In the Resonant Middle – Your Voice

And the deepest of reality,
an original endowment,
is the intricate truth
of who one really is.

−verse 4 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)

How freeing it was for me to learn how to be a neutral facilitator. At first, such learning was about being more skilled. Then, I heard a rule opening me to the learning, and subsequently teaching me to pay attention: It’s not about me; it’s all about them.

This guiding rule of facilitation also helped open me to my cardinal rule:

That the individual be encouraged.

It was the Thanksgiving week, and my wife and I flew to her parent’s home so we could then drive them to Texas to visit family. I had not been to my father-in-law’s home place in over a quarter of a century. So, since the last time I had seen Keith, he had unfolded a full career and was 500 days from his qualified, official retirement.

I was able to spend quality time with the family members there as several of them worked together on improvements around the farm. Throughout the weekend, I was amazed at Keith’s ability to pay attention to every detail of a conversation and bring tidbits of information from songs, movies, and television to enliven the narrative.

On the last evening before we drove back, Keith and I were standing outside with two other cousins in conversation. I told him what I had observed and I then offered up a challenge for him to think about how he could use his ability to pay attention for what was next in his life and living once those 500 days were up.

The most loving thing I know how to do is to encourage another human spirit. Encouragement is a gift that was given to me. I suppose it was encoded in my DNA. My acts of encouragement are undergirded by my life mission to love, serve, and understand.

It is important to be aware of strengths and the accompanying pitfalls in the shadow of each.

Pitfalls, and a Living Methodology
In my life mission, I’ve been well served by becoming conscious of these specific traps:

Love: When I focus on whether or not love is being shown back to me.

Serve: When I give and falsely expect something (anything) in return.

Understand: When this becomes a ‘need to understand’ focused on me versus an action given and released.

Judy (my coach) has been an integral part of my evolution and ever-unfolding journey. At a time when I was feeling another transition in the work, and further pain in continuing transformation, she challenged me to focus on changing my perception at my wonderful stage of life’s journey.

After quite a bit of contemplation, here was my commitment in light of my gather-give-grow methodology:

Gather: I will more consciously work to live more simply. I will work harder to care for my wife and myself first, so we can better care for others. I will ease up on what I expect from others. I will continue to keep my commitment to encourage no matter what.

Give: I will become presently conscious of what I can do, do that, and release the action into the flow.

Grow: I will participate more in conscious being. This one I will gladly figure out as I go.

As we were saying goodbye to family members one by one at the farm, Keith approached me. With a bit of emotion showing forth in his eyes and voice, he said, “Thank you for the encouragement.”

A poem for your work: It’s Why I’m Here



Release Voice into Skill 4

Others need you to be you.

Those you lead, influence, and serve need the empowered you. As you trust your voice and act on the commitment of leveraging your voice, you bring yourself into the accountability of impact.

Voice clears the flow of our individual character allowing others safety in the experience of who we really are. −Wading the Stream of Awareness
(Voice Chapter)

Your unique impact is realized one individual at a time. Others are impacted by your presence and in your presence because you’ve committed to applying voice freely. You have become good at being you.

Why do others need you to simply be who you are? It is because we each desire safety in each interaction. To be safe includes acceptance as we are. Feeling this acceptance is unfortunately rare. This is too often true not because others do not accept us, but because we haven’t fully embraced ourselves as we are.

[The stream] is purposeful and authentic as it leverages voice to draw in those served by its presence. The steam is understanding and practical as it skillfully performs its role, alert to unfolding purpose. (Voice Chapter)

The flow of who you are at your core is filtered by voice. Your network is a true space for the service of your voice. I align voice with the skill of Networking to assist you in becoming more aware of how your voice serves others and acknowledges their authenticity in your presence.

Conscious application of voice opens you to another person and frees you into you−the real you resonant in each experience.

See sister post, Letting Go into Voice

Release Impact into Skill 1

My premise is that the impact of one person on others in a corporation is a function of his or her breadth of consciousness. −Charles E. Smith, The Merlin Factor (p. 71)

How beautiful was the moment. Leslie had responded to my message about growing my speaking presence. She is a brilliant, creative leader. As she had offered to assist in designing and marketing a special event, we were meeting to brainstorm.

As we talked about possible content, I shared a bit about personal purpose (brand)−one way to answer the question, “What do you do?” That is when Leslie said simply, “I’m a 40 year-old cheerleader.” That’s perfect was my response! More than anything I was deeply impressed with her confident stance in this simple statement.

Leslie left an environment not supportive of the release required of her unique impact. She found an environment that welcomed, and needed, this cheerleader. And because of the impact of her loving and accountable cheers, she has been asked to broaden impact on yet another division in her organization.

As I thought on this blessed time with Leslie, I was taken to a deeper understanding of the skill I call Personal/Professional Growth Management. As Leslie models, one must stand in a delicate, tight space of understanding. She knows that ‘one thing’ she cannot help but do−be a cheerleader holding me accountable to give the best of who I am. And it is around this stance around which all learning, unlearning, growth, and development is focused for authentic impact.

