now, and it still plays in my mind like it was yesterday. Cliff (her nickname) was at our house for a southern supper. She had family in Alabama and had told me how she missed southern BBQ. At the time, I was a manager of a field accounting team. Cliff was my staff specialist and the team’s technical support.

I was on the brick terrace just outside the kitchen tending to the grill and the main course for the southern delight we were about to share. As it was a lovely Ohio evening, the kitchen window was cranked open. Through the window I heard Cliff say to Becky how much the individuals on the team liked working with me. That’s when Becky said what has stayed with me all these years: “Cliff, Jeff loves each and every one of you.”

Becky has always been my rock of support for who I am and what it is I really do, my purpose. She knew then that all I did to lead, support, and develop the individuals in my care was done from a place of love.

If we devote ourselves to the effort to be real, the Universe in all its forms will find us, the way that wind finds leaves and waves find shore. –Mark Nepo

When you finally commit to lead from the rhythm of your Trueness, you can grasp the reality that there is no priority higher than that of your love.

Love, for me, is the creative tension in the Gather, Give, Grow rhythm of my strengths. Love is my voice. To encourage is the strength of my voice. Love flows through the cadence of passion, purpose, presence.

My passion is my desire that you embrace the power of who you are. My purpose draws me toward work, and a way of living, that encourages the loving leader in you. This passion and this purpose bring me into a space with you, to share presence.

The freedom you need to lead in loving rhythm is secured by the privilege of being true.

A Leadership Poem: The PrivilegeR1-06932-0024

 

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Trustworthy Timbre

While Jennifer and I write about the rhythm of Gather-Give-Grow, you may notice we seem to emphasize the middle, Give.

IMG_0112As I compose this, it’s autumn in the mountains where I reside. Color is the fruit of rhythm in the trees. Allow me to ask you to look upon your leader-self as a tree. With the roots of who you objectively are, you Gather. Desire originating from such authenticity drives your gathering. Intent draws your authentic self out and up to Grow and spread your limbs of reach for others. And with this image we are back to Give, depicted by the trunk, the reliable Trueness of your presence.

Finding oneself on the firm landing of the middle is what our rhythm as leaders is all about.

Jennifer reminds us that being a leader is not about position or power; it is about the presence we have that inspires another toward possibilities. Your voice is a perpetual reserve of energy for the creative tension that is the power in the atmosphere of your middle stand.

One’s voice, like water, will find its way. More joyous, however, is the journey when we more consciously learn to apply our voice in those significant middle-moments. It is a stunning moment of simplicity when you realize–in words or picture–what it looks like to stand in the moments of voice generously applied.

In a moment of attentiveness, stop, and answer this: “What is the one driver of goodness that, for you, must be present in each interaction for the possibilities to be properly honored?”

Your intuitive answer is your Voice.

Your voice is true resonance from a tense stand in the middle of your call to leave it all a bit better than you found it, and the freeing of your own rhythmic tune. Your voice is the energy core for balanced application of all your innate strengths. Your voice, freed in and through the intersection that is your stand, is the inspirational presence leading others toward their own possibilities.

From personal experience–my own journey–I can assure you that knowing and consciously applying your voice, as consistently as humanly possible, is a solid stand bringing to life your own unique, strength-filled rhythm of Gather-Give-Grow.

After all these years of working I’ve come to a conclusion about this work to which I’ve been called. When an individual thinks on our work together, they will find it difficult to explain what we did or how it was done; all they can do–must do–is tell their own Story!

And I will know my voice freely flows.

A Leadership Poem: The Privilege of Resonance

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Arriving at real presence is to enter a flow alive with the rhythm of who you are.

Narrowing my personal brand of leadership love, and subsequently broadening my impact, enriched my work and life. The intensity of love strengthened my focus. Love flows through my work, only after doing its work in me.

The love of a leader
a journey you accept, and
thankful we are for the
Impact,
what we know by your rhythm.
—from Impact – The Leader’s Love

Real presence (Trueness) displays the design uniquely visible in your natural, interior landscape. You love when you lead others to trek this original path. Any individual who follows your loving lead will depend on the rhythmic frequency of your uniqueness.

Love defined for the leader is to lead others with confidence while leading others to their own confidence.

The journey is enlivened when you travel conscious of what you most desire to give through your work. The working love of a confident leader builds the confidence of others.

It’s okay to love your work and in your work, love.

“Only those who are totally secure in their love can live thus fully the present moment.” —Thomas H. Green, When the Well Runs Dry

Driven by passion, and drawn by purpose, your presence honors the flow of Trueness. Through a consistent commitment to presence, your reach in this world is extended and your impact broadened. This is Trueness lived. Trueness lived is confident substantiation of your love as a leader.

Story lives in moments
folds into potential
unfolds in love.

In Trueness you become the aware, focused, and loving leader. You listen. You see present need. You are learning to consistently trust the story you see and then tell it to us in order to fill the need.

Driven by your love for us, you tell effectively. You are present with your love and we have love in your presence. To be accountable for your story, and present with our stories, is to have Impact in this world.

