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.
Getting in state … involves focusing your whole being on your intent to achieve your purpose. This state is vital to the art of the tell because your intention is actually what signals listeners to pay attention to you.
-Peter Guber in Tell to Win
I trust the loving storyteller. And there is no teller of stories more worthy of trust than Kathryn Tucker Windham. How providential it feels that this post was planned for this week; the week Kathryn, after 93 love-driven years, was allowed to rest – taken up into the rest of the story.
Kathryn listened, learned, laughed, and loved her way through life. Her father’s teaching of the Four L’s was taken seriously and she lived accordingly. And we were all blessed. As a storyteller – whether writing them for us or telling them to us – Kathryn lived a narrative that brought her intention to tangible reality. Her intention was pure love uninhibited by any form of debilitating judgment. This brand of love gets your attention and makes you listen.
As an aware, focused, and loving leader who listens, you see present need. You trust the teller in you for the appropriate story to fill the need. Driven by your love for the listener, you tell effectively. You are present with your love and we have love in your presence.
Photo: Gift from Tom Raymond, Fresh Air Photo
Kathryn loved stories and she loved her listeners. As she would encourage, “Go, tell your stories.”
Being thumped out into the turbulence of the river is something I will not soon forget. After breaking through the thin layer between drowning and floating, I saw the rock; a rock so large, it was a major player in turning the river’s flow. I found my footing just in time to keep from being slammed into the rock’s immovable position.
While I held the river in esteem prior to this experience, I now hold a reverential respect for the power in its flow. The river has gifted me with a new level of consciousness when blessed to be in its presence. This adventure in the character building torrent enlightened me to the meaning behind the partnership of water and rocks; movement and clarity.
The rocks in our lives keep the flow moving in a direction congruent with personal intention. And in the right conditions of time and place, we form depth made clear by forced movement. The depth of our pools are clear because of the rocks.
With voice in full engagement, I am learning to bless the rocks; not as barriers, but as providential builders of experience in my journey.
The principle of commitment is a power intended for your good. From a standpoint of personal impact, it is a power of leadership, influence, and service in this world; powerful impact flowing to others through you. In a conscious new confidence, you unfold this impact moment by moment – one commitment built on another – as you allow the guidance given in your unique Desire & Intent.
Allan and I have only just begun to work together. Already I am excited to see where his own Desire & Intent will take him. The last two years have taken their toll on the headcount in his organization, the flow of business in his territory, and on Allan’s confidence. It will be a personal joy to me to hear Allan express his Desire & Intent, become conscious of his own voice, and experience the connection of the two. Allan will discover Desire & Intent as a vehicle for his voice.
For each of us, the core of our purpose is to flow. That flow is productive as we free desire and own intent; freeing both in our behavior and connecting behavior to results of impact. Owning intent is a mark of balanced maturity; an ability to leverage the power of connective, unfolding commitments.
The frequency of your unique desire assists the flow of your intent.
There is a certain saying about a particular road that is paved with good intentions. While that saying is harsh and void of grace, there is a partial truth within: Our intent is meaningless if it does not translate into behavior. In some cases – over time – a good behavior can nullify intent if the behavior does not achieve a result.
This is how we build trust: First we trust ourself to keep the commitments made from the desire in our core; we then allow intent to flow through behavior to a consistent and sustainable impact (the result of one’s commitments externally).
This dependable flow yields the freedom that is indispensible to our desire. In this flow, desire is set free in a productive present where intent is translated into impact.
It’s like learning a new language.
We had been working together for several weeks when Deanna said this to me. She had been learning many valuable specifics about her true self and each week successively impressing me with her focused and intentional application with what she was learning. Deanna is acting with integrity.
Integrity is a word I often hear when working with someone to identify and define specific, core values. Integrity is maintained not in general action, but in action that is specific to who you are.
In the 21st Century, a focused and intentional application is the individual leader’s treasure. At the same time that Deanna is committed on this path of authenticity, the flooding force of distraction is more powerful than ever. Busyness joins with the shoulds of others and distracts you from the integrity of you.
While Deanna aspires to her envisioned level of impact in this world, my job is to continue to provide the encouragement that opens her eyes to her unique brand of impact that is building in each successive, authentic act.