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: May 2016

5 for Fighting, and Building

In times of trial and triumph alike, fighting the good fight and working for sustainable and sustaining success demands a strong anchor and rudder… our strength of culture.  We suggest character is the basis for same.  It builds powerful resourcefulness.  This week in class, teaching Organizational Behaviour to students at the College of the North Atlantic, we are exploring the building of strong cultures.

Cultures are made up of two levels ultimately.

First, culture is essentially our shared and actual beliefs, values and assumptions.  Second, it is represented by our artifacts… language, stories, rituals and symbols.  Strong cultures get clear on those shared beliefs, values and assumptions beyond simply putting them to paper.  Strong cultures then ensure that the artifacts reflect and reinforce the desired culture so that it is truly palpable as an experience for customers, clients, colleagues and all constituencies.  A strong culture is the essence of great branding and reputation.  It is real and trustworthy.  Integrity rules reputation.

That being said, our work, inspired by the 5 Strategies of The Virtues Project™, focuses on going beyond behaviour to help build character driven, united, and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  We are all about building strong cultures of joyful excellence.

The 5 Strategies, alluded to above, are key elements of building such cultures.  Consider…

THE FIRST STRATEGY

SPEAK THE LANGUAGE.  Language has the power to discourage or to inspire. Using virtues to Virtues on Blackacknowledge, guide, correct and thank awakens the best within us.  Language is a powerful manifestation of culture.  In our engagement with one another as part of the team in a school, youth center or college… business, workplace or community… the language of the virtues is nuanced and focused.  We can and should incorporate the virtues into our language with colleagues… expressing, more clearly, what we see as our strengths as a culture. Once it is named, it can be claimed.  This is part of our work in bringing rooms together… exploring and celebrating our individual and collective strengths of character.  Naming them so we can claim them.  Language is a driving force in building any culture.  Building strong cultures is served with character driven language to articulate our best strengths for which we want to be known.

THE SECOND STRATEGY

RECOGNIZE TEACHABLE MOMENTS.  Recognizing the virtues needed in daily challenges helps us to become lifelong learners open to the lessons of character.  Teachable moments is not a new concept, but here we speak of it around the application (or lack thereof) of the virtues.   In evaluations of our team, if we were to start at strengths and challenges at the level of character, we are digging deeper.  We are finding our best stories.  Identifying both strength and growth virtues goes a long way in adding foundational clarity to feedback.  Recognizing moments of character is more resonant, not unlike the plucking of a string on a guitar or harp.  When we look at moments of trial and triumph alike with the lens of character, we go deeper than behavior.  Behavior results from character.  Character has permanence and is the soil from which behaviors grow.  As we discover our stories and learn more of and develop our strengths of character, stronger and healthier behaviors take effective root; the kind of behaviors that build strong and resonant cultures.

THE THIRD STRATEGY

Set Clear Boundaries.  Boundaries based on respect and restorative justice create a climate of peace, cooperation, and safety in our homes, schools and communities.  Ultimately, this is about identity.  Identifying our lines in the sand is a process of exploring our most cherished identity.  Having conversations around this, at the level of character, gets us connected in stronger ways.  Setting clear character driven boundaries goes beyond and deeper than codes of conduct.  We are taking on codes of character, identifying who we are at baseline, what our lines in the sand are… and how we can constructively address and redress them with our colleagues and teams.  Knowing who we are, what our deal breakers are, and how we restore our sense of justice… all through character… can help build a truly healthy understanding of how we collectively roll.

THE FOURTH STRATEGY

Honor the Spirit.  We sustain our vision and purpose by integrating virtues into our activities, surroundings, celebrations and the arts.  This is about the rituals and symbols.  This one is about honor and respect and engagement.  It is about honoring our own spirit, honoring that of others… and honoring the collective spirit.  This one builds powerful bridges and the “social infrastructure”.  Having clear language and a sense of ourselves and others with whom we work… it allows us to see the strengths in others; and value them.  Creating our spaces, individually and collectively, is part of that honoring of our spirit.  We encourage real and engaged discussions, exploring what would foster spaces honoring same; advancing strong and caring cultures.

