Barry Lewis Green
and Epic Engage

The Character Leadership Company

TM

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Barry Lewis Green
and Epic Engage

The Character Leadership Company

TM

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Barry Lewis Green
and Epic Engage

The Character Leadership Company

TM

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Monthly Archives: December 2015

broadCAST January: Happy 2016!!!

The broadCAST™ is a monthly weigh in by members of The CAST™ of Epic Engage™.  Experts in their own right, members of The CAST™  are asked to answer a question of simple but possibly profound nature.  For January 2016, the question/s are:

What is one thing professionally and one thing personally that you are most looking forward to in 2016… and what is a one sentence piece of advice you give to anyone looking to make 2016 their best year yet? 

 

RAY HOLLISTER SAYS…

2016 will be the year that I roll out a new process and product that is both exciting and scary. I will be rolling out a new method for students and Rayparents to access and utilize my popular ‘SuperScores!’ program for accelerated learning in any educational environment. For the first time, I’ll be utilizing Webinars as well as downloadable content separate and apart from my live events. Having never done this, it is a scary proposition. But my mission is to reach as many as possible, and that means utilizing the mediums that are most utilized by consumers today. On a personal level, my desire for 2016 is to begin the year walking in 5K’s and finishing 2016 by running in 5K’s; I am truly looking forward to that victory! My advice to others for making 2016 the best year ever is simple: Begin every day with a smile and gratitude for the opportunity to create joy in the lives of others. Doing this results in Joy returned to you 10 fold. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Ray Hollister is all about resilience and potential. He works with organizations to reveal extraordinary resilience and unlimited potential in everyone.   His powerful presentations will not only energize and inspire you, but also reveal how YOU can make radical, immediate changes to how you perceive, handle, and experience adversity resulting in experiencing life in a new and thrilling way.  www.rayhollister.net

SHEENA GROBB SAYS…

One thing that I’m looking forward to professionally in the year ahead is the clarity of knowing my most powerful impact… my most undiluted grobbwisdom… and focusing there. Using my voice and my mind and my hands in service of that.  Personally, I look forward to re-inspiring a health routine that is rooted in self kindness.  I like to look back on my wellness goals and remind myself of why I’m choosing to make the choices I am. To anyone looking to make 2016 their best year yet I would say realize that every day can be a fresh start… every moment for that matter… so keep bringing yourself back to your intentions, however imperfectly.

Sheena Grobb Singer/Songwriter and Speaker… is humbly amazing. “It is without a doubt a masterpiece of songwriting and soundscape. Really incredible, soulful music. She will definitely get a huge audience in time, trust me.” Alex Wharton, Abbey Road Studios. A songbird from the age of two, songwriter at ten, with 3 albums under her belt, a nomination for the Western Canadian Music Awards, and over 500 tour dates across Canada, the US, and the UK, Sheena Grobb (one of Canada’s best kept secrets) is spilling over. With the release of her newest album, The Breakless Heart, mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London, and a life changing music video created by Lindsey Nelko (past choreographer with So You Think You Can Dance), Sheena is embarking on her most meaningful project yet – The Living Compassion Project™ – inviting others to “unlock their lives” through sharing their stories… as she begins to share hers. www.sheenagrobb.com

TRENT LANGDON SAYS….

Personally, with thankfulness and remembrance,  I am eagerly anticipating a visit to ‘The Great War’ battlefields of France in June of 2016; to Trentformally pay my respects to those fallen has been a wish and hope of mine for many years. On a professional front, I am excited about the work of Epic Engage™ and my newfound connections and friendships within. So rewarding to have a common sense of personal and professional purpose. One piece of advice for 2016? Find your own personal way to remain grounded…

Trent Langdon, M.Ed, Canadian Certified Counsellor is all about legacy and building yours by rewriting your ‘game plan’ or rejuvenating your organization’s foundations.  Trent is a strong believer that success and contentment is achievable through actions of integrity and character; for an individual or an organization. With more than 20 years of experience as a CHANGE AGENT for children, adolescents, families, schools, communities, and professionals, Trent can walk with you toward Personal Development and Discovery, Organizational Review and Renewal, and A Career / Life Plan for Teens.  www.epicengage.com

 JOEL SWEENEY SAYS….

