Step into the Middle with Focus

Susan is all about supporting others when and where they need it. She holds a vision of true balance for others; a harmony of focus between the internal and the external.

From her commitment to true balance, Susan is intently focused on encouraging personal engagement:

I take interest in the work of others to encourage the interest that gives energy for the work and supports the confidence of the individual in the work.

Susan shows us what it looks like to step into the middle with focus. Her process is about deep, clear listening−required for a safe wade to the middle of the leadership stream. Susan is determined and focused by nature; her strengths of Active Clarity, Confidence, and Collaboration drive her forward with a silent, creative tension.

She has advanced into the middle of 21st Century impact with conscious focus−a confident, clear grasp on who she is and what is most important to her. Purpose drives how she supports; and in her brand of support she has become a purposeful teacher.

In the process of the support of others, Susan is learning to listen internally to hear better externally. She has consequently become more conscious of her own process of support. It is this process that has emerged and defined Susan’s very impact. This unique impact has long been present, she is now simply conscious of both presence and process.

Like Susan, do not make assumptions about the unknown. Instead, seek out information important to collective, focused direction.

Encouragement for Your Impact (Trust in the Unfolding)

Society’s opinion toward results and outcomes is evolving in the 21st Century to an approach that calls on a balance of the internal and the external−a call to use all the creativity at one’s disposal based on who we are as an individual. −J.Brunson, Living a Story of Impact (2010)

I cannot even begin to articulate the transformation which is in the turbulence of where I currently stand. Consequently, I remain open to what the unfolding demands in the flow; the certainty of both rising and falling. Impact is the living measure; confirmation of one’s willing participation in the unfolding−the flow.

In this 21st Century, we need you to step into, and love, the flow of revolutionary authenticity, drawn by purpose.

Purpose brings awareness:
1) Awareness flows from your core.
2) Awareness surrounds you.
3) Awareness draws in life.

Awareness in the flow−Awareness is the flow.

Be aware.

See companion post, Drawn by Purpose

You, The Stream, and Voice

I wish I could explain what attracts me to the stream. I know it has become an essential part of my life. There are times even though miles away I hear its song. I hear it calling my name. I have all my life. −The Stream as an Attractor, Voice Chapter, page 125

Were it not for the call of the stream−the softness of a name given me in grace−I believe I would have become lost in the past few weeks of reflection at the pool.

Sometimes we fervently crave something new when the real pang is for what is already present and established. What is already present is your voice. There is an energy−a power−that resonates from your core. This is your voice; that one element you hold so close that it must be present (flowing) for each interaction to be as it ought.

In this time of contemplation, that has providentially included a necessary suffering, I was made aware of an intonation in my voice that had become muted in the sometimes too plentiful insignificant clatter of 21st Century living. My thoughts then turned to doing what I must to free this energy into active articulation; a delivery firmly placed by the strength of my voice.

Know then the essential things. Be still in the flow and listen for the call. Chances are what you hear will not be for the first time, but maybe specifically more recognizable than ever before. Has the message (the call) changed? No. You have.

Your voice will clear the flow of your individual character and allow us safety in the experience of who we really are.

The Danger of Unconscious Competence

Your unique melody of order is the balanced result of desire, intent, and behavior; but only if the melody flows from your authenticity. To safely and productively wade the stream of awareness, you must be conscious and present.

Talk about Trust

The learning continuum illustrates the joint progression of competence and consciousness. With any given point of knowledge we begin in the realm of “I don’t know what I don’t know.” We are unconsciously incompetent. This was me as the facilitator rigged us to climb 45 feet into the trees and then take a walk across a wobbly line to another tree. As I assisted Rob with the safety rope attached to our teen leaders, I watched them ascend one at a time. I became consciously incompetent. I now saw what I did not know; and it was a lot.

I was the last one to perform this act in the trees. There is no way I will claim conscious competence at this tree-top activity, but with practice I could. Can Rob claim unconscious competence? He probably could, but I bet he would not recommend it. My guess is, that while he is in the trees, he is very present with his actions. It would be dangerous to not be present in the heights and unconscious of individual action.

And so it is with our unique, individual Desire & Intent. Our impact as leaders in the 21st Century demands a conscious presence. It is through a conscious presence where we build our competence through practice. The more I work one-on-one with leaders, the more I see the danger in a blind dependence of across-the-board unconscious competence. We must learn to manage personal action in light of what Malcolm Gladwell calls thin slicing balanced against the demand to be present with our behavior.

As you follow through on a commitment to selfless time for personal growth and development, you dismantle the hold of an old confidence. Find those areas of unconscious competence – unique strengths – and one by one bring them back to consciousness; to the present. See what you may need to unlearn and cross reference new learning with what you already do well.

Join the exciting and fulfilling journey of A New Confidence and reduce your exposure to the danger of unconscious competence. Do not wade the stream of awareness when you cannot see the bottom. Step carefully. Step consciously.

You’ve Only Just Begun

Sometimes a new beginning sneaks up on us. Under the illusion of control, we too often believe that something ends and something new begins; that there is an instant bridge between the two.

William Bridges taught me about managing transitions. Even when a new beginning clearly appears nestled against the ending, it may not be so for the individual. Change is a constant reality in the 21st Century. In our work, even the smallest change can throw one into the grieving process; even if the transition is brief.

Brief or not, a transition is a time for release and discovery in the riches of creativity; but only if the transition is honored.

“The severest test of work today is not of our strategies but of our imaginations and identities.”  -David Whyte in Crossing the Unknown Sea

Should you find yourself in a transition (and you will), don’t be too concerned when you experience some level of anxiety or even role confusion.

You’ve only just begun.