THE FIFTH STRATEGY

Offer Companioning.  Being deeply present and listening with compassionate curiosity guides others to find clarity and to create their own solutions. It supports healing and growth.  Companioning is about being present and listening.  Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”  This one fosters connection, engagement and leadership… and builds cultures of trust and trustworthiness alike.

We weave these strategies throughout our work in business and organizational leadership and development.  We continuously find that they powerfully resonate for the youth, adults and teams with whom we work.  Consider these strategies and how they might affect advancing a strong, united and character driven culture that is resilient and striving for joyful excellence.

It is worth the look.

Peace, passion and prosperity…Educator

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Our work is all about character.  We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

A Chamber Minute

Epic Engage™ is a proud member of the Mt. Pearl Paradise Chamber of Commerce.  Why?

First of all, it s important to say that we love to sing the praises of organizations in which we believe.  We are all about advancing strong communities and MPPCC is that.  It is a community, and growing.  From our own first exposure last year, that sense of community was palpable.  Small to medium and even large size companies and organizations… connecting at community events, mixers and galas alike.  Our first year’s experience was remarkable.

We are a small company with a global market, but our roots are here and will continue to be.  In these times of apparent economic trial, we believe that unity and the synergy that comes from it is powerful.  The MPPCC is such a community.  We see it.  We experience it.  Amidst two communities growing in size and quality of life, the business community here is a strategic advantage for us all.

Consider going to the site of the Mount Pearl Paradise Chamber of Commerce.  Check out the benefits for yourself.  Consider the top three reasons offered on the site itself.

1. Advocacy & Policy – A key role for the Mount Pearl Paradise Chamber of Commerce is to represent the views of the business community on topics including federal, provincial, and municipal budgets, economic Member Servicesissues, legislation, infrastructure, etc.

2. Networking & Visibility – Meet people who live and work in our local area at networking events and luncheons. Exchange information with potential clients or service providers. Networking & Visibility opportunities include:

  • Lunch and Learns
  • Business Mixers
  • Annual Golf Tournament
  • Best in Business Awards Gala

3. Member Benefit Programs – Affordable options that allow you to cut costs and offer products that enhance your business offerings. These nationally offered programs include:

  • Canadian Chamber of Commerce Group Insurance Plan
  • Merchant Services Preferred Pricing Program
  • ESSO Direct Driver Billing Program – Esso fuel discount of 3.5 cents per litre – extended to both business owners and their employees
  • Chamber eLearning – a program of over 1000 courses delivered online and geared to small business; this is a subscription-based service that your members can sign up for and then have access to the courses
  • Hotline to HR – especially good for small businesses who can’t afford an on-site HR dept; this tool offers 24/7 advice for employers
  • Quantum RBS – which is a new program for cloud data/recovery program
  • Johnson program for home/auto/travel insurance – www.johnson.ca/chamber
  • Mystery shopper program

Yes, we suggest that you consider going to the site yourself and having a look around.  Our experience tells us though that you Your MPPCCmight want to connect with some members, check out a mixer and get connected somehow.  There is real competitive and strategic advantage in being part of a lean and learning, mobile and robust business community to build connections, resources and resourcefulness alike.  AND this year, there are some new and cool additions to services involving and engaging social media, blogs and video… and more.

Yes, consider that look and connection.  We are definitely glad that we did.  Then, consider a look over, completion and submission of a membership application form.  MPPCC is a community of which you will want to be a part, we think.  We know we are glad to be.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

 

 

Humility is Strength, Part 4

A few weeks back on LINKEDIN, we had been taking a look at the strength that is Humility.  We explored the MYTHtake of Humility and Working Together with Humility.  We even explored the notions of teaching, reaching and preaching as an extension of the exploration of this virtue; this strength of character.

Then on the evening of May 12th, we had the honor and pleasure of attending the TEDx Youth St. John’s event; the first ever.  Indeed, we had the honor of working with the youthful speakers (aging in range from 12 to 25) for a session on the character of communications about a month ago.  The youth who spoke last night were incredibly passionate and manifested this virtue we call Humility.  They spoke with zeal and creativity and wholeheartedness.  They shared with honesty and courage.  They explained with thoughtfulness and discernment.  All strengths of character.  Most of all, they delivered their messages as themselves… not speaking at us but with us.   We all felt present.  Humility provided us all that.