On the professional front, I am looking forward to taking my Speaker’s Tool Box Program online in 2016. To-date, I have only been able to offer my program locally. In 2016 I will expand my reach and impact dramatically by providing my program to the world.  My personal goal is tied to my Joel-Sweeneyprofessional goal. I derive tremendous satisfaction knowing that my program can help others in powerful ways. I am looking forward to having my greatest impact in 2016 by leveraging the internet to help as many individuals as I can become better communicators and more confident speakers.  “What we do is of little significance, but it is very important that we do it.”  We frequently believe that what we do doesn’t have an impact. It does! Don’t miss any opportunity to make your impact.

 Joel Sweeney is all about effective communications. He is a professional speaker, trainer, facilitator, personal coach and author of The Wedding MC Handbook and Little Helpings of Food for Thought with his third book, The Speaker’s Tool Box, just released in the Fall of 2014. Through his focus on communications training and his keynote speeches, Joel helps individuals and organizations maximize their potential. His messages are thought provoking, entertaining and laced with connection, humor and enthusiasm. www.JoelSweeney.com

MAJEED MOGHARREBAN SAYS…

One thing personally I am looking forward to: Making 2016 the year of Optimal Health. majeed square--web ready
One thing professionally I am looking forward to: Bringing on my first team member (employee) and building a company culture of fun and excellence.

Majeed Mogharreban is all about entrepreneurship.  He owned and sold five successful businesses and traveled to 24 countries before he was 21 years old.  After early success in business, now his mission is to support the next generation of entrepreneurs to make a difference doing what they love. With clients ranging from the United Nations, to start-up businesses, to an Olympic gold medalist, Majeed helps you discover your strengths and your passions so that work is meaningful and fun. His book, Winning At Life, is a guide for young people to make a plan and win at life.  www.majeedm.com

 

BARRY LEWIS GREEN SAYS…

Personally, I look forward to a year focused on health and strength… mind, body and spirit.  In a recent LinkedIn post, I drew out my intent with specifics… and I look forward to being healthier and stronger than I have ever been in 2016.  Following my TIA this year, I am intent on reclaiming my BLG Singinghealth and it is a primary focus for this year and beyond.  Professionally, and with strength and health in hand, I look forward to a year where we explore our newfound and/or expanded partnerships with The Virtues Project International Association, Personality Dimensions®, and The Canfield Training Group… particularly as they relate to my work as an educator and in engaging youth (Ray, we will be chatting soon!).  My one singular piece of advice, if you will, is take care of your health; truly take care of your health.  It is what sustains your ability to serve… me first can actually be us first.  Peace.

Barry Lewis Green is an educator.  He is a dynamic motivator.  Yes, he is a motivational speaker of substance.  He is an expert who speaks.  Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. It is a team with a mission born of Barry’s work.  He is about epic and noble leadership and wholehearted communities at work, school and everywhere; advancing together in thought, will and action. He is about uniting diverse talent to create cultures of growth. www.epicengage.com

NEWS and VIEWS

The broadCAST™ is also our new monthly newsletter.  Here, you will find an up-to-date repository of articles, videos, posts and resources, check out:

NEW BOOKS, launching into 2016

Check out our E-Store or Amazon.

UPDATES on WHAT is GOING ON with EPIC Engage™

Epic Engage Global

QUOTE for the MONTH

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’ —  Alfred Lord Tennyson

VIDEO for the MONTH

HAPPY NEW YEAR from The CAST!

 

 

Honor the New Year

Happy New Year!  Though maybe a tad premature, I wish you such in advance.  In my last post Charting Course IV: Build It, we continued with thoughts around charting your course for 2016 by providing examples of SMASH and MESH as a process for articulating a personal or professional mission for the new year.

For the purpose of transparency, for me as a Baha’i, my new year is Naw Ruz on March 21 of the Gregorian Calendar.  For Baha’is, our calendar consists of 19 months of 19 days, with some 5-6 (leap year) days in February called Ayyam-i’Ha which is a period of gifting giving and hospitality.  I only say this to suggest that each month is typically opened and celebrated with a Baha’i Feast (spiritual more so than food… no gorging here lol).  I only say this to suggest that tomorrow we celebrate the Month of Sharaf (Honor), coinciding with New Year’s Eve.  All of this is to only say that, today, I wish to honor both you and me with some thoughts for 2016.

First, I offer my now adapted and evolved SMASH and MESH statement, crafted for personal meaning and motivation for 2016.

For 2016, I will walk with humble swagger … fully locked and loaded with honor, idealism, love, wholeheartedness and zeal. I will walk these strengths to be stronger and healthier than I have ever been.  To achieve this, I will get 8 hours sleep each night, make healthy choices for groceries at home every week, choose water and green tea as my regular beverage,  be active daily in some fun way and engage in daily prayer and meditation in the morning and evening. My success will be defined and measured by a daily account of my spirit and achievements and I will celebrate each daily success.  

