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Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Confidence Factor, Part 1

Recently, I wrote on families and crisis, as metaphor on how we might consider working together in times of trial.  Over the last few weeks indeed, we have explored the virtues of acceptance, unity and zeal… and often referred to times of trial and triumph alike.  We are certainly living in interesting times, locally and globally.

Enter Confidence; the virtue.

We often think of confidence as a skill… and it is… on one level.  The behaviours that we practice both build it and manifest it.  As a wise Vietnam Vet named “Mike” once said to me back in the 80’s, “Courage first, confidence second.”

As we practice courage in facing that which we fear, we tend to build confidence.  Indeed, there are many great programs out there that help advance the practice and skill of confidence building.  Practicing this strength of character provides the fortitude to meet life head on.  It allows us a sense of self-assurance and trust in others and ourselves.  We approach learning in a whole new way, seeing mistakes as stepping stones and not failures.  It advances both patience and excellence in the approach to mastery.  It frees us to create and express as us; and strengthens a positive and optimistic approach.

Confidence is one cool cat.

Still, Confidence is a virtue; a pre-existent strength of character… accessible by all.  And the question I believe begs asking is “Confidence in what?”

Confidence in a skill we have is one thing.  As you read this, your confidence in your ability to breathe, read or write might be fairly high.  Your confidence in that which you know how to do is typically high.  We all have confidence in doing something… from the most fundamental skills and knowledge and beyond.  That kind of confidence is built by doing.  The child first learning to walk has the courage and curiosity to try and perseveres.  We all have this ability to build what I call the functional confidence.

But that same child had confidence in walking, before they walked.  There is a knowing of potential.  This is a deeper, richer more sustaining level.  It is the virtue of Confidence.  Some might call it faith.  Real, sustaining and sustainable confidence comes from changing our focus on what we can and cannot do to our potential and life in general.  The virtue of confidence, practiced daily causes us to understand that we are “ready in all circumstances”.  It is the confidence in our ability to triumph, even through and amidst the trials; especially the trials.

Confidence believes.  It is a choice.  The virtue of confidence is a choice that requires no track record.  It is a leap of faith… or jump of confidence… not unlike my own mother’s final words of wisdom to me last year.  She said, “We are all gonna make it.”

So, I suggest great cultures on campus, in companies and throughout communities breed this kind of confidence; the virtue.  It is not a confidence that depends on what we have done or not done in the past.  It is a confidence that says “we got this” when we do not even know what “this” is yet.  It is not arrogance.  Arrogance would believe in the ease of the journey.  Confidence says that it might be hell, but we will get through it.

Great champions possess this.  Great classrooms, workplaces and communities too.  So, how do we access it?  We choose to believe.  We choose to be real.  We choose to encourage ourselves and others.

First, I suggest we might study it a bit.  Here are some perspectives I like and choose to consider.

  • Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. — Norman Vincent Peale
  • Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. — Helen Keller
  • Kindness in words creates confidence.  — Lao Tzu
  • You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ — Eleanor Roosevelt
  • I think that the power is the principle. The principle of moving forward, as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see what you’ve done. — Robert Downey Jr.
  • When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things. — Joe Namath
  • Great leaders don’t need to act tough. Their confidence and humility serve to underscore their toughness. — Simon Senek

This week, we will explore confidence and leadership.  For now, I leave you with a question.  To what daily practices can you commit that will foster and advance the virtue of confidence in yourself and others?  In other words, how can you move beyond functional confidence and the knowledge that you know how to do what you know how to do… to that confidence that says humbly “we got this”?  In still other words, how can you best manifest the Talisman that you are… and that those around you are?

How can you access, practice and manifest the virtue of Confidence?

Until next post and beyond, practice that. Access that.

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

I sang this at two conventions over the last two years… Because We Believe… that is another story. 🙂

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.

Leader ToC™ with Linda Kavelin-Popov

This month, with our second Leader ToC™ Blog Post, we interview Linda Kavelin-Popov… one of the LKPFounders of The Virtues Project™.