Great and substantive leadership does that.  It includes.  It values us all.  It is giving and receiving.  It is work in progress and learning centered.  It is perfecting not perfect.  It is real.

As we each move forward, how can we build and maintain a countenance of Humility in our words and deeds?  I humbly suggest that here is a 3 question daily checklist that might be useful in doing so:

  • In the morning, as we prepare for the day as best we can, ask ourselves… “How can I keep an open mind to learn today?”
  • In the evening, ask ourselves… “What did I learn today?”
  • At night, before retiring… thank each of our teachers for that day.

“Bring thyself to account each day” are words that inspire me. 

To account is to practice the strength that is Humility.  If we sharpen the blades on this strength of character, we will have people’s ears and maybe their hearts.  We will see and be seen as good and caring leaders.  We will manifest wisdom.  We will get things done.

Humility is not soft.  It is that wise and strong teacher that engages and empowers us to be our best, perfecting our own work in progress… and fostering progress for us all in the process.

To the organizers and supporters of TEDx Youth St. John’s… bounteous kudos for your service.  To the youth who delivered. thank you for humbling us all… and that is one damn great thing.

Be humble.  Be strong.

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Our work is all about character.  We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

Humility is Strength, Part 3

Almost a year ago, I wrote this post on preaching, teaching and reaching.  I still stand by it and wholeheartedly recommend a read and review again and now.

I say this after sitting back and reflecting on what I far too often see in the arenas of public and social media discourse.  We believe that we can win arguments by arguing; by forcing or preaching.  We are confounded and frustrated when we do not win the conversion.  Indeed there are “trolls” who seek not to convince but simply to aggravate.  That is another story.  But so many of us expect people to change their minds through our forceful opinions and assertion of our own perspectives; and we find ourselves frustrated when the opposite happens.

This is my first attempt cartooning, using computer tech.  Gulp.  🙂  But the message is that teaching requires reaching, not preaching.

Read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  Better yet, take a Dale Carnegie Course®.  Carnegie referenced 30 principles for working with people and 30 principles for dealing with worry… both core components of Emotional Intelligence.  He spoke to and addressed some 30 behaviours that can truly influence in the healthiest of manners… if we truly want to have constructive influence.  It is an art, a skill and something that requires application and practice.

Investigate and invest in our work.  We examine same from the aspect of character; where all consistent and constructive behaviour is manifested, grown and sustained.

Either way, I humbly (our virtue for the week) suggest that we all rethink the art of dialogue and influence.  “Telling it like it is” assumes our perception is truth.  It is, to us.  But true influence understands that it is about building bridges… whether the dialogue is about budgets or behaviours.  That requires Humility.

Consider that.  Disagreements are not “won”.  You may win the battle of the argument but the war rages on because we create ongoing feels of hurt, estrangement and more.  Thus, the cycle continues.

This is not about being politically correct.  It is about wisdom as a leader.  If you ever get a chance, read Lincoln the Unknown by Dale Carnegie… a biography on Abraham Lincoln.  You begin to understand the wisdom of the man as a leader and it had nothing to do with beating down the enemy.

Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?  — Abraham Lincoln

So, consider the effectiveness of arguing or lack thereof.  Check out the aforementioned material and consider the power of real influence.  Great leadership in times of trial, tribulation and triumph demands it.  At the very least, you may not be nearly as frustrated with the futility of public discourse these days.

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Our work is all about character.  We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

Humility is Strength, Part 2

In a recent post on LINKEDIN, we introduced the MYTHtake of Humility.  In the closing, we suggested that we would look at the practical application of humility as a strength of leadership.  In our work with youth and communities over the years, we have found that truly working together requires the strength that is Humility.

That being said, I now  and personally thought to tackle the arena of politics and governance.