Now in 2016, this means I will be stronger, healthier and happier, to engage those around me with even greater energy and joy… and I will call upon the encouragement of my inner circle in doing so.  We will all be better for it as I will be able to bring more to the table at work and life.  I will execute this intention with:

  • a literal picture of my goal
  • daily living of my four actions
  • daily accounting of my success
  • and daily celebrating each small success

…  creating a personal culture of act, measure and celebrate

This will serve my students, my clients, my colleagues, my suppliers, my community, my friends and family, and myself… by advancing my strength, health, clarity of thought and joy to better serve.  And, this plan will honor who I am because I have always been driven by joyful service and I want to be around for a long time in doing so, with sustained energy, vitality and endurance.  I will feel more like me in doing so; a deeper cooler joy that is both sustainable and sustaining.

My hope is that you try your own… create it and print it.  Maybe even for your team!  Remember…

SPIRIT.  Define the spirit of what you do… your countenance with which you will roll and role.  Identify your Humble Swagger by focusing on 5 strengths of character that will define how you roll in all that you do.  This is your ultimate brand… how others know you.  MISSION. Clearly identify your WHY.  Laurie Beth Jones once said that a great mission should be one sentence, easily understood and easily memorized.  It must be clear and “tangible” in some powerful way. ACTIONS.  Here, you would lay claim to 3-5 core activities or actions that manifest your spirit and mission.  This is where the rubber hits the road.  This is what you do to make real your spirit and mission.  This is the integrity piece; integrating daily action to achieve mission.  SUCCESS. Here, you define success… not in terms of outcomes but effort.  Some aspect of outcomes is out of our hands.  Effort is not.  Here, you define what success looks like in clear language, defined by effort.  HAPPINESS.  Finally, you define how you will make the journey joyful.  To achieve long term success, we must find ways to enjoy the ride.  Get clear on how you will do that.  MEANING.  For the classroom, campus, company or community, get clear on what the spirit and mission mean for everyone.  Everyone has to understand and buy in to the sense of “being”.  Get real and get engaged by exploring the meaning of who you are and what you do.  Real language EXECUTION.  Effectively and clearly define how the plan will be executed.  This is about articulating the actions and behaviors necessary for achieving both spirit and mission (the BE and the DO).  SERVICE.  Here, you get clear on who and how this serves… all stakeholders… clients, colleagues and constituencies.  This is where you answer what is in it for all.  Here, is the ultimate buy in HONOR.  Finally, we define how our efforts will honor who we are… how our efforts and destination celebrate all engaged.  The HONOR piece is about how we feel along the journey; how we are valued.

Into 2016, I will be sharing a year long series exploring particular virtues and how they apply to leadership, service and achieving goals.  These posts will be concise and content rich and numbering at least two a week, exploring the science and art of character and its role in building successful, strong and united cultures of humble swagger and joyful excellence… with people who know who they are and bring it all to the table.

Let`s make the table in 2016 a FEAST for us all.  Let`s make this a year that would bring a smile to Aragorn.  Let`s do it, moving forward together, stronger.

Humbly… with honor, idealism, love wholeheartedness and zeal, I dare you.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

 

Barry Lewis Green is The Unity Guy™.  EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The EPIC work is all about forging youthful, engaging and strong cultures of excellence born of character, capacity and creativity… for results; moving forward together, stronger.  That fosters powerful synergy and real unity… through joyful excellence.  That is what he calls Humble Swagger™; and Barry champions it!

On Course: Setting Your Sights

In the last blog post on LinkedIn… Charting Course III… we explored SMASH and MESH.   As noted previously, SMASH™ engages the development of strategy, with the lens of character in particular.  MESH™ brings it and us together, on the same page. 

For today, I add my own examples in progress and invite you to create your own SMASH and MESHConsider these nine elements now.  Think of them as  a personally and humbly created gift for the New Year from me to you.

SETTING YOUR SIGHTS

SPIRIT.  Define the spirit of what you do… your countenance with which you will roll and role.  Identify your Humble Swagger by focusing on 5 strengths of character that will define how you roll in all that you do.  This is your ultimate brand… how others know you.

  • For 2016, I will walk with humble swagger with the strengths of honor, idealism, love, wholeheartedness and zeal.

MISSION. Clearly identify your WHY.  Laurie Beth Jones once said that a great mission should be one sentence, easily understood and easily memorized.  It must be clear and “tangible” in some powerful way.

