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


Free in the Story

Inside you begin as the seed of trust sprouts,
determined in the spirit with each step.

The gift of intuitive instinct guides focus,
each path individually unique.

You move along a purposeful path,
blessings of experience strengthen resolve.

Resonate voice scripts the scenes of life,
a courageous yes to what is true.

Enlightened in trust you have learned,
love flows through a serving purpose.

−J. Brunson

Leadership Poem 7 – From Keith’s Story and the experience of honoring uniqueness

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 – Keith’s Story

Each of us wants to find our way, to have purpose. This is something I believe to be so. Having a lot of questions does not mean we are necessarily lost from this path. Each path is unique. I love what David Whyte says in The Heart Aroused:

In effect, if we can see the path ahead laid out for us, there is a good chance it is not our path; it is probably someone else’s we have substituted for our own. Our own path must be deciphered every step of the way.

Keith is determined, focused, and patient in unfolding his path. His voice of trust is finding resonance in his daily scenes. For Keith, the depth of relationship is based on trust. He is one who begins with trust; trusting first in order to learn about each individual. The driving force behind Keith’s career plans is his desire to assist others with finding their focus; confidence in their own unique purpose.

Keith has had a major realization along his own path; that trust begins inside oneself. In order to trust himself to keep commitments made to himself, he discovered how important ‘no’ can be to focus.

The Power of No
Keith said to me, “I’m learning that it takes confidence to say no.” He is learning to trust his instinct. This self-trust is giving him the confidence to say no, thus further building confidence in the thin-slicing of intuitive instinct. For Keith, this is about further narrowing his focus on what is really important. As he clearly stated, “It is about reducing the distractions from one’s peripheral view.”

The distractions along the way do not mean Keith has made bad choices. What is now a distraction was once an opportunity to learn; to learn more about self and to open more to his path of purpose.

Saying Yes
Keith realizes the blessing of the distractions he has suffered; this is teaching him more about the power of presence and focus. He is further proving that prioritization does not yield focus. It is focus that yields prioritization.

As Keith summarized, “The confidence that my opinion is of value is in saying no to some good things to say yes to the things I love the most.” Voice gives power to the ‘no’ that is so often required to keep us on the path of our purpose.

Keith Glover is leading others to the leadership freedom built on the credibility of who they were made to be.
Keith’s blog: Pastor2Pastors

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.

Personal Clarity

Prior to Eric and I entering a one-on-one coaching relationship, he had participated in group Desire & Intent sessions I facilitated with his peers and their CEO. Eric is the newest of the officer team and has thoughtfully and intentionally considered his role of leadership in the organization. In our first coaching session, his strength for thoughtful preparation was astounding. I told his CEO how, as I did my usual start-up monologue, Eric sat patiently and listened. The moment I finished Eric shared that he had been thinking in preparation for our coaching work. He began to share and I could barely keep up.

Trusting and acting on his own values, Eric allows purpose to flow with clarity for those he is charged with leading, influencing, and serving. A personal clarity at the level of one’s own values is the origination of authentic communication and connection.

Communication is judged – or perceived – as good when: It flows; it comes forth in a clear context; it is sincere; it is trustworthy.

As with Eric, when a leader’s communication acts are focused in the need of the present, the hearers are more equipped to do their part in filling the gaps necessary for a connection of mutual impact.

Your Reach (A New Security)

The challenges in our economy, along with the natural evolution of the 21st Century, are both threatening and exciting. In my work I know many individuals whose livelihood is unsure and many for whom the hammer has fallen. The leaders with whom I normally work have been hard at his/her respective careers for many years. The fact that these good people have been at their craft so long intensifies individual fear.

Let’s consider Michael. He has been at his work for more than twenty years. Michael is a good man, he loves what he does, he is good at what he does, and those he leads, influences, and serves love him. His organization, like so many others, is in turmoil as it struggles to simultaneously survive and reinvent itself. Even with a solid track record, Michael feels no sense of security as he watches the shoe drop for one after another who is just like him.

Consequently, Michael is turning his attention toward potential opportunity outside the walls of his current organization. This is yet another source of consternation as he finds himself struggling with letting go. While he must let go of the false security of his current organization – regardless if he remains or goes – he does not have to let go of his experience.

Like many others, Michael initially saw another opportunity – forced or voluntary – as starting over. This is absolutely not the case. No one, for any reason, can take away his experience in the work or the experiences that are in his heart. The experience and experiences have worked together with his spirit to make him who he is today.

Michael is now ready to fully live his purpose. All that has occurred to this point has been preparation. Even with all the responsibilities of a husband and father, Michael is now free to extend his reach as intended. Loyalty, security, and trust have all spilled over into his network. It is there where he will find the next opportunity; and the ones that follow.

This is A New Security. This is where Michael – and the rest of us – will extend the power of our reach in making the world a better place for all.

I am privileged to know Michael.