PRIDE, PARTISANSHIP and POLITICS

I have not made it a secret that I view politics as inherently dysfunctional, with its built-in system of opposition and ambition for power.  On the other hand, governance and democracy are not inherently so.  Politics is the piece that is partisan and prideful.  While I do admire and respect those who choose to serve in public life, I do not admire the arena that we have established for that service to be conducted.   It is overtly competitive, resistant to cooperation and guided by the win-lose.  It is the partisanship that sees ideologies more important than ideas; sides more important than united effort.  Neither “side” is ready to admit mistakes for fear of being seen as weak.  Weakness stirs the “smell of blood in the water”.  Why would anyone admit such?  So, all sides act as if they have the answers and have done nothing wrong.  Indeed, pride goeth before the fall.

WHAT IF?

In times of trial and crisis, what would humility look like in those who have unintentionally brought us to the place of crisis?  What would humility look like in terms of those prepared to work on getting us out?  What would humility look like in the myriad constituencies and interest groups?  What would humility look like in all the stakeholders?  How might it advance problem solving?  What if everyone concerned approached the process of finding solution, with humility?  Imagine that.  Reflect upon it.

THE STRENGTH of HUMILITY

Humility is not weakness.  It stands in the face of pride to build bridges of cooperation and mutual sacrifice of personal agendas… to build a common solution for uncommon results.  Some time back I wrote of the power and approach of a fully functioning family in times of crisis.  It relates to how we might approach crises at school, work and community alike.  Most notably, it speaks to the virtue of Humility and its role in advancing service to one another in getting us out of our times of challenge, locally and globally.

NAIVE or NOT?

Some would say it is naïve to believe Humility to be a virtue we could adopt in leadership.  I say it is naïve to think we can afford not to adopt it.  Undue pride has no interest but itself.  It is analogous to cancer; willing to kill itself in the process.  Humility is the antidote, the vaccine and the medicine.  As leaders, we must needs practice it in order to forge strong and united cultures ready to solve and serve.

CONSIDER and ACT

So, I humbly suggest that you consider any small or large crisis facing your classroom, school, campus, company or community.  Consider how a humble approach to problem solving might actually help solve the problem.  Consider how it might build the bridges necessary to get you collectively out and through the crisis in question.  Then, do that.

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Still, some songs on Humility…

PPS

Our work is all about character.  We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

Humility is Strength, Part 1

Humility is weak and misguided.  It is foolish and soft.  It is naive and meek.  Ultimately, and truthfully, it is misunderstood.

HUMILITY

With Humility, the virtue… we value others’ thoughts and feelings.  We are willing to give and receive help.  We understand that we are all a work in progress; being willing to accept, admit and learn from our mistakes… and allow others to do the same.  We are perfecting, not perfection… resilient in our growth.  We are grateful for what we see as gifts, given to us.  This is the strength of Humility.

HUMBLE SWAGGER

Humility is strength.  I personally and affectionately call it Humble Swagger.  It is not arrogant to think oneself worthy of being here when one also knows we all are so worthy.  It is not arrogant to own our space and lives when we allow others to do the same.  Humility is not humiliation.  It is a sense of true equality, understanding that we each have our road to figure and navigate.  It is also born of what I call and have written on, The Secret Truth©.

Humility is a healthy confidence; a confidence in a bigger picture and our own value in it… and the value of others.  Humility is the bulwark against excessive ego, judgement and envy.  Judge not lest ye be judged is born of Humility.  Breathe not the sins of others is born of Humility.  With Humility, we are not judgingly concerned with the faults of others.  We know we are each on our path.  This does not preclude standing for justice and fairness.  It necessitates it.  Humility says we are all of value and when we see that others are not treating still others so, we address it.

The Jedi were humble; as were the Knights of the Round Table.  When they were not, nastiness abounded…. dysfunctional conflict, contention, and even apathy.  The myth that humility is somehow weak is misguided.  Humility is born of the nobility of spirit.  It is the founding principle of great constitutions.  Humility is strength of conviction, that we all matter.

CONSIDER DESIDERATA.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.  Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.  Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.  Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.  Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.  Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.  Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.  Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.  Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.  And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.  —

It screams Humility and Humble Swagger in a gentle, assertive, truthful whisper.  Humility stands quietly confident in the face of excessive drama, hatred, fear, envy, enmity, suspicion, superiority, judgement and so much more… and it does stand.  Great and humble leaders stand nobly in the face of fear and prejudice.  Watching both Captain America Civil War and Zootopia a few weekends back, I saw examples of the strength of humility in the stories.  It stands in the face of vengeance and vitriol alike.