Excerpted from The Virtues Project™ website, Linda is a best-selling author and an inspiring international speaker on personal and global transformation. Linda was named a “cultural creative” by TIME magazine. She served on the Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Think Tank on character and the Advisory Editorial Board for the Spirituality and Ethics segment on CTV National News in Canada. In 2001 she received a Women of Distinction Award from the YW/YMCA. As a psychotherapist, she designed teen suicide and violence prevention programs used in U.S. cities. She consulted to Arthur Young International, Hallmark Cards, Hyatt Hotels, the Inspector General for U.S. Health and Human Services, and General Motors. Among her books are The Family Virtues Guide, The Virtues Project Educator’s Guide, Sacred Moments and A Pace of Grace. Linda has appeared on Oprah and many other television shows, including a national documentary series in Canada: “Virtues A Family Affair.”

Leader ToC™ (Thoughts on Character) is our monthly series engaging leaders around the world on character, leadership and more.

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BARRY:

Hi Linda, and thank you for graciously agreeing to this interview.  Long admiring your work and service, I am very much looking forward to your perspectives on leadership, character and more.  Let me start by asking, “How would you describe what it is it you do?”

LINDA:

I am best known as co-founder of The Virtues Project™, a global grass roots movement to bring virtues to life. I’m the author of 5 books on virtues, including best sellers, The Family Virtues Guide and A Pace of Grace: The Virtues of a Sustainable Life. I have retired from the administrative side of the project and now, in my last years, am focused on writing. I have just written my first novel, A Scent of Sage, which is based on the history of “the lost generation” of indigenous children in Canada forced into residential schools. I also write a weekly column for The Cook Islands News called “Virtues in Paradise” and am a blogger.

BARRY:

Wow indeed.  Well, I thought I knew you, and I do, but I am learning even now and that is a good thing, lol.  Your service continues in wonderful ways.  In your own words, “Who do you best serve?” 

LINDA:

Truthfully, I have served people of many cultures and all ages through international speaking tours and my books. I have a special place in my heart for the indigenous or First Nations of the world, and where we live now, in the South Pacific, I write a newspaper column for the Maori people.

BARRY:

That is both a depth and breadth of service, globally.  In doing so, what are your thoughts on what makes for great leadership?

LINDA:

The most fundamental foundation stone of great leadership is clear communication of a possible vision and the encouragement of people as they build the reality of that vision. It is also listening deeply to the views, ideas and needs of others. A great leader is a servant to the people, the customers, the clients, the colleagues, and the staff.  My goal in life has been to make the sacred accessible in everyday life, from the sacred texts of all faiths to the oral traditions and stories of indigenous people. At the heart of them all are the virtues, like a silver thread of unity connecting us all – love, honor, gratitude, courage, justice, joy, service.

BARRY:

Truly, music to my ears and heart… especially this notion of unity.  So, what is one challenge you feel requires engaging leadership at this time?

LINDA:

For me, as a debut novelist, now in my seventies, my challenge is to learn and use the full potential of social media and internet to communicate about my book, A Scent of Sage. I am already part of the blogosphere www.gracefulendings.net/blog  and am building a new author website www.lindakavelinpopov.com as a gathering place for people interested in the spiritual and historical themes in my novel. The book describes exercises such as Vision Quest, gratitude journal, virtues pick, Medicine Wheel, Ho’o pono pono, healing circle, walking meditation, virtues “Parts Party” and others. These will be made available to facilitators and folks in the healing professions in detail on my new website and can also be used privately by individuals.

BARRY:

I love your focus; centering energies around a single point is powerful.  What is the return on investment in facing that challenge, for you?

LINDA:

My vision and purpose — my joy — has always been and continues to be to make a difference in the lives of people. As Frederick Beuchner says, “Our calling is where our deepest gladness and the world’s hunger meet.” I am told by local islanders that my column “Virtues in Paradise” has helped them speak, act and live at their best, to walk their talk, to be kinder to their children, and more mindful of the beauty of these islands. My hope is that A Scent of Sage and all my other books help people to heal the past and create a spiritually authentic, meaningful and joyful life.  For me, this is living the dream.