Thank you Leslie for your leadership.

See sister post, Letting Go into Impact

Reflections for Your Awareness (The Flow of Why)

It’s not enough to just ‘tell’ people that something has to be done. A story has to be a part of that telling, and that story has to be repeated. Often. Clearly. Consistently. The most successful messages are a story. The best stories are personal. If you make the story your own as part of the telling, it will be that much easier for your audience to attempt to make it theirs, as well.  -From post 6/21/2011 by Ric Gonzalez, Woo Woo Leadership

Doug understands that there is a new reality in the 21st Century workplace. He further understands the importance of each individual’s embrace of a new understanding; stop and see what is good around you. This pause is necessary to understand why with the clarity required.

The clarity is to fortify one’s accountability that flows through individual voice. As voice guides, you hold tight to the accountability of your story. The why is never found in the slides of a presentation. Why is found at the meeting point of message and individual story.

In the flow of why one can more easily connect with the positive and powerful aspects of accountability; making the story their own.

The new reality will be all-consuming without a new understanding. In this new understanding there is freedom to be claimed in the flow of a new confidence. In the 21st Century we no longer wait for those “in charge” to provide the clarity required. Acting in  a new confidence demonstrates the accountability assumed in the flow of why.

The Client Letters – Two (Dave)


How fitting it seems to write this as we approach Memorial Day. You will understand why. You came  to me after receiving the charge to transform your yellow pad. If I remember correctly, it was something like; You are really good at carrying around the yellow pad with tasks that must be done. I need you to transform that pad to become more strategic. This is when you and I began our dialogues to discover and understand the unfolding narrative; the story unique to who you are as a leader.

As we talked, I learned your basic story; you were raised by a Drill Sergeant. Your wonderful dad taught you well. You earned your reputation as one trusted to implement. Your dad taught you how to act and implement efficiently. You then told me how your implementation experiences through the years had led you to the guiding philosophy of HITC FITM (head in the clouds, feet in the muck). I began to know you as a great storyteller and to understand your ability to lead with story. You manage interactions during implementation in a way that assists the unfolding purpose of the larger story.

So, I learned your back story. Also, I learned you have a driving front story; your Desire & Intent:
~ Challenge, motivate, and inspire individuals to thrive, succeed, and own
~ Lead strategically while making the future real in what we do today
~ Be truthful, honest, straightforward, and caring – make others feel that what they do makes a difference and is appreciated

As you lead in this Desire & Intent, you have set an overarching goal as you lead with ever-increasing levels of effectiveness: Take the value of getting things done, combine with my ability to design the future, and tell the story.

From your dad, you learned to leverage the middle ground – between the story (strategic vision) and the actions presently required to implement.

It is a pleasure to be a partner in amplifying your voice of Integrity & Honor into the world,

Confident Engagement

In my book, Wading the Stream of Awareness, my wife’s favorite chapter is the last, entitled simply – Love. I began that chapter with, and structured it around, a poem I wrote.

To my leader:

I need you to be you
Afraid I’m not of who you really are
I’m only afraid if you cannot be you.

I’m ready to give all of me
   to the direction of your guidance
But only in the confidence of your courage,
   the courage of your confidence.

Show it to me, live it, speak it
   this passion from your confidence
   this love for who you are.

For when I know of its presence
I will know I am loved
I will be fearless in being me.

As a leader, the secret to engaging others is to be a model of engagement; to be someone who understands your own purpose and one who is conscious of the respective unfolding story. Storytelling is artful narrative applied to bring us together as a result of our individualized interpretation as story listeners.

Purpose gives direction. As a model, you make choices in light of your authenticity. Confident and empowered in your own purpose, you create the space where individual stories recognize collective harmony. Love is applied in this connection.

Through story, you assist me in seeing the future in our present commitments and actions. You are loving when leading with confidence while leading me to my confidence in my own story. The demand for 21st Century impact can only be met through the aware, focused, and loving leader.

Trust and Creativity (Creative Trust)

After our first full day of working the 38th annual National Storytelling Festival, I did something completely unnecessary, and frankly stupid. I fired up my laptop to check my email for that Friday. Thanks to a particular operating system that is junk, the recurring problem with loading my user profile came home to roost.

It is hard  to react and create in the same space – a space without calmness and thinking.

This I proved as I reacted to the laptop issue by taking immediate action – action based on feelings. My not-so-nice feelings kept me up until 2:00 a.m. When I needed 6 hours of sleep (not 4) prior to the second 15 hour day at Festival. Only at the end of that second long day (when I wrote this) was I calm enough to think clearly, stop reacting, and choose a better action plan for this laptop on which I run the business I love.

Reaction induces action. Creativity conceives something from calm, confident thought. Reaction is the result of a not yet known chain of events. During my distracting  disgust with the computer’s operating system, I found no connection to calmness that is found in understanding. Creativity is conscious choice flowing from calm, confident thought.

We build trust in and through our individual  creativity. The trust that flows to others springs up in the trust we hold confidently for ourselves.