Over the past few weeks, we have been exploring virtues or strengths of character as they relate to leadership.  Indeed, that is what we do.  We have examined acceptance, unity, zeal, simplicity and confidence thus far in this particular part of the process.   We will now be taking a look at the behaviours of Humility that are strengths of leadership at school, work and community.

We humbly hope you join us.

For now, ask yourself how Humility might strengthen you as a leader.

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Some songs on Humility…

What a Shame by Shinedown

What It’s Like by Everlast

PPS

Our work is all about character.  We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

I Dare… Concluding on Confidence

Back in 2013, I had the honor and pleasure of attending a 3 hour session with Dr. Wayne Dyer.  I was in the 3rd row, on an angle.  His style was refreshingly unscripted and real.  My gregarious thunder and lightning spirit settled in and I listened… for 3 hours… intently.  A photographer captured this shot.

Man, I was into it.  Listening requires fierce and real focus… and presence… and I was there.  And it looks like, in prayer.  He was speaking to the notion of being “done” throughout his talk… that sense that we are always connected, if you will… if we but see it.  And, I was listening.

LISTENING

I am a Baha’i.  I say that with no intent to convince or convert for that is not part of the Faith.  Still, as such, I believe that God is no “man in the sky” but an unknowable, unimaginable Source…. and that such wisdom has existed since time immemorial.  Why do I dare say this?  I dare because I believe great leaders listen.  They listen to the hearts and needs of those they lead, and they listen within.  They listen and they discern the wisdom.  They are both humble and confident because they are connected, within and without.

Conversation implies two way, and private.  I believe prayer to be intimate and free of ego.  If we listen within, we hear that “still, small voice”.  What if God was one of us; every one of us?  What if going inward with listening and discernment provided us a whole and new perspective?

LISTENING and CONSIDERATION

I offer this to say that leadership is not knee jerk.  It is considered and thoughtful and daring in being so.  It implies wisdom as much as it does courage and initiative.  Following Dr. Dyer’s talk I was inspired to visit the grave site of my sister who I have yet to meet.  She came and went before I arrived.  I look forward to meeting her one day.  But that night, I visited her site and I drove to my fave place, Cape Spear… the most easterly point in North America…. and at both, I saw the grass and reeds blowing in the wind, at night.  It thusly inspired me to find, choose and dedicate this prayer in her memory.

I have believed in a Force and a Source since I can remember.  No one told me too.  I saw it in Thunder and Lightning.  I saw it in the Ocean.  I saw it everywhere.  I have been The Unity Guy™, since before I knew it.

I say this raw and real.  Character and unity have been part of my imagination and dreams since I can remember.  I remember the funeral procession of JFK, at 3 years of age.  It is my first memory.

Why do I consider this a dare?  I am not exactly sure except to say that I deeply believe that prayer is an incredible form of listening.  We must go into it without ego or agenda, or having the answers before hand and looking to be confirmed.  We must go in humble and seeking conversation.  Prayer and meditation are about real conversation within, devoid of the distractions.  I believe that it can guide both our movement and stillness.  I know that, going forward and for me… it must.  Managing my health and energy and passion and commitment will require a wisdom I must continue to seek.

For Baha’is, we have no clergy.  Our belief is that there is no distance between ourselves and the unknowable God.  I cannot explain what God is.  I can believe that if I go into conversation with that Force, I will come out a little wiser, somehow.   Great leadership should seek counsel within and without.  Wisdom is as necessary as boldness.  Empathy and understanding are as important as courage and confidence.

Whatever your belief, go within jumbly and confidently.  Have that personal inner conversation.  Shut off the agenda and ego and just be still.  I do not know what you will find; but you will find something… special and yours.  I say this with no religious dogma in mind or heart.  They serve no purpose in my life.   But, prayer does and I will do it more and more so that my movement and stillness are both aligned in cool balance.

Dare I?  Yes, I do.

I wish you…

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

I love THIS SONG… see what you think…

and this on DARING….

