Our Inner Territory – A Path for Love

Leading us to build a story together is a leader’s love applied.

The story of your reach as a leader cannot be told out in the world until your story has footing in the inner territory.

My guess is that when people (in general) hear the word “love” they first think of romantic love−an outward expression. Love is so much more. Love is not captured by such narrow definition.

While Cherice may be relatively new in the field of management, she is not new to leadership. Does love guide her on the leadership path? I firmly believe this is so. As I’ve come to know her in our coaching relationship, I’ve learned how committed Cherice is to each individual. Her commitment is founded on a strong base of pure and simple respect.

In some recent development work, the goal Cherice set is indicative of the leader she is: Continue to build on the power of trust & provide an environment where each individual is safe to be open, honest, and contribute from their best.

Her path for love as a leader is forged as she builds successful relationships through the sharing of ideas and knowledge. Cherice’s desire and intent as a leader intersect into her impact as she actively leverages the learning she has had in diverse opportunities. She consciously does this as a way to both challenge and lead each individual to assume charge of their own learning.

It is her conscientious trek through her own inner territory that confirms and makes real her intentional impact in the outer accountability Cherice takes so seriously.

See companion truth – Our Outer Accountability – Living Love

Step into the Middle with Voice

Partnered with my wade to the middle of the stream of awareness was a conscious journey with voice. Voice is part of your story and your part in a larger story. Feel this accountability and hold it carefully.

Doing this work I do, I often reflect on bosses I’ve had: Who was a manager? Who was a leader? Marilyn may have been one of the two best bosses; and a true leader. She knew something about who I am at the core, and she held me accountable to that goodness−my voice.

Voice is the resonance of authenticity intended in everything one does. At least that is ideal. At times, the intent of voice does not translate through to action; a sure sign voice is not flowing. Voice is however always present. Trust me on this. It has been there with you, in its uniqueness, since the beginning.

I remember several times, when spouting-off from some emotional response, Marilyn looking at me and lovingly pushing me back into my voice; “Jeff, you know better than that. That’s not representative of who you are.” Voice is not meant to be held close and tight within. This is the sign of a voice silenced by a distracted world and a false self; confined by wind-blown opinion and limiting expectations.

Even in repression voice is consistent. Whether they can name it or not, those who know you best, who have experienced you authentically, see this core consistently. And they want to see it freed and flowing. This is your foundation for service in this world.

Step into the Middle of Desire & Intent

The river … From source to sea it is one flow; nowhere does it pile up. … From source to sea, it is one unbroken song of flow−ever changing yet always one. … If only our lives could achieve, or indeed allow, such grace and elegance. −John O’Donohue, Beauty

Think of your leadership Desire & Intent as a flow−a nourishing river for you and others. As a leader you have the flow you need. It is the rhythmic power of 3 that is your answer to the desire and intent question.

Compelled from the foundation of desire, pulled into action by intent, you find yourself in the middle with the accountability of your impact.

If we could but find a rhythm of being which could balance a contemplative grace, a poetry of motion and an accompanying stillness and silence, our pilgrimage through this world would flow in beauty through the most ragged and forsaken heartlands of confusion and dishevelment. −John O’Donohue

Those who follow your loving lead depend on the frequency that is intrinsically felt in the rhythm of your Desire & Intent.

As a leader, it is in this river of practice where you catch all the rich content that is so masterfully blended in the creative tension of the middle; a unique union of your desire and intent … a song of flow.

Letting Go into Love

Love goes beyond mere expectations.

Our workplace needs love. What we need is for the individuals who make up our organizations to step forward in love; eliminate judgment; embrace uniqueness; and, with care, create accountability while behaving with responsibility. Love defined for the leader is to lead others with confidence while leading others to their own confidence. −Wading the Stream of Awareness (Love Chapter)

No doubt the last few years of economic instability have taken a toll on confidence. Even with many years of valuable experience under the belt, many have felt the erosion of fear. It was such a juncture where Richard and I began our work.

As we navigated the dialogue of our early sessions, Richard soon discovered both the power of a core value and the treachery of its overuse. In a difficult and challenging business climate, his deep desire to simply care was limited by a focus on reaction versus the stand of his brand of leadership−a proactive focus on success.

Practice is present attention and behavior applied for the balance of desire, intent, and impact. Richard has realized the power of creating space for others to come to their own connected conclusions. Moved by the love of his work, Richard is freeing his brand of love; leading others to a new confidence. Now free in practice, he establishes presence in how he cares−others receive the bounty of unfettered love in his presence.

Richard is elevating those he leads, influences, and serves beyond mere expectations; by caring about them−his brand of love as a leader. Allow love to be the credible guide it is for each moment−practice in the clarity of what you know is good and right.

See sister post, Release Love into Skill 7

Free to Serve

A question haunts;
Have I properly served in what you need?
Accountability beckons;
There is power no doubt in a voice freed.

No excuse are distractions of a day,
a voice silenced in the fray.

Refocused and ready I now stand,
authentically offering the serving hand.

An assertion made;
Important you are and free I remain.
A promise kept;
To serve you and the collective terrain.

−J. Brunson

Leadership Poem 5 – From Jim’s Story and the accountability of my own voice

To Be Led (A Leader’s Presence)

In time of virulent insecurity, a swarm devours thought;
the hum drowns out voice.
Deaf to the distraction, you focus where you ought,
guiding me to a new choice.

Trusting what is best for one is best for all,
from failure you refuse to protect.
Your courage fortifies accountability to stand tall;
I now succeed in what I select.

Energized by learning, and driven by a need to share,
you helped me clearly see what is good indeed.
Now I offer in the whole this extension of care,
and lead others to listen inside for what they need.

−J. Brunson

Leadership Poem 3 – From Doug’s Story and my own experience of a good leader

The Building of Confidence – Jim’s Story

Jim began our Story interview by saying, “I apologized to my staff the other day.”

There is quite a bit of change occurring in his organization and he was not sure he had been clear enough as of late. He felt he may have been short with them; not giving the amount of attention they really need from him. Internally, Jim was asking, “Have I served them properly?”

Our precarious economic environment has been a distraction for many leaders. Jim’s role as CFO has him on the firing line as his organization is reinvented in the atmosphere of an acquisition. These factors have pulled Jim away from his brand of leadership and challenged his voice. Typically, Jim leads in a manner that supports his commitment to serve each individual in the organization; they are all important to him.

Jim begins with trust. His style  of trust is grounded in personal accountability; that others need to own their behavior. He trusts people to own their impact through conscious, personal potential. With the heart and nature of a servant, Jim said, “I love to help people do things.” While he currently does not see himself as the best at delegation, he knows he needs others to accomplish his vision. His eyes were focused past me as he asked, “How can I pass responsibilities to others in this time?” How can he get others to take on more? It can be tiring.

Jim cares deeply; about the business and its success, and about each individual and his or her success. He is focused on the best outcomes and makes plans and changes accordingly. Jim is becoming more conscious of his deep, driving desire to serve.

In this stressful transition, Jim is aware of a powerful principle: In order to do some thing for others, you must be able to do this thing for yourself. When the oxygen masks drop, you will be no good to others if you do not carefully place yours first.

The uncomfortable questioning Jim is experiencing internally is right where he needs to be. It is hard to find answers if we do not ask the questions. Jim’s strength for process will continue to benefit him, and others, in the present as he clears his path to serve and frees his voice of Trust.

Jim Haselsteiner is a leader serving others toward a common goal. He is a calm presence in a time of transition and uncertainty.