BARRY:

I have long admired those words of Beuchner.  I was first introduced to them at age 22.  They speak powerfully to me.  We share in that.  Linda, I am excited for your path forward and thankful for your path to date.  It has been an honor to get your perspective and passion and purpose today.  I humbly thank you.

LINDA:

It is my pleasure Barry.

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Over the coming months, around the third Thursday of each month… we will continue to engage and explore with experts and leaders around the globe.  We invite you to join us.

Until next month… 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 more posts here or in our LINKEDIN groups at:

… and on Twitter, @epicengage 

… and on Facebook, at Epic Engage Global

… AND on You Tube.

You can also join our STRONG SCHOOL™ GLOBAL… a free 30+ video and exercise based program around personal leadership.

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Or take the shorter route.  🙂  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

 

Simplicity 3: The Essentials

BLGWe have been looking at the virtue of Simplicity.  We did so by examining it as a strength and its application to engaging the age.  Now, I invite you to consider…

A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both. —  Lawrence Pearsall Jacks

Martha Beck has written that a career is actually our entire body of life work.  Richard Bolles has written that we can find our purpose in our members; finding those instances when we lose ourselves in what we are doing.  I take both to mean that finding our best purpose is through the virtue of simplicity.  When we look at our entire body of work and consider the common thread of everything that we have enjoyed and in which we have practiced excellence… we get closer to the simplicity of what LP Jacks speaks.

Common visions are simple and powerful; and they get results.

Consider this on Essentialism and executing the important stuff.  Consider essence, explore, eliminate and execute.  It is a direct application of the virtue of simplicity.  Indeed, in building our work, I first considered the wisdom of Beck and Bolles and more… and found that the common threads throughout my work over 3 decades focused on unity and character. And in looking back to childhood, my imagination and dreams were linked to these two ideas or forces.  My personal brand became The Unity Guy.  Our collective pursuit became the Epic Engage.  The former was a manifestation of unity, clearly.  The latter was and is a vehicle for character leadership.  Ultimately, I have long believed that strong (character based) and united cultures were powerfully resourceful and sought what I call joyful excellence … and were triumphant in some distinct and remarkable way.

In this search, and its meanderings, I essentially considered 5 elements.

  • The work and play and learning I have most enjoyed in life.
  • What I most enjoyed about that work, play and learning.
  • What virtues of character are at the heart of that enjoyment.
  • Who I best served in doing so.
  • How I could make both a living and life in doing so.

I also, unconsciously and for the most part, employed the notions of essence, explore, eliminate and execute.  For the most part, but that work continues for me and us … as so it should.  For now, and for you… consider the 101 virtues noted here.

Review the video again.  Then walk yourself through the 5 elements noted above, for yourself, your team or your organization.

  • The work and play and learning we have most enjoyed.
  • What we most enjoyed about that work, play and learning.
  • What virtues of character are at the heart of that enjoyment.
  • Who we best served in doing so.
  • How we could make both a living and life in doing so.

Simplicity is not simply a virtue.  It is a virtue; a strength of character… and it is a strategic strength and advantage.  Joe Calloway speaks and writes to this and I strongly suggest you access his wisdom and perspective; as I do the book Essentialism as well.

All that is to say that I invite you to take this exploration, no matter how close you think you are to your best purpose and path.  It is part of the work we do.  In doing so, we each might be surprised what new gems of wisdom arise.

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 more posts here or in our LINKEDIN groups at:

… and on Twitter, @epicengage 

… and on Facebook, at Epic Engage Global

… AND on You Tube…. we have a cool new promotion for subscribers too!!!

Simplicity, Part Too :-)

EducatorIn our last post, we started exploring the strength that is SIMPLICITY.  Here, we continue its exploration, with a singular issue in mind.

