Don’t Think or Feel Alone

Don’t Think or Feel Alone

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Do you know who wrote that line? How about this one?

“Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.”

The same guy wrote both, and not just any guy, but the one who was deemed the wealthiest man who had ever lived. Not only that he was also said to have been gifted as being the wisest man ever. He had the rare combination of having a ton of cash and a lion’s share of smarts. The author of these quotes was experiencing a financial life, an intellectual life, an emotional life, and a spiritual life that may be higher than any of us will ever experience. I imagine that it would have been difficult to see lack in his life. He must have been attractive as a leader, and easy to trust with decision-making. But even THAT guy knew a secret.

Left to our own thinking and our own emotions, we have the propensity to be...

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Mountain Bike Wisdom

Mountain Bike Wisdom

If you live in the Seattle area, and someone asks you how you like living there, the socially acceptable response is to say that it is miserable because it rains all the time. The reason: it is an amazing place to live with endless cultural experiences and possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts and area residents are not fond of crowds.

My family has lived in Upstate South Carolina, and so far, I am safe to tell you that we absolutely LOVE it – more all the time. One contributing factor is the DuPont State Recreational Forest which is a short drive from our house. DuPont’s 10,473-acres are a mountain biking Mecca with multiple waterfalls that have been the backdrop for several movie scenes. It is a wildly popular destination so, if you ever visit, avoid the visitor’s center parking area and go instead to the Fawn Lake parking area on Reasonover Road.

The park has 86 miles of trails which are differentiated similar snow skiing runs. Easy are...

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Is Your Money Making You Stupid?

Is Your Money Making You Stupid?

Recently, I heard of a business owner who has a business that opened in the past six months. The product he sells has people lined up out the door during many of his operating hours.

As I write this message his income is enviable, and he enjoys gong to and from in a big fancy vehicle. He is literally and figuratively on quite a ride.

Only one problem, he is totally unaware that he is heading for a collision. Oh, there are warning signs- enough of them for an aware person to make simple course corrections and avoid the eminent disaster. Staff are walking off the job mid shift. Even though the space is newly remodeled, it is often left uncleaned from one day to the next. Questions from front line staff to management typically go unanswered for days. The busier things get, service becomes noticeably less customer-friendly, etc., etc.

However, each of these issues and others like them are only symptoms of the real problem. The real problem is that the...

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Conscious v Unconscious Leadership

Conscious Leadership Overview

The 15 Commitments of a Conscious Leader has been one of the most paradigm-shifting books I have ever studied. Perhaps, a more complete depiction is that it has been both paradigm-shifting and paradigm confirming. Among other reasons, the study of this book has added value to me is because it both reinforces my training and experience as a leadership coach; and it also challenges me to examine my habits, thoughts, beliefs and agendas. Not only does it make me want to be a more conscious leader, it also offers proven descriptions, definitions, and demonstrations of conscious and unconscious leadership in a manner that is easily understandable. There are several relevant takeaways I hope to share but here is a quick overview of the contrasts between conscious and unconscious states of leadership.

To begin, the book authors state that, from their experience 95% of leaders spend 98% of their time below the line as their default mode of...

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Fact V Story

Fact v Story

Are You Sticking With That Story?

As both a student and practitioner of leadership, I have to say that this has been one of the most paradigm-shifting books I have ever studied. The premise of the book is demonstrated by a single horizontal line. At any given moment, we are either living unconsciously BELOW the line, or consciously ABOVE the line. In the coming days, I will have more to explain about what this means. But, let me share just one tidbit with you related to the stories we create.

Have you ever been in a public setting and noticed a stranger was looking at you? You know, that awkward moment when you make eye contact with someone who was not expecting you to look their way. You can tell instantly that they have been looking at you for a while in a curious sort of way.

It happens all the time. We are both viewer and viewee several times per day. What is taking place in these moments is our brains functioning as they were designed. It is the constant dance of...

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To Me or By Me

To Me or By Me – That is the question

Whether I come to the keyboard locked and loaded, knowing exactly where the message is going; or agonized over what to say next, writing always offers me the chance of more personal growth. There is always more to learn and through this process, I trust value is being added to you and those you influence.

Today, I continue reflecting on the content of the 15 Commitments of a Conscious Leader. Conscious leadership involves recognizing when you are below the line and consciously making a shift that moves you from being closed to being open, from defensive to curious, from wanting to be right to wanting to learn, and from fighting for survival of the ego to leading from a place of security and trust.

The growth of a conscious leader is not necessarily one that progresses through developmental stages, but rather practices self-awareness to answer,

“Where am I leading from?”

The authors suggest four “states” from which...

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Predicting Success

Predicting Success

“William Glasser: “We learn 10 percent of what we read, 20 percent of what we hear, 30 percent of what we see, 50 percent of what we see and hear, 70 percent of what we discuss, 80 percent of what we experience, and 95 percent of what we teach others.”
― Bill Capodagli, The Disney Way, Revised Edition: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company

There are so many things I love about that movie and in a roundabout way I have found something new to appreciate.

How can you help but cheer for the entire Incredibles family, but understanding the four competencies that have proven to be the greatest predictors for sustained success, I have a greater respect for one of the instruments of destruction created by Buddy or, as he called himself, Syndrome. The machine was the Omnidroid of the Kronos Project.

Quoting the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership once again.

“Current research shows that over the course of our career, four...

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Locating Yourself

Locating Yourself

As you are aware, my development as a leadership coach has recently taken me to the study and application of Conscious Leadership. Here is what I am learning.
Conscious leaders continually ask themselves over and over,

“Where am I?”

Using the simple tool of a horizontal line, at any moment, all people and all leaders are either ABOVE the line or BELOW the line. This is how we are being with what is occurring in our life right now.

The authors of 15 Commitments of a Conscious Leader book suggest that 98% of leaders spend 95% of their time below the line.

When we are above the Line, we are open, curious, and committed to learning. When we are below the line, we are closed, defensive, and committed to being right.

So, stop right now and ask yourself,

“Where am I? In this now moment, am I above the line or below the line?”

Typically, when people are below the line, they believe certain things about the world.

...

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Are You Above the Line?

Are You Above the Line

Are you living your life above the line?

In the book, the 15 Commitments of a Conscious Leader by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman and Kaley Klemp. They describe their model for leadership this way,

The model is a simple black line. At any moment, a leader is either above the line or below the line. When we are above the line, we are open, curious and committed to learning. When we’re below the line, we’re closed, defensive and committed to being right. What we suggest is that the first fundamental building block of conscious leadership is the ability to accurately locate yourself at any moment, asking, “Am I above or below the line?”

This sounds rather simple, but it actually requires a high degree of self-awareness. Many leaders spend most of their time below the line. In fact, it is the normal state. Asking them if they’re below the line would be like asking a fish if it’s wet. When leaders begin the journey to conscious...

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