  • For 2016, I will walk these strengths of character in becoming stronger and healthier than I have ever been.

ACTIONS.  Here, you would lay claim to 3-5 core activities or actions that manifest your spirit and mission.  This is where the rubber hits the road.  This is what you do to make real your spirit and mission.  This is the integrity piece; integrating daily action to achieve mission.

  • For 2016, to achieve this spirit and mission, I will get 8 hours sleep each night, make healthy choices for groceries at home every week, choose water and green tea as my regular beverage,  be active daily in some fun way and engage in daily prayer and meditation in the morning and evening.

SUCCESS. Here, you define success… not in terms of outcomes but effort.  Some aspect of outcomes is out of our hands.  Effort is not.  Here, you define what success looks like in clear language, defined by effort.

  • In 2016, my success will be defined and measured by a daily account of my spirit and achievements at eventide.

HAPPINESS.  Finally, you define how you will make the journey joyful.  To achieve long term success, we must find ways to enjoy the ride.  Get clear on how you will do that.

  • In 2016, I will enjoy the ride by “celebrating” each daily success in some mini personal and creative and random way.

Now, how might this relate to my relationships and engagements throughout 2016?  How does it MESH with others and life?

MEANING.  For the classroom, campus, company or community, get clear on what the spirit and mission mean for everyone.  Everyone has to understand and buy in to the sense of “being”.  Get real and get engaged by exploring the meaning of who you are and what you do.  Real language.

  • In 2016, this means I will be stronger, healthier and happier, to engage those around me with greater energy and joy… and I will call upon the encouragement of my inner circle in doing so.  We will all be better for it.

EXECUTION.  Effectively and clearly define how the plan will be executed.  This is about articulating the actions and behaviors necessary for achieving both spirit and mission (the BE and the DO).

  • I will effectively implement and execute with a literal picture of my goal, daily living of my four actions, daily accounting of my success and daily celebrating each small success; creating a culture of act, measure and celebrate.

SERVICE.  Here, you get clear on who and how this serves… all stakeholders… clients, colleagues and constituencies.  This is where you answer what is in it for all.  Here, is the ultimate buy in.

  • This will serve my students, my clients, my colleagues, my suppliers, my friends and family, and myself… by advancing my strength, health, clarity of thought and joy to better serve.

HONOR.  Finally, we define how our efforts will honor who we are… how our efforts and destination celebrate all engaged.  The HONOR piece is about how we feel along the journey; how we are valued.

  • This plan will honor who I am because I have always been driven, at core, by joyful service and I want to be around for a long time in doing so, with sustained energy, vitality and endurance.  I will feel more like me in doing so; a deeper cooler joy that is both sustainable and sustaining.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER.

For 2016, I will walk with humble swagger with the strengths of honor, idealism, love, wholeheartedness and zeal. I will walk these strengths of character in becoming stronger and healthier than I have ever been. To achieve this spirit and mission, I will get 8 hours sleep each night, make healthy choices for groceries at home every week, choose water and green tea as my regular beverage,  be active daily in some fun way and engage in daily prayer and meditation in the morning and evening. In 2016, my success will be defined and measured by a daily account of my spirit and achievements at eventide.  I will enjoy the ride by “celebrating” each daily success in some mini personal and creative and random way.

In 2016, this means I will be stronger, healthier and happier, to engage those around me with greater energy and joy… and I will call upon the encouragement of my inner circle in doing so.  We will all be better for it.  I will effectively implement and execute with a literal picture of my goal, daily living of my four actions, daily accounting of my success and daily celebrating each small success; creating a culture of act, measure and celebrate.  This will serve my students, my clients, my colleagues, my suppliers, my friends and family, and myself… by advancing my strength, health, clarity of thought and joy to better serve.  This plan will honor who I am because I have always been driven, at core, by joyful service and I want to be around for a long time in doing so, with sustained energy, vitality and endurance.  I will feel more like me in doing so; a deeper cooler joy that is both sustainable and sustaining.

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So, how about you?  I ask that you ponder these elements and how they might relate to a goal for you in 2016.  Craft your vision of spirit, mission, action, success and happiness.  Craft what it will mean to you and others, how you will daily execute it, how it will serve others and how it will honor you.  Consider what you truly want to achieve in 2016 and ponder how these elements might strengthen your clarity.

In coming posts, we will be exploring specific strengths of character and how they impact personal and professional leadership; and goal achievement.

