Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Soil and the Tree

As a Master Facilitator with The Virtues Project™, I ever increasingly understand that behaviour modification is often transitory.  It is based on the management of the relationship between actions and consequences.  Still, we do not often make a permanent link to same and will fall back into questionable habits.

Character development is about practicing pre-existent virtues.  Dale Carnegie once said “Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic.”  This has wisdom but focuses on behaviour modification. I would suggest, act with enthusiasm and you will be enthusiastic. This is true of all virtues.  Act with compassion and you will compassionate.  Act with creativity and you will be creative.  I will often refer to the virtues as arrows in my quiver; they are there, permanent and ready to be drawn forth.  They are not conditional.  They are not transitory.  Virtues exist, period.  They are ready to be accessed; to be called upon whenever needed.

When I face a particular situation, applying the 5 steps of strategic leadership:

  • identify the situation
  • analyze the circumstances
  • develop a plan
  • implement the plan through action, and
  • evaluate the results.

… I will consider what virtues are relevant; what strengths of character are demanded.  In so doing, I will foster a plan of action grounded in the application of those virtues.  Strengths of character, according to The Virtues Project™, are accessible to us all.  We draw upon them and practice them.  They are not unlike an ocean from which we can draw strength.  The ocean is there.  It exists, whether we draw upon it or not.

With this in mind, here is a list of 100 Virtues.  Download it.  Have it as a reference.  When facing an issue, examine the situation not strictly from a behavioural perspective.  Consider what virtues are being called into action.  Let that be the foundation.  When developing your plan of action, consider how those virtues need be manifested.  Practice them.  As you do, the character quotient becomes the foundation for the behaviour question.

Behaviour is born of character, but character is practiced in behaviour.  Consider character as the soil and behaviour the tree.  Enrich the soil and watch the tree grow.

Peace, passion and prosperity

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™


Raising the Flag

This is not a political statement.  It is not a statement of hate.  It is a statement.

Today, we hear more news of misguided and hateful people claiming they have “avenged the Prophet” in killing innocent people in France.  Their strategy is to divide us.  As a Baha’i, I believe in and love Abraham, Krishna, Buddha, The Christ, The Prophet Mohammed, Baha’u’llah and all the Prophets and Manifestations of God.  I believe that They are united.  Thinking you have killed in Their name is pure ignorance, with horrible and impure action.  Mohammed takes no joy in your actions.  Neither does Jesus, The Christ take joy or pride in the fact that some Christians thought it appropriate to name a nuclear sub after Him, or kill millions in His name.  Still, this is not a religious statement either.

Today, I am reminded, yet again, of why I do what I do.  Well intended people have long suggested I re-brand from The Unity Guy™.  I will not.  Unity, at its core, is the solution.

Unity is not uniformity.  It is not conformity.  Its true strength is in diversity.  Our differences and our sameness make us stronger.  Those who would divide us see this and know this.  The extremes have no wish for unity.  It is true in geopolitics.  It is true in religion.  It is true in workplaces, schools and communities the world over.  Those who seek to divide us, seek to confine us.

So, how do we move beyond this hideous block to a new level of prosperity?

We talk.  We listen.  We understand that there is one thing that unites us all… the high standard of humanity.  It is our humanity that is our noble birthright.  It is our inhumanity that blocks us from the kind of synergy that eradicates extremes of wealth and poverty, advances true justice and builds a level of prosperity yet unseen.

Is this pie in the sky?  If it is, we had better start baking and climbing.  It is the only real and practical strategy we truly have.  Raising the flag of apathy will not change things.  Raising the flag of bemoaning and despair will not either.  Raising the flag of hatred and ignorance will add fuel to a fire already too large.  Now, raising the flag of unity… the kind of unity that exists in nature… the kind of unity where difference is strength… there is the only truly sane strategy.

Several years back, I created a composition called The Secret Truth©.  Check it out.  Download it.  It is FREE.  I love functional competition; the kind that makes us strive to be better.  But, this insane ignorance and hatred has nothing to do with that.  It is about “us” versus “them” in the most dysfunctional of ways.

