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Archive for October, 2015

Good day gentle reader. For the context of this entry please see my entry of 18 October, 2015. Today I will offer you a few more ‘Observations, Insights & Considerations.’ Perhaps one or more of them will resonate with you, or your thinking will be stimulated, stretched or challenged.

• Belief = You trust your knowledge and you go there. Faith = You don’t know and yet you trust and you go there (your trust is in something greater than yourself).

• Consider: the more basic and therefore the more potent an assumption the less likely it is to be examined.

• One Question I hold: When do I explain away rather than explain?

• Concerning ‘Good Thinking’: People reason differently when they think about a problem or polarity or paradox or dilemma in order to understand it then they do when they intend to take action.

• INTEGRITY: No betrayal is more damaging, wounding or harmful than that which comes from the denial or compromising of one’s integrity  Conversely, there is reward, nurturance and sustainability when one lives in a way that affirms and hence honors one’s own lived-integrity  The cynic states: ‘Integrity does not put bread on the table!’  One response to the cynic: ‘People do not live on bread alone!’  Ultimately we live with/rooted in integrity or we choose that which trumps our integrity.

• Consider: Arrogance goes hand-in-glove with great gifts.

• One way to change the other is to see him/her differently.

• Too often I regard ‘intention’ as a substitute for ‘action’  AND too often I substitute ‘effort’ for ‘intelligence.’

• Pay Attention: All of the wisdom-holders speak in whispers.

• Consider: ‘Dialogue’ = depth conversation; seeking the wisdom of the collective – People are heard!  ‘Blabalogue’ = shallow blahversation; there is a striving to wear down the other(s)  People are herd!

• Consider: Four Types of Violence – (1) Violence of Thoughts = violates the mind with suspicion, inner gossip, illusions, revenge-full fantasies, and obsessing/ruminating about the past (2) Violence of Words = verbal abuse, sarcasm, & ‘categorizing’ the other(s) (3) Violence of Emotions = rage, apathy, despair, envy, self-pity (4) Violence of Conduct = addictions, physical harm (by neglect and by action), disconnection (from self and from the other), ignoring/shunning the other

• Reflection on ‘Being Awake and Aware
1) Admit that you are ‘asleep’
2) Admit that you don’t want to ‘wake up’
3) Commit to Waking Up. Two Ways to Wake Up = (a) to be bumped sufficiently by life, (b) to listen with an attitude of openness, of being willing to discover something new, being opened to being influenced, to hold an attitude of searching while becoming an active seeker, to be open to deep change, if not transformation
4) To listen with undefended receptivity  to listen with a goal of seeking to understand; to listen rooted in a willingness to ‘unlearn’; to listen with a willingness to discover and bring to a conscious level your deep tacit assumptions, deep beliefs, rigidities, stereotypes, prejudices (views of the world and of the ‘other’); to discern the many ways you bring light and darkness, or virtue and vice or good and evil to the/your world
5) Do not listen to confirm your ‘surety’; listen rooted in curiosity and listen in order to open pathways to doubt
6) Listen in order to honor the other(s) and to honor your self
7) Don’t Respond to the Anxiety – Remember that listening while being awake and aware and intentional and purpose-full will frequently open pathways to ‘being disturbed’ (being disturbed is rooted in anxiety, ambiguity, doubt, questioning, confusion and internal chaos, etc.)

• Two Questions that help me discern whether I am open to and/or in need of a shift, a change, or a transformation: (1) Does the way I live my life get me what I need-want? (2) What do I need-want?

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I carry a little black book with me. I write quotations in my book that stimulate, stretch and challenge my thinking. I also write down ‘Observations, Insights & Considerations’ that emerge into my consciousness as I am reading, reflecting or meditating. Recently I began to transfer some of my observations, insights and considerations from my little black books into one of my journals. A friend of mine suggested that I post some of these; the ones that have emerged into my consciousness. After some reflection I have decided to do so. The following are in no particular order of importance although some, as you will notice, are connected to one another. Perhaps, gentle reader, you will find one or two that stimulate your own thinking.

• To live a conscious life, one needs to constantly refine one’s listening.
• Those who are ‘Sure’ hate, above all else, curiosity.

Here are Three Guidelines I use when I facilitate a learning session:
• This is a safe place
• This is a caring place
• This is a place of learning – learning is rooted in curiosity and doubt not in certainty and surety

Consider ‘Discipline’ – Discipline = a pattern of behavior that teaches one and enables one to correct one’s ethical and moral behavior and habits.