Hope you join us.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy

Barry Lewis Green is The Unity Guy™.  EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The EPIC work is all about forging youthful, engaging and strong cultures of excellence born of character, capacity and creativity… for results; moving forward together, stronger.  That fosters powerful synergy and real unity… through joyful excellence.  That is what he calls Humble Swagger™; and Barry champions it!

SMASH and MESH Your Course

SpearIn a couple of posts on LinkedIn …. Charting Course (I) and Charting Course II, we (a) explored the notion of strategy and SWOT Analysis from the standpoint of character and (b) offered some tips and ideas around exploring talent and songs as sources for finding your WHY.  The thought was to casually explore some ideas that help us focus on passion and purpose for 2016 and beyond.

Strategy and the SWOT Analysis are essentially all about looking within and without to identify the path forward.  Examine your strengths and weaknesses within.  Identify the opportunities and threats from without.  Ultimately, you optimize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses by best responding to those opportunities and threats.  In essence, use what you got to do what you do to seize what you can and defend what you needCharting Course (I) examined this, particularly from the viewpoint of character and virtue.  I invite you to have a read or review, before we move forward.

Charting Course II then looked at songs and talents as sources of clues for determining your WHY.  Your WHY provides the fuel for your engine.  It is your mission, felt and internalized.  Again, I invite you to go back and have a read … to get your clues.

I suggest so as, this day, I would like to introduce a process I call SMASH and MESH.  It is about adding some structure to this question.  It engages the development of both strategy and the path to bringing people together on it.  Today, we will simply introduce the two, for your consideration… and in the next post we will further explore each as they relate to charting your course for 2016 and beyond.

SMASH™ engages the development of strategy, with the lens of character in particular.  Think of it as SMASHing through old concepts and presumptions and groupthink and getting to core.  Consider these five elements.

  • SPIRIT.  Define the spirit of what you do… your countenance with which you will roll and role.  Identify your Humble Swagger by focusing on 5 strengths of character that will define how you roll in all that you do.  This is your ultimate brand… how others know you.
  • MISSION. Clearly identify your WHY.  Laurie Beth Jones once said that a great mission should be one sentence, easily understood and easily memorized.  It must be clear and “tangible” in some powerful way.
  • ACTIONS.  Here, you would lay claim to 3-5 core activities or actions that manifest your spirit and mission.  This is where the rubber hits the road.  This is what you do to make real your spirit and mission.  This is the integrity piece; integrating daily action to achieve mission.
  • SUCCESS. Here, you define success… not in terms of outcomes but effort.  Some aspect of outcomes is out of our hands.  Effort is not.  Here, you define what success looks like in clear language, defined by effort.
  • HAPPINESS.  Finally, you define how you will make the journey joyful.  To achieve long term success, we must find ways to enjoy the ride.  Get clear on how you will do that.

Yes, SMASH™ engages the development of strategy.  It is the planning piece.  MESH™ brings it and us together, on the same page… to create the kind of unity in diversity, and synergy, that is necessary to get it done.

  • MEANING.  For the classroom, campus, company or community, get clear on what the spirit and mission mean for everyone.  Everyone has to understand and buy in to the sense of “being”.  Get real and get engaged by exploring the meaning of who you are and what you do.  Real language.
  • EXECUTION.  Effectively and clearly define how the plan will be executed.  This is about articulating the actions and behaviors necessary for achieving both spirit and mission (the BE and the DO).
  • SERVICE.  Here, you get clear on who and how this serves… all stakeholders… clients, colleagues and constituencies.  This is where you answer what is in it for all.  Here, is the ultimate buy in.
  • HONOR.  Finally, we define how our efforts will honor who we are… how our efforts and destination celebrate all engaged.  The HONOR piece is about how we feel along the journey; how we are valued.

home-page-callstoaction-epic-engageI only ask that you ponder these elements for now.  Consider what you truly want to achieve in 2016 and ponder how these elements might strengthen your clarity.  In the next post, we will explore examples and dig a little deeper on the importance of character in the equation.  Hope you stay with us.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy

Your Song of Course

First, check this video out.  Now, what is your why?  What are you here to serve?  What is that meeting place of need and service that moves you most? What is your WHY? 

I have some thoughts out of my own experience and I thought to offer them here.  They were spurred by my last post Charting Course Part I  and I had to write them out, here and now.  These are the results of 30+ years in education, training and leadership… in marketing, human resources and management… in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Your WHY is your EMPIRE

To use the words of Jane Atkinson, I might suggest that your WHY is your EMPIRE.  It is the big picture purpose of what you deliver on with whatever talents you have.  Your WHY might be LEADERSHIP or CARE or IMPACT or JOY or INNOVATION or… you get the picture.  Your WHY is ultimately what you deliver on, at core.

