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Six Hopes and Leadership Practices


Three days ago, I sat by a morning fire at the Whatipu Lodge, very near the Tasman Sea and the Manukau Harbor in New Zealand. It was a day when I knew that the remaining four of us, those who had called, designed, and hosted a men’s gathering, would be leaving to a new place. Four of us had a gift of a conversation that morning. There was friendship. There was a unique connection that I felt as men together. There was insight that doesn’t just come everyday. In particular, I gained six insights into some of what I hope for and invite in the work of hosting conversations that matter. Thanks Roq, Glen, Wayne. This helps me verbalize what I couldn’t see as clearly and to invite it in the groups I work with.

1. Clear Voice – I hope for us to be able to speak with clear voice together. Sometimes it is with innocence. Often with simplicity. And often with awareness that there is always another way to think about things. I hope for us to name and share what we see in the moment, as if we are all tuners to frequencies that none of us individually can receive.

2. Authentic – I hope for us to be deeply authentic. And approachable. When I coach people I usually call attention to purpose and share some of the words I might speak if it were me. However, I invite them to find the words that work for them. If they show up authenticly — not performing, just authentic and real — that energy carries to others. It gives people permission to be authentic, honest, vulnerable. I hope we can step ourselves and with others a bit further into our own brilliance. Authenticity, including vulnerability is a doorway.

3. Scissor-Hands Design – I hope for us to realize that design can come quickly and in a comprehensive way. When we notice values, intentions, and a few key questions, it is simple to create times and engagement processes. What can feel like it should take longer — in fact, often has — can become surprisingly fast and comprehensive. I didn’t see the moving Edward Scissor Hands, but I remember a commercial that showed very quick hands.

4. Magic – I hope for us all to be able to make shifts in the energy in a room by what we do. I hope we can do this with clarity. One of the simple ways to do this is to witness what we love, what is beautiful, what has us really curious. It is as if each of these witnessings invite others to join into a creation together. And oh, it is good to laugh with each other. Even in the difficulties, to shift energy to a field of beauty and curiousity is to make the stuck, unstuck and flowing

5. Vibrational Rate – I learned with these men about how we each are the harvest. Yes, there are documents to create and reports to share. However, I sense that how each of us is changed — vibrationally — is the most lasting harvest. I’ve known people who are able to change the vibrational rate of a room. It feels like many of us are learning to trust this. I know that for me this has included deliberate practices of wholeness and wellness. It has also included releasing energy in relationship with some of the people I have loved most in my life. Resonance — us — lasts longer than any words and actually becomes the most important tool for creating change.

6. Commitment to the Practical – I hope for all of us to be able to take big ideas and apply them at the level of work getting done. I hope for all of us to be able to integrate many ideas and move them from philosophical to practical application. Sometimes we are teachers together. I never find myself doubting that the underlying world views with which we work are not practical. In fact, essential in the new stories we are creating together.

What a gift to sit with this circle of men. What a gift to relate to each other in this way. What a gift to explore and reflect back some of what we notice and learn together. I smile to think of the “symbol books” that we picked to close out this learning together. Glen, the Allan Root that goes to the heart. Wayne, the Mole that tunnels below the surface and with a sense of smell and vibration felt through the ground. Roq, the Peace Lilly. May it be so. Me, “I can give up anytime.” Ah, there are beliefs to just let go so that we can be at our next level of generativeness together. Thank you men.

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