Monthly Archives: August 2008

true friend

“It is the best and truest friend who honestly tells us the truth about ourselves even when he knows we shall not like it. False friends are the ones who hide such truth from us and do so in order to remain in our favour.” R. C. H. Lenski

Release your gifts and talents

“What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the Sun?
Or —-?

Langston Hughes

“I (Robert Greenleaf) counsel you to be aware of your priceless gift of creativity. No matter how small and flickering a light it may seem to be at the time, cultivate it as a pearl beyond price. Whatever your competence in your chosen field turns out to be, and regardless of the size of the opportunities that may come your way in the foreseeable world, your imaginative capacity will measure the productive use of your strengths and opportunities.” Robert K. Greenleaf “The Power of Servant Leadership”, 98)

Are you aware of the gifts you have?

Have you cultivated your gifts so that you can maximize the results of your gifting?

Are you able to use your gifts in a way that passion is aroused within you?

Granted the questions are yes/no answers, and if the answers are no, what are you going to do to release the gifts that you have hidden away so that they can be a benefit to you and to others?

What can you do today to start utilizing your gifts, talents and strengths?

Selflessness

The question of selflessness was raised in response to a prior post. The answer that I have chosen follows the path of servant-leadership.

“The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious change brings one to aspire to lead. The best test is: do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?” Robert K. Greenleaf, The Servant Leader, 1970

That quote by Greenleaf nearly defines the role of a coach. The goal of a coach is to enable, encourage, acknowledge and nurture change in others. The coach serves others as they develop themselves. This is true of a leader as well and the two roles, coach and leader, are distinguished only by the role. A leader is often viewed as the person in front of the crowd. The coach could be viewed as a member of the crowd that helps the leader grow in becoming a better servant. The view is that from leader the next logical step is coach, helping others become more of who they are.

The servant-coach fits this description, “Servant Leadership deals with the reality of power in everyday life – its legitimacy, the ethical restraints upon it and the beneficial results that can be attained through the appropriate use of power.” New York Times (October 2, 1990)

Being selfless is defined as having, exhibiting, or motivated by no concern for oneself; unselfish (thefreedictionary.com). A servant leader, a coach in their ultimate role is an act of selflessness. Attaining the wisdom and taming the ego are two important traits that must be continually developed to be good at leadership or at coaching.

When we are prepared to ask of ourselves, “I am ready to seek a future different from the past.” we are stepping into the realm of personal and deep change. Those who are ready to seek a future that is radically different than the past may want to have a coach assist them in that transition. What does the future look like? How will I be prepared to face the new future I am creating?

Can you answer with authenticity the question, “Do I love what I see inside of me?”, if not then there is room for growth, change and new possibilities.

Ambition

“Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied.”

–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What if we substituted “ambition” with “significance”, would that become a true and viable statement?

Is ambition the right thing to never be satisfied about? Certainly ambition is tied to achievement and measurable results. Without ambition what would ever get done? Is ambition such a powerful passion that it is unquenched in the soul of man?

Is significance more important than ambition? It is doing what matters rather than what doesn’t matter from a big picture perspective. What are your thoughts?

In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.
-Mother Teresa

Your words

What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.
Alexander Graham Bell

There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.
Norman Vincent Peale

Happiness is not in our circumstances but in ourselves. It is not something we see, like a rainbow, or feel, like the heat of a fire. Happiness is something we are.
John B. Sheerin

Do your words shape the world or does the world shape your words?

Pause and think about that last sentence. What does it mean to you? Which side of the phrase does your life spend most of its time?

Have you paused … have you contemplated the meaning of that sentence above?

If our words shape the world we can create, we have the ability to change all that is around us, we have the words.

If the world shapes our words then we can become victims of all that there is.

Shape your world with your words.

Gandhi put the thought to words in this way, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

It’s a choice – which choice will you make?

Explorer

It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.
Aesop

“As long as we are persistent in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.” — Denis Waitley

“To make a man happy, fill his hands with work, his heart with affection, his mind with purpose, his memory with useful knowledge, his future with hope, and his stomach with food.” — Frederick E. Crane

On February 28, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson received the permission to send Lewis and Clark on a mission of discovery. Their goal was to explore uncharted territories, to learn about the West and to find the passage to the Northwest. Beyond the Mississippi was a mystery, it was the unknown land, it was where Indians lived and perhaps the Wooly Mammoth.

Lewis and Clark had to have great courage to face the obstacles that would challenge their expedition.

Our lives are like that Lewis and Clark expedition. We want to discover, we want to experience, and we want to live fully. Imagine the courage it took to face each day not knowing what you would see around the next bend in the Missouri River. Would you face sickness, weather, or the environment as each day progressed. Lewis and Clark experienced the wild; they lived in it and were challenged by it.

What are the necessary attributes to explore?

Courage

Destiny – Destination

Openness to change

Curiosity

Endurance

Vision

Transparency

Encouragement/Encourager

Are these the same attributes we need in the world we live in today? What makes those attributes important? How do those attributes inform you? How do you define those attributes? What other attributes does one need to perform in today’s world?

Experience it – Imagine it

If you had a week to do whatever you wanted to do what would you do? Assume that you had the finances to do what you wanted to do. Assume that what you did would contribute to the good.

If you had one week to travel where would you go?

If you had one week to help others what would you do?

If you had one week to learn something new what would you want to learn about?

If you had one week experience something new what would it be?

If you could help just one person who would that be?

If you could meet just one person who would that be?

Imagine if _________________________________________________________

Fill in the story – Imagine if “what” … what would that story be?

Imagine if there were no more wars …. What would that mean?

Imagine if there were no more pollution … what would that mean?

Use your imagination what story do you want to tell?