FINDING your WHY in your TALENTS

To use the language of Richard Bolles, you might find your WHY in your MEMBERS.  He suggests that we find our purpose through those activities in which we lose ourselves physically and mentally; our members.  These talents, I suggest, are vehicles.  They are your delivery systems; of your WHY.  But, they do offer clues to your WHY as well.

In our work with The Virtues Project globally, I might suggest that you can also find your WHY in your VIRTUES.  Identifying what core strengths of character you breathe without thinking can also give you clues to your WHY.

As a vocalist, and a lover of music, I will also suggest that you can find your WHY in a SONG… your song.  Music speaks to us and through us; it moves us.  Finding those songs that we lose ourselves in might be a clue as to our WHY.  My off-the-top-of-my-head-and-heart 10 include… Unity, It’s Not My Time, I’ve Got the Music in Me, Simple Man, Silent Lucidity, Sound of Silence, The Power to Dream, Alive, Battle Cry and May It Be.  These songs speak to my  passion for the virtues of nobility, humility, service, courage, zeal, idealism, love, honor, unity and wholeheartedness.  The songs and the virtues are in alignment; a powerful clue indeed.

If I then take these songs and virtues… and ponder and discern their connection to my love for teaching, speaking, training, facilitating, coaching, consulting, writing, cartooning, singing, dancing, entertaining and creating; well where once there stood possible confusion about path… now there is thought that my talents are delivery vehicles for my passion and purpose.  If I dig deeper… and I will… I start to see talents that can now advance my core service.

My EXPERIMENT

I champion classrooms, companies and communities of Humble Swagger.  I do so through teaching, speaking, training, facilitating, coach, consulting, writing, cartooning, singing, dancing, entertaining and creating.

This is an evolution.

and SO…

So, as we approach 2016, ponder your songs, virtues and talents to see what clues they provide as to your WHY.

  • What is your WHY?
  • Who do you best serve and how?
  • What talents will you you use to deliver on it?

These questions are the straws to mix the drink.  They are intended to get you pondering what moves you, what impact you most desire and how you might achieve it.  A mission is no simple sentence but something that exists within you, moving you.  It is your Lombardi Trophy, World Cup or Stanley Cup.

It is what you seek.  It is your WHY.  This week, we will continue the exploration.  Hope you join us.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

SWOT and Chart the Course

With 2016 almost upon us. my thoughts turn towards strategy and planning and the role of character.

As a business educator specializing in strategic leadership, I am aware of and a believer in the quintessential SWOT Analysis.  The ability to identify strengths and weaknesses within ourselves and our organizations is a necessary skill in planning to seize opportunities and defend against threats. As a Master Facilitator for The Virtues Project, I am aware of and a believer in the essential value of character in fully assessing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats… in any given situation.  The value comes in four critical forms.

First, the process of effectively conducting a SWOT Analysis demands truthfulness and discernment.  We must see situations for what they are, now.  We must be able to effectively think things through in doing so.

Second, the process demands creativity and courage to build and implement answers that connect strengths and opportunities, and effectively defend weaknesses from threats.

Third, the steps in strategic analysis itself… analyze the situation, formulate a strategy, implement the strategy and evaluate results… they demand the same truthfulness, discernment, creativity and courage.   They also demand diligence, flexibility, accountability, wisdom, strength, understanding and more.  Ponder and discern and add your own.

Finally, the virtues themselves MUST be considered when determining strengths and weaknesses.  They are core to our possibilities.  What strengths of character do we possess that are essential to our success?  What strengths of character do we need to develop in answer to our current weaknesses?  I have said before… and will again… character begets capacity and capacity begets creativity.  We start with who we are and who we need to be, at character… at core.  This is foundational.

This all being said, I invite you to answer the following questions of you and/or your team, school, organization, business or community.

  • What virtues (strengths of character) do you possess in abundance?
  • How do they manifest strength for you?
  • What virtues do you need to practice and grow?
  • How will they manifest growth for you?

Be thorough.  In doing so, please understand that strengths of character are both unlimited and renewable resources.  In fact, they are both inherent and have potential for growth.  They simply require practice.

In 2016, we will be doing an ongoing series of posts on the virtues as they relate to leadership, capacity building and more.  We look look forward to the exploration and I, personally, invite you to join us here.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Wholehearted Questioning

Finish it.  Wholeheartedness is a virtue, and one I recommend this Christmas.  I recommend it in the face of trial and triumph, challenge and opportunity, loss and gain.  It is your “A Game”, where you can hold your head up high because you bring it.  It is the core of what we call Humble Swagger.

