Encouragement for Your Voice (You; Intended from the Beginning)

The voice to which I so often refer is discernible in what we say, but rarely audible.

Contemplate the silence of your Voice:
1) Be still in the flow.
2) Listen for the call.
3) Feel what you hear.

As of late, I have been learning to open and feel what I hear in the flow. Each experience is processed in my body. This is a new level of conscious awareness for me. Learning to practice this physicality in balance with emotional, mental, and spiritual realms is, I’m learning, very important to being with any experience.

I recently observed this balance when being with my mom for three days as she acclimated to a care and rehab facility. In the movement of these experiences−the paradoxical flow−I am moving closer to who I really am. This has been a lifelong process; and life ain’t over yet!

The you intended from the beginning is real and present in, and around, you … now. I completely understand it may not feel like that at the moment. I only ask that you stand in the middle, reach out, and feel the essence of you−meant purposefully from the source.

See companion post, Our Experience Together


Trust Yourself (Expertise)

In the agitation of intentional transition
a threat to confidence I consciously allowed.

Soul asks, “Do you know what you can do?”
and reminds me of a casual style avowed.

A loving voice not my own exhorts, “Trust yourself”
melting the icy texture of fear into knowledge matured.

With casual trust I float in creative flow
exiting a bubble of limitation with confidence assured.

−J. Brunson

Leadership Poem 1 – From Ed’s Story & loving encouragement from my best friend Becky

The Building of Confidence – Ken’s Story

Confidence: Feeling good about what I do and not feeling bad about what I’m not good at.  −Ken, Confident Leader

Upon first meeting Ken, I found he represented a common, yet sad, situation. He was good in his work, but did not understand why. He was not very aware or confident. Fortunately, Ken has a great friend and coworker who saw his strengths and gave him the gift of encouragement. The friend challenged Ken to look inside himself−to take the risk. When I interviewed Ken for his story, he was two years into his conscious journey as an aware, focused, and loving leader. Ken, as I learned in our work together, is at his best when his voice of respect and fairness is fully engaged. It is his love for the individual that drives his most effective behavior as a leader.

“Passion allows me to have the vision,” Ken explained. The current work in measurement reporting has helped Ken bring a lot of things together; he has become fully engaged. Ken told me this engagement allowed him to pull in his passion, strengths, and purpose. He said, “This combination has now made me better at looking ahead; seeing a vision (what could be from this work) and sharing with others this vision.” He has learned to put vision in the crosshairs of the present as he energizes others for the future.

As Ken brings the future to the present work, he identifies the measures that help build the collaborative telling of the organizational story. Many find expending this kind of energy risky as most people aren’t led to feel the story unfolding in the present.

“What I do−really do−is very marketable. I feel like I am taking a higher risk pursuing this since not as many companies are this committed to a full time role in the measurement and reporting space. However, I am comfortable with moving forward with the risk because I believe companies will be moving more and more into this area.”

Having the ability to do work where he has passion is a driver for Ken. He has moved away from fear−the fear of losing. If passionate work is a risk, then he willingly takes the risk. Ken told me that there are two kinds of energy in his awareness; exhaustive energy and engaging energy. He has consciously placed himself in the latter. He knows it to be a better place. Doing the work (the art) for which he has a passion is renewable energy. While the best reward is internal, it is great when it manifests externally as well. Ken’s energy in applying himself authentically in his work helped bring about the unanimous nomination to his role of enterprise reporting manager.

As Ken continually reflects on his Development Story, he finds energy to dive deeper into the work. “The work I’m doing right now is definitely in the wheelhouse of my story!” Ken exclaimed. He finds that some people appear to envy the energy he brings doing something he loves. Ken says, “I am simply exhibiting confidence.”

Ken loves his work and in his work, loves. This is Ken feeling the reward and sharing it with others.

Aware? Yes.

Focused? Yes.

Loving? Allow me to let Ken answer that: “I want to bring others along with my passion as I assist them in finding their passion; their confidence.”

Ken Witek is an IT leader for a Fortune 100 company where he delivers pathways to operational excellence.

Why Love?

The composition planned for this post suddenly changed when I realized the title had morphed into the question, Why Love? Another influence on the change in my plan was a brief, long overdue visit with a friend; the friend who, several years ago, issued a challenge. The challenge was to prove him wrong in a claim he made: The more narrow the focus, the broader the impact. He knew how to motivate this Southerner.

Becoming focused – narrowing my personal brand – had enriched my work and life. Focus intensified my love, my Voice (the one thing I hold so close that must be in each and every interaction). The intensity of my love strengthened my focus. Love flows through my work – only after doing its work in me.

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

The why of my love is embedded in my mission to free the confidence found in the individual leader’s authenticity. My love is focused only as I am present. It is good to remember; a healthy appreciation of the historical building blocks of our story. It is also good to confidently peer into the vision of tomorrow. Embracing the outline – the structure – of our story frees love in the present; the only location where we truly live.

Story lives in your moments, folds into your potential, and unfolds in your love. What is the why of your love?

Audible Love

To be accountable for your story is to have an impact in this world.

Upon completing his first 30 days in the new assignment in Northern Ireland, Ric sent me what he called random flow of thought. Personally, I found his thoughts rather orderly; so much so that I immediately cross-referenced his thoughts with my 7 Skills for 21st Century Leadership. I then asked him to write a guest post for each of the seven. Over the next several weeks, that is exactly what he did.

If you know me, or are a regular reader, you may feel like you know Ric already. Ric is an artist. We are all some sort of special artist. In his book, Linchpin, Seth Godin talks about doing the art and then shipping. We cannot sell out to what others might think. We have to do the work and ship. Ric did the work. I shipped it. Within two days, Ric’s work began its magic.

Love goes beyond expectation. Love flows from a being who lives with purpose. As your voice guides, you then hold tight to the accountability of your story. Through his artful writing, Ric lives out loud; making audible his love for both those he leads and those who benefit from his art – the art that was shipped.

Non-Anxious Presence

I remember my mom telling me how my grandmother would retreat into a funk when family would depart after a long visit. The visit of our adult daughter was a wonderful four days. She is a beautiful young person who is fun to be around. She got the best of both her mom and me.

In my humble (biased) opinion, she has an advanced acceptance of self and of others. At her best she is a non-anxious presence. Her return to her own home left me less than calm – in an inherited funk.

After a full day of funkedness, I reminded myself of the blessing of her presence that is always with us. I was reminded of the present joy we have always had when it comes to this child; this young woman. In practicing presence, I practice calmness. There is confidence in calmness.

Non-Anxious Presence – The intoxication that is an appreciative expression of being in the presence of another.

As during her visit, I am restored only when conscious and present. Through the restorative power of conscious presence, I am guided by my voice; my voice of Love.

Deliberate Presence

Maintaining the right to be present is indeed a running battle. My journaling recently reflected this fight in the pool of my experience.

My first words that day were, “Let go.” I was working on an agreement for some new work when I became aware of a thought habit from a more youthful season: “I’ll be at peace when …” At that moment I felt the power of my first words. Letting go will never happen if I am always delaying presence with when.

To be deliberately present is to keep an important commitment; to turn off the world and listen to the one thing being given in the moment. I have found I listen in the moment more effectively as I am presently committed to my purpose – a voice-infused presence releasing me from the fearful outcome that yanked me into the future.

I was dragged from presence only because I was holding tight to that filament into the unknown.

“Let go.”