In the meantime, this post might lose me “friends”.  It might gain me friends.  It might lose me potential clients and might gain me some.  That is not its purpose.  Its singular purpose is to fiercely lay claim to the work of my life.  Whether it is in workplaces or classrooms, in communities or companies… my purpose is to serve both the strategy and tactics for finding unity as the path out and through.  It is not about kumbaya and holding hands.  It is about working together to build peace, passion and prosperity.

At EPIC Engage™, our collective and growing body of work is all about moving forward together and stronger; about advancing together in thought, will and action.  So, to those who today claimed that they “avenged The Prophet”;  I do not believe you.  To those who would raise the call of hate on either side, I do not believe you.  To those who believe there is a better way to work together and create a world, locally and globally, that works and “gets it”, here I stand.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS: An Anthem by Shinedown; let’s rock this!

The Unity Connection

It is a two-fer today.  Following up on my earlier blog regarding the ups and downs of life and living and working epic, I suggest that, personally and professionally, 2014 was a year of consolidation as growth for me.  With that in mind, 2015 is being approached as a year expansion as growth,

With a new strategic vision and plan in place, characterized by simplicity and alignment, the intent is to focus on execution.  In so doing, I am applying three simple daily steps.  I use the acronym C.A.R.; consultation, action and reflection.  With my one page strategic plan in hand, each day I will begin with a personal consultation with my plan to determine actions for the day, take those actions, and finish the day with reflection on results and growth.  There is no auto pilot.  There is only a daily process of execution using these three steps.

In so doing, I will be documenting reflections in and on various areas as they might relate to how we each can make this an epic year.  That being said, each week, on Saturday, I will blog on thoughts and implications for epic leadership and engagement; through The EPIC Blog.  Here, you will find considered thought around the kind of leadership and engagement and moves us forward together, stronger.

As well, on a daily basis, I will be blogging on personal and professional reflections on my actions and results right here at the Unity Connection.  Here, you will find thoughts, quotes, music, articles and more that relate to unity, diversity, talent, culture, leadership and anything else that speaks to leading an epic life where we find our fit, as opposed to simply “fitting in”.  Here, you will find an array of content that delivers on the notion that “epic leaders unite diverse talent to create cultures of growth”.

If you love great music that engages and inspires… if you love articles and thoughts that engage constructive collaboration… if you believe in policy and good governance over simple politics and the contention of “the game”… if you believe in service on the ground and in your face and heart… The Unity Connection will be a repository to explore advancing together in thought, will and action.  The posts will be daily and can impact, work, business, school, community and life.  I hope you join me there.  I hope you LIKE it.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

An Epic 2015?

Happy New Year! The sentiment is everywhere; but what makes for a happy and prosperous New Year and life anyway?  Is it goals? Is it claiming “abundance”? Is it simplicity?

What makes for true happiness and prosperity?

I see it increasingly in social media. Constantly professing the perfection of one’s life is almost as dangerous as constantly bemoaning how imperfect it is. Truly, positive thinking must embrace the ups and downs, ebbs and flows, ying and yang as sources of strength and wisdom.  Pain and pleasure are both part of life. Bad things happen to “good people” and good things happen to us all. Life is not what happens to us but how we find our character to walk through it.

True championship does not happen without challenge. “Be generous in prosperity and thankful in adversity” still implies adversity and Garth Brooks captured this in The Dance. It also implies that gratitude is not simply “counting our blessings” in some traditionally conceived way.  Blessings come in pleasure and pain.  It is about how we face and engage life that defines us. We are not defined by our circumstances, but by how we meet them. Still, those same circumstances exist and are not to be pretended away.

Perfection is a myth… but perfecting is the path and that requires trial and triumph… and being of help and asking for it. It is what great strategic leadership is all about. It is what superior tactics are indeed about. It is in the sharpening of the blades and going to work that we find our strength and our success; at work, business, school, community and life.

Therein is the epic life and story. Therein is what truly unites us.

May your year be positively epic.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

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