For me, this year has been one of some profound and unexpected change in the face of the passing of my mother and the experience of a brain bleed.  It has also been a time of discovery… of friends, family, challenges, opportunities and inner strength.  There have been times where I did not think I could bring my A Game.  But I did.  An unexpected marathon of care and love at the hospital with mom, the eulogy at her funeral, and now this longer road towards healing and its changes demanded.

There have indeed been times this year where I have been tested.  No doubt, you too.  The question is how can we bring our whole to the game, whatever it might be.  How can we bring our best, amidst the best or worst?  So today, this day, I ask me and I ask you these questions.

  • How can you give 100% to what you choose to do in 2016?
  • How will you relentlessly live by your deepest values and purpose?
  • How can you see and hear what is real, in service to yourself and others?
  • How can you honor your own worth with the courage to be original?
  • How will you demonstrate confidence in initiating new ideas?
  • How can you awaken the virtues within by living them?
  • How will you seize each day and purpose driven opportunity?

Indeed, some “light” homework in preparation for 2016.  That being said, it might be the greatest gift you give yourself and others this coming year… by giving all that you are to all that you care about.  Everything requires and provides everything.

Merry Christmas… and Happy Holidays and New Year (whatever you celebrate and however you celebrate them).  Oh, and …

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

The Wholly Three: 3 Wishes, 3 Days

Probably my shortest post ever; I have but three wishes this day.

The First Wish

December 23rd was the 91st birthday of my father, Malcolm George Green who passed on to the next Realm in March of 2004.  I miss you “Mufasa” and I wish you soar and serve in whatever capacity you are given and choose.  I love you.

To those reading, whatever your belief; what might you wish for a loved one who has “moved on”?  Feel free to offer it here.

The Second Wish

Yesterday was Christmas Eve… and with this year’s passing of my mother, Marion MacDonald (Pugh) Green, it will be a Christmas of some missing indeed.  For you, my mother, I do wish you love and service in that next Realm, missing you as much.  But, my second wish here is that, in 2016, I wish to serve in your honor and memory; and that of dad.

To those reading this now, what wish might you have to honor the memory of a loved one passed?  Again, if you so choose, offer it here.

The Third Wish

Today, on Christmas Day, my third wish is for you all… in this time and space.  I wish that you, this Season (however you celebrate it), choose three virtues to which you will devote your humble swagger as you walk through work and life now and into 2016 and beyond.  Choose three to which you will daily commit, that will serve you and those you serve.  Call them your Wholly Three if you like.  🙂

For me, and with both my health and service ultimately in mind, I will choose…

  • zeal (that wondrous combination of purposefulness and enthusiasm)
  • idealism (that belief in the highest good)
  • courage (that ability to fight the good fight)

There are more, but these three I choose now.

How about you?  Feel free to share here… and with others.  My bonus wish (if I get one and I do… as I am writing this)… is that you have a time of peacefulness, joyfulness, and unity.  Oh, and much…

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

The Power to Hear

Companioning is a process, a method, a craft and an art.  It is about being present, without agenda or intent other than to be present.  It trusts in the inner wisdom of the person being companioned.  It is a deeper level of coaching, engaging and encouraging another to explore their best questions and find their best answers.  It is about the best version of friendship.  It is applicable to parents, teachers, counselors, coaches and all leaders.

Begin with opening the door to daring dialogue (daring in that it is all about exploration at its core).  Ask questions like:

  • What’s up?
  • What’s happening?
  • What’s goin’ on?

… in a tone that is inviting, not threatening or suspicious.  This is the invitation.  But the invitation needs to be extended.  Allow for truly receptive silence… not the kind that gives it 2 seconds then jumps in.  Not the kind of silence that cannot wait to end itself.  Receptive silence extends the invitation.  It says “I am not going anywhere.  I am here as your devoted audience.”  The opening of the door and the receptive silence require patience.

With this, you then need curiosity and discernment; to explore.  You say little but ask great questions to “empty the cup”.  As Dale Carnegie might suggest, “getting all the facts” and becoming “genuinely interested“.  Questions like:

  • What is that like for you?
  • How does that make you feel?
  • What does that mean for you?

You are asking questions to get information and to allow that someone to vocalize and even hear themselves in their answers.  You are not analyzing.  You are investigating. Asking:

  • What’s the best part?

or

  • What’s the hardest part?

