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 Presence

The stream was formed for a specific purpose within a larger story. The stream is confidently content in this purpose and flows through its course respectively. Its voice amplifies the joy of living purposefully and as a visitor it implores me to listen. In listening, in being in its presence, my heart is captured. -The Stream as Restoring, Presence Chapter, page 160

We give from our best self only when fully present. In full presence we listen fully.

I believe that there are two necessary paths enabling us to move toward wisdom: a radical journey inward and a radical journey outward.”Richard Rohr, Simplicity

Our outward hearing is strengthened by the internal ear; the ability to listen in the flow of individual, unique story. In the flow, aware and listening, my heart is captured and encouraged by the broad spectrum of life. In true presence, I am no longer surprised by the movement of providence; but I am continually amazed.

The structural principle of authenticity: Whatever you desire to do for others, you must be able to do for yourself. This principle is not about perfection. It is about childlike charity in the present. We have become too rigid in accepting and receiving in ourselves. As children, we were open to parental charity−a charity that was obligation for the adult and a bright expectation on the part of the child.

There comes a time to be free again in the larger story; to receive in order to give, and to have your heart captured by what is carefully heard in the flow.

An Empowering Environment – Paul’s Story

“Building Today, Accessible Tomorrow.”

My friendship with Paul has been enlightening for my work with leaders in corporate environments. While Paul works on physical environments, he teaches me about empowerment in the emotional and spiritual realm of our spaces. Freedom is essential!

For Paul, honesty and trust must always be present for the most positive environment. This is the flow of Paul’s voice. A handshake is his name in cement.

Respecting her brave fight, I will call Paul’s client Karen. She is battling the disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Paul is not merely a construction expert, he partners in the care of the client. During Karen’s Smart Design project, he would take along material samples so she could actually feel the differences while he explained the details. This allowed Karen a level of engagement, expectation, and inclusion.

Paul told me that providing functional space for an individual like Karen is as empowering for him as it is for the client. These experiences are fulfilling his own purpose as the physical spaces he designs give freedom to the individuals who occupy them.

A few years ago, as Paul and I were looking forward in this value of fulfillment, he said, “My story is being written as I focus on the right pieces and build the dream.” And oh, in his intelligent, witty manner he added, “Knowing that I occasionally have to pull down my pants and slide on the ice.”

Paul Walton is a natural teacher because of the love he has for his clients. He applies his creative abilities and focuses passion in serving through his simple representation of Smart Design.

Paul and Moose

The Building of Confidence – Doug’s Story

Our global economic struggle has exacted a toll on organizations. It seems to me however there is not a substantial concern for individuals who are
survivors in this time of virulent insecurity. Then there is Doug.

Decide to Leave or Decide to Stay… Don’t Feel Trapped!
Doug is more concerned about the individual than anything else at the moment. By focusing on what is right for the individual, he believes he’ll accomplish what is best for the company.  Doug sees two ways to address those “left behind” during challenging times. The first is to educate people on the “new reality”, a sobering conversation which can foster negativity and cause people to become demoralized. The better choice is to encourage others to explore their options.
Tell them to go shop their value in the market! In so doing, each individual can develop his/her own perspective about where they are. In Doug’s premise, exploring options can only be good – either there’s something better out there for someone (yay for them!) or they develop a new appreciation for their current role and begin to see what is good around them.

Learning – Leveraging – Leading
Doug is driven to learn. When his learning is leveraged in his brand of leadership, Doug is energized. In an atmosphere of fear, people are doing their job, but there is no fulfillment. Doug believes in making work fun!  He is motivated by helping others find enjoyment and value in their work. He has combined the quantitative and qualitative sides of thinking critically to engage the individual in seeking what is right for them, the situation, and the collective.

Doug finds his hope in being present with his own brand “Leading others to think critically to succeed.” By focusing on others in these unsure times, he is helping them one by one do what is right for them. He is personalizing his faith in his own brand. Others need his brand. They need this critical thinking.

Doug has adapted a brand−developed for an ideal situation−to be effective in a challenging, fearful environment. He is helping the individual think critically for their own good; what is right for them … Now!

Don’t protect me from failing. Help me succeed!
-Doug Burton, 21st Century Leader

Doug Burton is a confident, creative leader for a large financial services company.

Working Love

I contemplate the fictitious nature of our work world. -John, Coaching Client

It was in our first session where John said this, and I will not pretend to know all that, for him, is behind this observation. However, being taken enough by his statement to immediately write it down, I decided to expand a bit on what it says to me about John’s journey.

When it comes to the individual in the work world, what one perceives is expected often seems to run counter to what resides deep inside. In The Heart Aroused, David Whyte says what the work most requires of us as an individual flows from the very part of us we are asked to check at the door. I am privileged to be of support as John reconsiders all this. This reflection toward purpose is essential to one’s journey.

The journey is energized when one travels conscious of internal desire and leads openly with intention. John unashamedly loves his work. Like you and me, he desires to give through his work with a confidence found in his own uniqueness. He wants the same for others. It is okay to love your work and in your work, love.

To take those you lead, influence, and serve beyond mere expectations, you must love them. Love moves one through fear and limitation. Leading in this New Confidence, leaders like John are guiding us from surviving in the fictitious nature of the work world to contributing in work we love. Your love builds my confidence. It takes the working love of a confident leader to build the confidence of others.


An Environment of Focus

This is being written as I continue to process what I perceive as the end of a long run of work with an organization. I am reminded how easy it is to blame. The most appropriate response for me may be to say, “It is what it is.” However, I realize in writing I can bring closure to the processing and move forward.

In one of the 7 Habits, Stephen Covey asks us to “Seek first to understand … .” Understanding opens the mind. I need an open mind just now as I make some important decisions about my work. Understanding releases one from the prison of a closed mind; thinking that is unable to focus.

From the beginning of the last two projects in the aforementioned organization, it is clear there was a lack of focus both individually and collectively (of course, this is very clear in retrospect). Throughout the organization, busyness distracted everyone from the presence of success. Confidence for each person was shaken and trust eroded rapidly as one reactive change fell against the next.

For now, and in the energy of moving forward, I must consider lessons learned. A New Confidence opens you fully; opens you to the clarity of focus which sustains collective action through the downturn that is a natural shape in the cycle – the flow. And, I renew my commitment to the individual as I ask my question of impact: What does it look like to create an environment promoting the personal accountability of each individual?

Am I Doing What’s Right?

The truest validation of confidence is when you take action simply because you know it is the right thing to do.

The CEO and his five VPs are a great team. The VPs have solid, trusting leadership in their CEO. The CEO has diligently created a great team of VPs. The reality is they would have been fine without me.

The CEO liked what I had to offer in my work. He seemed confidently clear that it was the right thing to do to work with me. It was my privilege to begin this relationship. It seems the CEO knew precisely what each individual VP needed and would receive.

His confidence furthered resolve in my approach while giving me complete confidence in the flow of our mutual work. As each participant learned more about their own uniqueness – through values, purpose, and voice – the sessions together became a swirl of meaningful dialogue where each individual found true validation and confidence in uniqueness and authenticity.

It didn’t hurt one bit to get a bit of validation for myself; and to be reminded I am doing what’s right.