PPS

Our work is all about character.  We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

The Confidence Factor, Part 4

Words that inspire me… let deeds, not words, be your adorning.  Indeed, in deed.  The words inspire the notion that the words are not as important as the action.  Interesting; almost “poetic” even.

This is the fourth installment exploring the virtue and strength of Confidence.  On LINKEDIN and here, we have looked at:

We also had The CAST™ offer up thoughts on intention.  Intention demands confidence.  And last week, we explored the power of the virtue of Simplicity.  All of this is to say and offer.

The simplicity and power of this message speaks to me of integrity and confidence.  It speaks to me of alignment and action.  Letting deeds, not words, be our adorning emphasizes the need for action and that requires confidence.  We talk a great talk; but that walking thing is what matters.  That will require the virtue of Confidence.

Face what life brings, self assured and trusting.  See our mistakes as powerful teachers, while practicing patience on the road to mastery.  Express ourselves and our talents, and with a positive and constructive attitude.  These all require action.  The feeling will be manifested in the action.  Take confident action.

Back on May 12, TEDx Youth St. John’s ran its event with a group of youth who each had a powerful message.  Their respective messages were both the result of their actions to date and demanded action of themselves and all of us going forward.  The world is in need of actions, beyond our words.   I am thankful for their messages.  I am thankful for their inspiration to both think and take action.  Therein lies great leadership at school, work and community.

In the coming weeks and months, on LINKEDIN, we will continue to explore character as the powerful basis of leadership that it is, indeed.  On Mondays, we will continue to look at a particular virtue as a strength of character.  On Wednesdays, we will examine character as a source of powerful organizational behaviour at school, work and community.  On Fridays, we will examine how we get clear, focused, confident and intent on making our deeds happen.  As I continue my road back into the classroom, this month… teaching Organizational Behavior… as I ready our Team for The Janeway Telethon on June 4-5… as I go about my work… the intent is to both explore and manifest character as the solid ground of great action.

Great leaders listen and act with confidence.  Great movements unite and offer constructive and considered solutions, with confidence.  Dysfunctional conflict, contention and apathy are all seen for their distraction in the face of confident consultation and cooperation.  True confidence, in action, offers results centered and thoughtful solutions and acts upon them.

Now there is the kind of action I can get behind.   Listening to one another.  Learning from one another.  Leveraging our collective wisdom.  Leading with thoughtful and deliberate and constructive action.

Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Our work is all about character.  We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

The Confidence Factor, Part 3

After some of our posts to date on Confidence, I dare to suggest 4 simple actions that can ignite and manifest access to the virtue; that strength of character.  In some of the sessions and work that I and we do, they are referenced as B.O.D.Y. Management™.

BEAM

Smile.  Research is showing that smiling and feeling better; aka confident… are reciprocal processes.  They start and advance one another.  Smiling can start something special and not just for others.  Ultimately, we are talking about putting on your best game face.  Do it, and witness the research.

OXYGEN

Breathe, deeply.  My understanding is that oxygen relaxes and energies in incredible balance.  Yoga is about breathing.  Deep breathing impacts metabolism, energy and more.  Breathe, baby, breathe; and not the shallow stuff… get that oxygen going.

DANCE

This one is not necessarily about dancing in the office or school or wherever; though that has its time and place too.  This is about posture.  Our posture defines confidence or lack thereof.  How you manage your body impacts how you manifest access to confidence.  Indeed, in deed.

YES

Watch Yes Man.  There is something to be said for saying YES, internally and externally.  When I teach cartooning in 60 seconds in my sessions, I ask everyone whether they can draw.  Only a handful indicate they can.  I then instruct them to, with feeling, respond to my reiterated question ” Can you draw?” with an enthusiastic “Yes I can!”.  It breaks some cob webs.  Then, in 60 seconds we all draw a cartoon character.  People discover something about themselves, and the power of YES.  By the way, I do not ask “Can you draw well?”.  The audience always implies it.  Can you draw?  Oh yes, you can.

So Confidence, the Virtue.  It is not unlike that Ocean you need to reach.  It is there.  You just need to reach it.  The B.O.D.Y. Management™ “buttons” can be part of your ride.  Try them out at school, at work, at home, at community.  See where that takes you.