… takes it even deeper.  It dares to dig.  You are digging for as much raw information as you can… no presumptions here.  You are listening with your ears and eyes, sensing verbal and body language and respectfully exploring both.  Saying things like:

  • I noticed you looked away when you said that.  What might that be about?

Yes, daring to care.  Being observant and curious with caring.  You don’t know what it might be about and it might be nothing, but you are daring to care.  You do this, with respect and stating that you might be wrong but wanted to make sure.  You are their friend, in a moment… and humbly so, not presuming you have “the answers”.

Once you have an emptied cup and a full gathering of facts and information, you can start directing questioning around strengths of character that might apply.

Questions like….

  • What would confidence look like in this situation?
  • What would give you the strength to see this through?
  • What strengths might you need now?
  • How did assertiveness and compassion play a role in what you did?

These are but samples, but you are helping to explore strengths of character.  The Virtues Project contends that they exist in us all… and these questions just start to explore their presence or need to be called upon.

By now, you have opened up the conversation, held to receptive silence, explored fully all the details and turned the focus towards character and its role.  At no point did you provide answers.  You simply helped in the digging.  The buy in is theirs because of that.  This is not manipulation as you had no agenda other than to listen and ask great questions.  You are simply an explorer.

Now, you explore the clarity resulting from the process by asking “What is more clear now?”  And that is theirs to answer.  There may be no magic bullet at this time.  The clarity may be that they simply understand that they have to reflect on some things some more.  Or it may be that they have come across a very useful nugget of personal wisdom.  OR. they may have their answer.  But it is theirs and you have helped them understand their own capacity.  Now, there is confidence building.  No rescuing.  Just believing in their capacity.

Still, at the end of any episode of this process, you take the time to acknowledge a strength in them.  Keep it focused to one so that it has true power.  I use a formula that I call CLAWcharacter trait I like and why I say that.  Take that moment to focus and share.  Watch the recognition… if you have done this authentically.

Bear in mind that this process is applicable in moments of challenge and opportunity, trial and triumph, good news and bad.  This is not counseling.  It is companioning.  You are simply there, and asking great questions.  This is powerful in working with youth… as an educator, counselor, parent or friend.  It works for youth and adults in equal measure.  It is a huge part of our work, locally and globally.

So, imagine.  Imagine engaging youth by being there; and with the tools to work the craft.  Imagine the friend you become.  Imagine its power in the face of that Sound of Silence.  Receptive silence is not silence… it is hearing and conveying value to someone else.  It sees others with empathy and understanding.  It gets us speaking and listening and moving forward together, stronger.

So, as you enter this Season of Christmas, Hanukkah or otherwise… and spend time with family and friends; be that most wondrous companion… now and into 2016.  I wish you…

 

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Do you hear what I hear?

The Mothers of All Leaders

At the risk of a shameless plug, we are so grateful and excited.  On April 20, 2015, my mother, Marion MacDonald Green, passed on.  That very morning, as I both cried and reflected on what I lost and gained, we thought to dedicate a book in her memory.  We called it 21 Sons at the time.

In our quest to seek out 21 men to write of their mothers, 26 responded.  The book became 21 Sons or More and was released November 26, 2015 21 Sonson our E-Store and Amazon.  Upon seeing it up, again tears.

Why the tears, beyond the memories?  26 men took the opportunity to write honestly and lovingly about their mothers.  The writing was real, rough and raw at times and we fought to edit.  We wanted to capture the spirit of the honest dedications.  We think we did.

Mothers are the very first educators; the very first leaders.  They are there at the beginning.  They impact us in ways conscious and unconscious alike.  This book explores those relationships from the perspectives of men of different ages and backgrounds from the UK, through Canada and the US.  The views are different and loving and real.  They speak to a kind of leadership we often forget or ignore or maybe even take for granted at times.  They speak to leadership and character development, by example.

We do not feel this a shameless plug as all proceeds from the sale of 21 Sons or More go to support our work with youth and youth agencies. We have created a model to advance motherhood as leadership, to inspire men and women with real stories and to help fund our work with kids and those who work with kids.  This is crowd funding with a nice ROI.

Bottom line; if you do not purchase and/or read 21 sons or More… feel free to take these two things away.  We respect whatever decision you make.  Second, know that we strongly recommend that you do your own research on what your mother taught you, by example.  Consider these virtues and take inventory; take stock of the greatest gifts a mother can truly give… instilling a sense of character.

Then, whatever your personal story… thank her for the lessons; however you learned them..

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™ 

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