Consider that too often we confuse two things:
• Solving a problem
• Stating a problem clearly, concisely and correctly – It is this second one that a leader is charged and challenged to emerge (this clarity, conciseness and correctness also applies to emerging polarities, paradoxes and dilemmas)

My challenge as a depth-educator
• To frame questions that help emerge and name problems, polarities, paradoxes and dilemmas
• To help co-create safe environments for searching conversations
• To hold an attitude and belief that the many are wiser than the one

Consider that the ‘Secret’ is just two words: ‘Not always true!’

Three Questions: When you say ‘yes’ –
• What expectations, hopes, desires or wishes come with your ‘yes’?
• Why this ‘yes’ at this time in your life?
• What ‘Nos’ reside hidden within your ‘Yes’?

A Question: ‘How do I know I exist?’
A Reply: ‘Who’s asking?’

Consider the ‘Fundamental Questions of Existence’. . .
• Who am I? The question of identity
• Where did I come from? The question of origin
• Where am I going? The question of destiny
• Why am I here? The question of purpose
• What ultimately matters? The question of meaning
• How am I to live? The question of morality
• What happens when I die? The question of finality & continuity

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This morning, gentle reader, we will conclude our brief exploration of some of the Major Tap Roots that feed, nurture and sustain the Leader and Leadership (as a reminder, these are not the only Major Tap Roots that feed, nurture and sustain; you, gentle reader, may well know of others that do so).

THE TAP ROOTS:

• Health: At our best we are living paradoxes (‘we’ = the individual, relationships, and the organization as a living organism). Thus we nurture and we deplete our health. Each individual nurtures and depletes the four dimensions that help comprise a fully human being. These four dimensions are the Physical, the Intellectual, the Emotional and the Spiritual dimensions (Note: some resonate more with ‘Spirit’ than with ‘Spirituality’). Each individual probably has his or her ‘favorite’ ways of both nurturing and depleting each of these dimensions. Over time, more nurturance or more depletion will occur in each dimension. Each relationship and each organization also nurtures and depletes one or more of the individual’s dimensions and over time more nurturance or more depletion will occur. Each relationship (think, one-to-one, team, department, etc.) also nurtures and depletes the health of the relationship and each organization also nurtures and depletes its health. Over time each person, each relationship and the organization will become healthier or more dis-eased/depleted. Perhaps at some time I will devote a number of postings to this topic, ‘Heath,’ but these few words will have to suffice for now.

• Commitment to Development: I am thinking this morning of the individual’s, each relationship’s and the organization’s need to develop – or develop more fully – their skills, talents, abilities and capacities. I am also thinking that this commitment includes ensuring to the best of their ability that these are utilized fully and wisely. Each individual, relationship and organization is also charged with developing their ability and capacity to appropriately respond and appropriately react and to develop their ability and capacity to be unconditionally response-able and responsible. Each individual, relationship and organization is also charged with developing their ability and capacity to embrace and engage Problems, Polarities, Paradoxes and Dilemmas. Too often these three entities focus on ‘Problems’ and hence they are not committed to the development of embracing and engaging Polarities, Paradoxes, and Dilemmas. By-the-by, these three occur much more often than do ‘Problems’ to be solved. Finally, for this entry at least, each individual, relationship and organization is charged with a commitment to develop their ability and capacity to use their ‘power’ ethically and morally (simply stated: To act at all times rooted in Integrity).

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This morning, gentle reader, we will continue to briefly explore some of the Major Tap Roots that feed, nurture and sustain the Leader and Leadership (as a reminder, ‘Leadership’ is a by-product of the relationship between the Leader and the Led).