To miss the point of love in work, especially in your work as a leader, is to miss out on the work experience altogether and the very point of leading: an opportunity to Love—uniquely!

A Poem for Your Leadership Love

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When leading from your authentic self you inspire others from balanced focus. After all these years in my work, I’m certain this is the only path to inspiring another.

What is focus?

I offer as an answer a balanced way of seeing through this portal. Internally, focus is the purpose through which your passion prepares to flow by your unique presence into the world. Externally, once flowing in the world, focus becomes an attraction to a common and collaborative center.

I’m writing this just days after returning from work at a client location. I was there to open a dialogue with John’s executive team around organizational transition and cultural transformation. While I had prepared an outline for the conversation, I knew that if I listened carefully enough, it would take on its own life. And indeed it did.

This team of leaders had been diligently working for the past year acting on specific behavioral commitments as a result of strategic dialogue focused on the story of the organization. John listened to his group of leaders. After this year of good work fueled by the clarity of a strategic story, he realized that each individual, through the cloud of busyness, had lost focus.

As is almost always the case−in the reality of the ‘J-Curve’ or the Dip−our movement toward the goal takes a turn down. This is when it is imperative to not lose focus on Why we are doing all we are doing.

It is only in the energy of why that we push through.

That’s when it happened; one of the most powerful pictures I’ve ever heard painted by the words of a leader. John sat back in his chair. As his words came forth he leaned into the presence of each individual in the room: “A chance to do what we have the opportunity to do with this organization comes along once, maybe twice, in an entire career.”

The renewed energy for focus was in John’s confident and open presence, where he drew individual energy to a collaborative center.

I only hope each person present felt what I felt. The doors of possibility flew open in my mind. Collaborative energy burned red and hot.

Impact was broadened through such focus!

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What is the power of Story?

To put it as simply as I know how, I will answer with one word; Why.

I remember being asked to lead a major project in my last 2 years of corporate experience. The work included staff reductions in three states. Rick, who enrolled me to lead the project, gave me 3 pillars around which to build: 1) Achieve the cost savings 2) Maintain and even improve the quality of the work we would be moving around, and 3) Do the right thing by the people.

He made no attempt to tell me how to do what I needed to do. In his 3 pillars I knew what to focus upon. And, even though it may not seem like it at first glance, I had the Why. For me, the 3 pillars became the Story that I, and my project team, had to tell.

What is for the mind. Why is for the heart. −Dave, Coaching Client

Why is the core of compelling narrative. And what and how hold powerful support data if we help others make the connection.

I’ve been booked for a day in Illinois where I will serve as a feedback facilitator. A selection of technical leaders are learning more about the consultative part of their individual roles. As part of this learning experience is practice and application of meeting with an executive, listening, gathering info, and then creating and delivering a compelling presentation to pitch solutions and create partnerships. Through experience these leaders will learn the power of story and storytelling in business.

Years ago I received some similar training. The trainer, Bobbie Lawrie, was an expert in helping executives and politicians speak to the media. While she gave us many tips, tools, and tactics, I came away with 3 simple steps to help me improve in the important task of forming a compelling message:Skill 7

  1. Consider my audience. What’s in it for them to hear from me?
  2. Develop my One Main Message point.
  3. Provide vivid support to this 1 point.

Considering your receivers opens you to the reality of what. Your main message is the heart of the matter−Why. And, as you provide vivid support, you tie how to the heart, making ever more clear the message.

Confusion can never compel; that takes clarity.

Storytelling is the 7th 21st Century Skill for the leader. Storytelling balances, or pulls together, the objective and subjective into a compelling and ongoing narrative.

Leading from the clarity of your Desire & Intent others are compelled by your purpose (your story). In such clarity, together we are transformed, driven by individual purpose and drawn into a collective vision.

For more on your Voice in the process, see post; Shadow Strengths – Chapter Seven (Love)

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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.

BCL Blog 4

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It’s okay to love your work, and in your work love. In the presence of your own Trueness you stand confidently in the work that, because of love, has chosen you.

Love begins, and story flows, from the inner to the outer as one finds Trueness−such generosity toward self is foundational to becoming more skillfully generous in the world.

Dan has opened his true self to a big project, a larger story; his One Million Acts of Generosity. In his very definition of Generosity, Dan captures the rhythm of a story of impact.

Generosity is the free and joyful expression of: What you care about most deeply: It is what you powerfully stand for in the world: It is the giving of your true self to another.

“The True Self does what it really loves and therefore loves whatever it does.” −Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond

Storytelling is powerful because of love. Stories of impact have power only through the love of the one telling. This is precisely what my dear friend Dan intends with his big project; encouraging  us to tell stories where we have seen the impact of someone being skillfully generous.

Dan’s rhythmic wisdom points us to the tension of hold and release and guides us to the brightness where the true self breaks into a loving presence. A story of impact is so because it is first lived and then told; and so often the telling is the living!

Your generous leadership is freely and joyfully expressed because you are learning in real time to hold your Trueness, while letting go of distractions and thus releasing your true self into the flow.

A frenzied 21st Century cries out for your Trueness.

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