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Posts Tagged ‘Storytelling’

For your Trueness
holds your soul well
while you free voice
in the story you must tell.

−verse 6 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)

What I love about storytelling is wholeness. In my experience, stories have been shared with me to bring clarity and wholeness to a particular situation. This is how I use stories in my one-on-one work with leaders. I tell stories directed at the need of the individual’s integrity.

I tell stories to assist the individual in feeling, hearing, and seeing his/her own truth and reality with more clarity−opening the individual further to personal impact and potential.

In and with stories, I love to show an individual how to apply the true self in a specific situation. These are not necessarily stories told by me, but more the stories I encourage out of the individual herself. I love hearing the light in her voice when she realizes she can handle the situation in a more authentic, skilled manner for a better outcome, one leaving everyone whole and her feeling good about herself.

Christie wanted to improve the relationship with her boss. At the beginning of the coaching session where she set that goal, she asked me to help her create a process to confront him and begin the focused process. I told her I would help her create such a process.

I lied. You see, I knew I could not help her create such a process, but I knew I could help her find that process right there inside where the process already existed.

One of my grandfather’s wise sayings was, “Asked-for advice is seldom heeded. Unasked-for advice is never heeded.”

To begin the journey to the process Christie desired, I begin to ask her questions about her boss, to learn more about his story. As Christie unfolded his story to me, I could hear so much compassion, care, and concern.

The focus once completely on her, when she first told me about her frustrations with her boss, began to shift fully on him, with a powerful level of understanding in play; she was forgiving her original assumptions.

She didn’t even know when it happened, when the process she needed unfolded in her story. When she was done answering my questions, and telling the engaging story, I simply recounted the 3-step process she had asked me to help her find, a process vibrantly alive in the story she had told.

The integrity of her process was undergirded by the power of focus that had come from her voice in play as she told the story. Her voice of Positive, Open Intent was flowing in the telling.

Everything can be taken to the flow, for whatever reason. If taken there with a commitment to hold and release, whatever is placed in the flow will be free to do what is good and right down stream, whether this is seen or not by the one who releases in love.

A poem for your work: Narrative Soul

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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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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)

BCL Blog 4

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Individual purpose and collective purpose can seem like opposites, and often working one against the other.

The leader’s personal purpose brings to light a confidence we who follow need to see. And we need to feel and hear how such confidence becomes our own. The 21st Century leader speaks from A New Confidence−a clear articulation rooted in purpose.

We can all appreciate the one who is practiced in the third skill of Messaging. When practiced and present, the messenger brings clarity in the moment. Such clarity becomes the foundation for engagement and the fuel for connection, combining to inform the future by our individual and collective choices in the present. Aimed at the collective, the engagingly clear message encourages individual purpose.

As a leader you must stand strong for us in the middle−in the creative tension of the space between what we need as individuals and what we need to pull and keep us together. This creative space exists only in the present.

Without getting into all the varying reasons, I think we can agree that change is a constant in this 21st Century. And while there are indeed many levels and types of change, any particular alteration can throw individuals in seemingly competing directions. From the same experienced change some begin a grieving process and others become excited to move forward. While we may react to change uniquely, we must soon come together in a proactive move through the change.

Skill 3Enter the 21st Century leader who leads us to connective clarity. This leader is not held back by a need to be understood that overwhelms the essentiality of understanding. Someone in a position of leadership who holds a selfish focus diminishes individual contribution−belittling efforts beyond their own capacity. But you, in A New Confidence, lead us with personal purpose, modeling for us in your message how individual purpose joins with and empowers collective purpose.

What a message eventually produces is not nearly as important, to those who need its clarity, as the creative space opened by the engaging view.

The clear message is basically Storytelling in its purest form. As it is told to us together, we each are engaged in seeing, hearing, and feeling it as our own.

Together we are transformed, driven by individual purpose and drawn into a collective vision.

For more on A New Confidence, see post:
Shadow Strengths – Chapter Three (A New Confidence)

BCL Blog 4

 

 

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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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The 2013 National Storytelling Festival came around just as I entered my season of contemplation for this work I’ve been given. The Festivphotoal is an inspiring time in our little town as tents go up, thousands come, and stories are told. It is a time of presence between teller and listener.

My unfolding confidence swirls in the commerce of story. Yes, building a story with you is my love applied.

Coach Judy posed a question to me just before my work at the Festival began: “How do you balance your Trueness?” I knew, as usual, it was a great question from my skilled coach. Only I did not have an answer. Intuitively I know when I balance my Trueness; it is when I’m present with an individual, or individuals, trusting for what is needed in the interaction of the moment.

“Privilege” is a word I use often−mostly as I refer to individual spirits I’m privileged to know. My wife and I are indeed privileged to know Ed Stivender as a friend. Other than our moms and our daughter, I know of no other who has our names on their prayer list! If you know Ed at any personal level, you have then experienced his courteous and skillfully generous presence.

During the 2013 Festival Ed was interviewed on his process of building a story. In the interview Ed told a story of breaking his own Cardinal Rule for being with an audience of listeners. He told of how he broke this rule of “Give them a break from the world.” For Ed, stories are the dance floor and telling is the dance between he and his listeners; a present expression of Ed’s unique brand of love.

In his story of the broken rule, he allowed the current events of the world to invade the Story Space−the dance floor was compromised. Consequently, no one wanted to dance.

Because of Ed’s courageous telling of this specific story, a moment of awareness opened wide for me. Instantly I knew I was in the presence of Ed’s story for a providential reason.

“How do I balance my Trueness?”

Simply … by keeping my own Cardinal Rule:

That the Individual be Encouraged.

Thanks to Ed’s story I now consciously know my Rule of Presence−my own cardinal rule.

What is your cardinal rule; the rule you must consciously keep for all to be as it ought?

Your full presence to your purpose is your impact in this world!

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