No Certain Place to Go

“There comes a time for departure even when there is no certain place to go.”

—Tennessee Williams, 20th Century American Playwright

Image of a plane taking off

Image from Flickr by Bruno Geiger

Take a few minutes to examine your personal and professional communities. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much do I look forward to participating in this community?
  • How well do the people in this community share my vision and values?
  • How much influence do I have on the goals and direction of this community?
  • What learning and growth opportunities are possible in this group?
  • How well does this group fulfill my desire for a purposeful life?

EXERCISE:

Where might you need to make changes – large or small – in how you spend your time, and who you spend it with, even if there is no clear alternative place to go?

“I alone cannot change the world…”

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.”

—Mother Theresa

image from www.marclangloisconsulting.com

image from www.marclangloisconsulting.com

Take a moment sometime today to reflect on your most satisfying and deeply felt moments of personal fulfillment. Make sure you look at your personal and professional worlds.

Examine what percentage of these highlights occurred as an individual versus within a larger group or community. Consider, also, to what extent you were operating in an area of strength or unique ability.

EXERCISE:

Where can you make more ripples, or even waves, in your professional and personal worlds by casting more of your special stones across the waters you come upon today?

“People change and forget…”

“People change and forget to tell each other.”

—Lillian Hellman, American dramatist and Broadway screenwriter

Photo from onthejob.45things.com

Photo from onthejob.45things.com

Coaching as a profession has been around for over 20 years, and is estimated as a two billion (or more) dollar industry. Fundamental to the coaching process is the desire for both individuals and organizations to change for the better.

Rooted in this change process is the strong desire for a better future, and in particular, a high level of social support by friends, family, colleagues, and of course, coaches.

Open communication and clarity around this desire, along with some description of what behaviors are to be expected, are critical for optimal success.

EXERCISE:

Where are you currently trying to change something in either your professional or personal life? How can you communicate this intention to those around you to rally the social support necessary for this change to occur and be sustained?

“Each of us is born with…”

“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves.”

—Laura Esquivel, Mexican novelist, essayist, and screenwriter

Photo from changingmydestiny.wordpress.com

Photo from changingmydestiny.wordpress.com

I must admit that I watch reality TV shows. I enjoy those that involve living in remote areas of the world, where there are little or no creature comforts.

The fundamental necessities for survival include food, water, and shelter. Without exception, fire is another essential resource, needed to cook the food and sterilize the water. Achieving a successful fire is often a significant challenge and hardship for would-be reality show survivors. Almost always, success comes from the collective efforts of numerous individuals.

EXERCISE:

How can you spark and ignite the potential of others to more fully realize the fires that burn within them?

Who are the people in your personal or professional worlds that can and will play this valuable role for you?

#46: “Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them…”

“… Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say, ‘We have done this ourselves.’ ”

– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism

I have been a student of leadership for most of my adult life. I’ve always been fascinated by how leaders generate buy-in, alignment, loyalty, and shared vision. Lao Tzu’s quote points to a critical characteristic about leadership: people are most likely to buy-in when they have been actively involved in the creative process.

When people see their own ideas and fingerprints on the work, they have a sense of ownership that feels true and genuine.

Exercise:

Where in your work, family, and community can you draw on others to create the futures you desire? As long as you get there, who cares who gets the credit?

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