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Our work is all about character.  We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

The Confidence Factor, Part 2

Do not, therefore, throw away your confidence for it carries a great reward.  — Hebrews 10:35

This post is dedicated to those still facing the fires in Fort McMurray and anyone facing their own fires in life.  Continuing from our conversation on both the skill and virtue of confidence earlier, confidence does have a great reward.

 

Its reward is that we have the capacity to contribute and live fully, freely and fiercely in times of both trial and triumph.  With it…

  • We have the strength to face what life brings.
  • We act with self assurance.
  • We treat others as trustworthy.
  • We bless and are thankful for our mistakes as teachers.
  • We practice patience in striving for mastery.
  • We fully express our talents and ideas.
  • We maintain a positive attitude.

So, the rewards are great.  Then, what does it look like to foster, advance and encourage confidence within our students, colleagues, clients and constituents?  What does it look like to be a beacon of it in the face of disaster?  In the face of economic challenges, natural disasters or the trial and tribulations of life… what does it look like to build cultures of confidence in the classroom, in companies and throughout communities?  What immediate and daily practices can we “sharpen the blades on” to champion confidence.

Recently, I had my first day back teaching at College since my brain bleed.  I had concerns about my abilities; great concerns.  How would I react physically and emotionally?  It has been months since my last college teaching experience and I humbly bring it to the classroom; and have for the last 20+ years now.  With my road back, I still must pace the spirit of thunder within.

The students showed up on the first day and did not know each other nor really know the nature of the course they were about to take, Organizational Behaviour.  They are taking it as an elective.  There was much uncertainty in the classroom on many levels.  Strangers meeting, taking a strange course.   But I knew I had at least one one ally.  Confidence.

I was not confident in my ability to do what I used to do; whether accurate or not.  But, I knew that confidence is a virtue, a strength of character that can be accessed at any time.  So, I did.  I had confidence in confidence.  I had confidence that every student had access to it too.  I simply had to engage the students as people.  Yes, people.  I had to believe in them, believe in the course and believe in confidence.  The conversation was engaged.  The students responded.  The first class was a success.

Still, I was tired afterwards; very tired.  That being said, confidence had my back.  Some would say this is “fake it til you make it”.  I respectfully disagree.  There is nothing fake about confidence.  I would suggest it is more about “believe it and you’ll see it”.

It happened again that next evening at supper time…  where I had committed to volunteering an hour to speak with a group of youth at a community center.  Again, they did not know what was coming.  Nor, did I.  I was also physically drained from the day (part of this road back to health) and I did not know what was left in the tank.  But I had confidence.  I had access to it.  I believed in it like I know the ocean exists.  It exists, with or without me.  I sat for some, stood for some, but believed in confidence throughout.  The session was engaging.  The kids were great.  The lesson was reinforced, for me.

Confidence stands at the ready.  It is not unlike a guardian angel; or an arrow in our quiver… when we quiver.  It is ready to be used.  When we find ways to use it, we become an example of it… and it is contagious.  It is a “keeper for life”.

So, my question to you is this.  Well. actually… questions.  As an educator and/or leader in any capacity, how can you personally access and believe in confidence in such a way that you both practice it and thusly become an example of it?  How can you engage it in a way that it becomes its own constructive contagion?  How can you engage it in conversation and commitment alike?  What daily practices will help you sharpen those blades in both yourself and others?  How will you achieve a new understanding of the pre-existent nature of the virtue of confidence?

You can access it at work, play or rest; in healthy balance.

Have this conversation with yourself and others.  Explore the ocean that is the virtue of Confidence.  It is there.  Dip your toes in it.  Submerge yourself in it.  Learn to swim in it.  Both doubt and arrogance are waste lands.  Confidence is an oasis.  Find that oasis and live there.  Invite and engage others to do so too.

Believe.

To the people still facing the fires in Fort McMurray or the fires in our lives anywhere, I hope, pray and wish you access confidence in your time of need. It has a great reward.  And to those of us who can help, let us have the confidence to do just that through our service and donations of time, resources and money.

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Our work is all about character.  We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

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