THE TAP ROOTS:

Commitment to Clear Agreements: A ‘Commitment’ involves entrusting, binding and obligating. In this instance one is entrusted with, bound to and obligated to live into and out of one or more ‘Agreements.’ Consider that too many ‘agreements’ are not clear and often result in tension and conflict. For example, a person agrees to have a report completed ‘by the afternoon.’ The person’s thinking is ‘I have until 2pm to finish the report’ and then the person wanting the report shows up at 12:30pm expecting the report to be completed. In addition to being ‘clear’ it is helpful to all if the agreement is specific and measurable. Some agreements are non-negotiable and some are negotiable and it helps all concerned if an agreement is understood by all to be either non-negotiable or negotiable. Some agreements are so important that they need to be put in writing and all parties involved will then commit to them via their signature. Finally, some agreements are ‘covenants.’ A ‘covenant’ is a solemn/sacred agreement or it is a legally binding agreement. There are agreements that are entered into between individuals, within and between relationships (think team, department, etc.) and within and between organizations.
Safety: How often have you, gentle reader, been in a group and you knew that it was not safe for you to speak your truth or offer your opinion or even bring your voice (‘You are new here and so you have no right to bring your voice – unless you are invited to do so.’). There are four dimensions that are directly concerned with safety. The ‘Physical Dimension’ means that one will, literally, be physically safe. The ‘Intellectual Dimension’ means that one is able to safely offer his or her best thinking to others (during the height of our nation’s industrial power it was not uncommon to hear: ‘You were not hired to think; you were hired to do what I tell you to do!’). The ‘Emotional Dimension’ means that one will, for example, not be ‘emotionally bullied’ by another. The ‘Spiritual Dimension’ means that one is safe when it comes to his/her faith-tradition or humanistic tradition – that is, one is safe from ‘spiritual bullying.’ When all four are ‘one’ then the person is safe in bringing ‘all of one’s self’ to the organization. For some organizations it is crucial that ‘safety agreements’ are clear and openly committed to.

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This morning, gentle reader, we will continue to briefly explore some of the Major Tap Roots that feed, nurture and sustain the Leader and Leadership (as a reminder, ‘Leadership’ is a by-product of the relationship between the Leader and the Led).

THE TAP ROOTS:

Balancing ‘Being Effective’ & ‘Being Faithful’: We seem to know that it is crucial for the Leader and for Leadership to ‘Be Effective.’ We also seem to know that in order to understand if the Leader and Leadership are ‘Being Effective’ that a clear, concise and concrete definition of ‘Being Effective’ must be defined and disseminated to all of the stakeholders concerned. In our culture we tend to emphasize ‘Being Effective’ while minimizing, discounting or ignoring ‘Being Faithful.’ One guiding question that might help re-focus ‘Being Faithful’s’ importance is: What must the Leader and Leadership be faithful to even though the Leader and Leadership might not ‘Be Effective’? For example, it might be more important to ‘Be Faithful’ to one’s ‘Core Values’ or ‘Core Guiding Principles’ or ‘Espoused Credo’ even though ‘Being Effective’ might be at risk. During the Tylenol Poisonings, which occurred in the early 1980s, the Leader and the Leadership of Johnson & Johnson made a ‘Being Faithful’ decision and took the risk that ‘Being Effective’ would be compromised. Their ‘Credo’ trumped ‘Product’ and ‘Being Faithful’ to their ‘Credo’ was chosen over ‘Product Placement’ (‘Being Effective’). Consider that both ‘Being Effective’ and ‘Being Faithful’ are crucial and hence a balance, over-time, is necessary.
Definition & Integration of Three ‘Cores’: These ‘Three Cores’ are: Core Purpose, Core Values, and Core Guiding Principles. These are ‘Defined’ and ‘Integrated.’ Too many organizations ‘define’ them and stop short of ‘integrating’ them. This ‘integration’ must occur at the Personal, the Relational (think Team, Department, Division, etc.) and Organizational levels. Without the ‘integration’ the Leader and Leadership end up ‘espousing’ these but do not ‘live them out fully and wisely.’ ‘Core’ means that to the best of our ability we will never compromise these three. ‘Core Purpose’ is a response to the questions: ‘Why do we exist?’ ‘What needs in the/our world are being served because we exist?’ ‘Are the needs so great that if we did not exist then we would have to invent our organization?’ Our ‘Core Values’ are the three or four values that are so important to us that we commit ourselves (again at the Personal, Relational, and Organizational levels) to never compromise them (a ‘Core Value’ does not have to be a ‘virtue,’ it can be a ‘vice’ – think, ‘greed’). Our ‘Core Guiding Principles’ are, again, three or four principles that help guide our behavior and decision-making and, again, to the best of our ability we will never compromise them (here is one to consider: ‘To Act at all times with Integrity’). Like a ‘core value’ a ‘core guiding principle’ does not have to be rooted in ‘virtue’ it can be rooted in ‘vice.’

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