Bridging Lives Notes: November 2015
First, thank you. If I could, I'd be looking you in the eye with a heartfelt smile right now. Thank you for choosing, day after day, to lead yourself and others somehow to a better future.
The call for wise leadership surely comes from an urgent need to get better at creating positive change in our world.
Wisdom. It's an idea that's proliferating fast in the business world. How about the practice where you are?
How do you know when “wisdom” is happening? What can you notice? What value does wisdom add to your daily practice of leading? What sustains you when it gets tough?
The bigger the challenge, the more attention you have to pay to what will keep you in the game. How do we access wisdom in a state of overdrive or overwhelm?
Working with leaders, I’m curious about how wisdom arises in the interplay of accountability and compassion. What kind of leader are you when you stand for compassionate accountability and for accountable compassion?
From where I stand, I see that wisdom has to be more than a nice idea. It makes something happen. Wisdom goes beyond knowledge. It asks questions about meaning, responsibility and the purpose of our knowledge. Wisdom looks beneath the surface of things. It is an ability to discern inner qualities and relationships, to perceive underlying truth. Wisdom considers the wellbeing of the greater whole.
Wisdom describes an aspect of our power as human beings, not just human doings. Wisdom is an embodied quality, a way of being attuned and tuning in. By some definitions, wisdom does not exist apart from love.
What if leadership rooted in love – rather than rooted in fear – became an emergent norm in business? We create that road by walking...imperfectly, humanely...together. So I thank you.
A Conversation of Note
Prior pitches she had made were relatively private, based on strong personal connection. By contrast, this pitch was going to be very public with people she was meeting for the first time.
Big lights. High stakes. Big nerves.
Can you imagine yourself in that situation? How anxious would you be?
Do you want to know one strategy that made a huge difference? This strategy can change the outcome of any conversation.
What normally happens when we’re nervous, asking for help and feeling vulnerable? I’ll sum it up like this: we get “small.” You can actually feel it happen. In your gut, in how you breathe, in what you project about your own power.
When we get “small,” a natural or learned response is to pretend being “big.” Fake it ‘til you make it, right? Assume the posture of “big.” One way to do that is to take up more space with a wider stance, taller posture and bigger gestures. The problem is, even with a posture of “big” if the internal energy is still “small,” people will generally feel it. It’s like pretending that clothes several sizes too big for you actually fit. Something is “off” or incongruent.
Inhabiting the posture of big means growing the inner energy. Instead of posturing to present well, you focus on your quality of presence. That way you communicate what’s true about your authentic self and your real power.
Here’s one powerful strategy for inhabiting “big.” Start with gratitude.
For my client, that meant feeling gratitude for having been chosen before even starting the conversation. She practiced herself into the full-body experience of connecting as though those strangers had already said, “yes, I’ll invest in you!” Yes, she was grounded in the reality of meeting them for the first time and making her pitch. But it was from the internal posture of gratitude… “I already won; thank you!” She expanded her being; she radiated positive vibes beyond the boundary of her visible gestures.
Did they choose her? Yes! Now they get to build the relationships necessary to build what’s next.
What conversation can you be “bigger” in today. What would be an awesome way for your interaction to go?
My Invitation: LEAD IN TRUST
Trust is the "soft" foundation for everything "hard" we care about and measure in business.
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You Are the Bridge
Be in touch...and stay tuned!
P.S. Special thanks for Alva Grünthal of Helsinki, Finland, for permission to share her artwork - "book bridge" - pictured above.
Lead. Collaborate. Grow. ... to Thrive!