Almost a year ago, I wrote this piece on what I call the Generational Mosaic.  If you are working or living in an environment filled with multiple and seemingly diverse generations, I humbly think it worth a read.  It speaks to my personal and professional and hard earned experience learning from, teaching and working with all of the noted generations over the last 30+ years.

That being said, and of late, I have been seeing posts that manifest a bit of a generational war… on Millennials in particular.  The initial salvos seem to be around what is often noted as the sense of entitlement of Gen Y.  I find this interesting.  Consider…

Entitlement.

I get it.  The sense is that Millennials have a belief that they are entitled to enjoying their work; what they perceive to be their chosen path so to speak.  In the posts and articles I have seen, you almost get a sense that this is perceived as overly idealistic.  So, first let us explore the virtue of idealism… for a moment.

The key to resolving these social ills rests in the hands of a youthful generation convinced of the nobility of human beings… The Universal House of Justice

IDEALISM IS

Idealism is not for the faint of heart.  We have dreams. And a plan.  In doing so, we have faith in the highest possible outcome.  To get there, we walk our talk.  We persevere.  In so doing, we actually make a difference.  I am a child of the 60’s.  Sounds like we “suffered” from this belief too, for a time.  But then, as the video references, many of us sold the dream after the deaths of JFK, MLK, Bobby Kennedy and more… after Kent State and Vietnam and Watergate.

But I digress.  Still, please note that there is nothing Panacea or Utopian about idealism.  Now, I invite to engage this video, lovingly and truthfully offered for courageous consideration.  It is spoken and delivered with both zeal and empathy, for all.

THE QUESTION

With that in mind, this week we are exploring SIMPLICITY as a virtue; a strength of character.  One application of this virtue is to get to the core of any issue… any question.  Several weeks back, around the application of the virtue of unity… I noted and offered ICCCCAN as a process for collective problem solving.  The first step is …

Identify the ISSUE

At its core, an issue is a question.  For the sake of simplicity, a great question is essential to getting to the heart of any matter.  In this case, I suggest the question is not, “Why are Millennials so seemingly entitled?”.  The question is …

ENTITLED TO WHAT?

We all, every generation feels a sense of entitlement.  Go back to the video.  Consider it.  Ask yourself “To what have I become entitled?”  Ask yourself if that makes sense.  Could it be that finding your best path and purpose is as equally legit as awaiting the promise of retirement?  Could it be that respecting oneself and our best dreams are as equally legit as expecting respect from others.

You see… the question is not “Are we entitled?”  any more than the question is “Am I an Idealist?”.  The real questions are “To what should I be authentically entitled?” and “For what should I have a true sense of Idealism?”

It is about the target of our entitlement and our idealism that matters.  Does it make sense to have the belief of entitlement that we each have?  Should Millennials feel any less entitled to finding joy and purpose in their work than a Boomer feels in expecting retirement, as promised?  Should Millennials feel any less entitled to respect themselves and their own lives and dreams than an Elder expects respect?

WHAT IF

What if every generation has  apiece of wisdom here?  What if it is an alienable right to explore your passion and purpose and enjoy your work?  What if it is an indisputable right to expect that our final years be some form of reward for a life’s work well done?  What if is a given right and responsibility to give and receive with respect?  I believe that the Millennials have something here.  I believe that every generation at school, work and community has a piece of wisdom from which we all can learn.

Maybe the courage of Desiderata speaks to this, for every generation.  Maybe courage and wisdom to question our personal sense of entitlement is a positive thing, in order to come up with a true sense of entitlement for all.

ALL I KNOW

All I know is that I honor the belief that we should expect our lives to be more, purposeful and passionate and now.  I know that I personally honor the need to honor a good life’s work.  I know that I honor the need to respect one another.  And therein lies my point and my concern with the unofficial guerilla war on Millennials.  I can learn from them.  They can learn from us.  We all can learn from one another.

WITH SIMPLICITY IN MIND

One of the best strategies I have learned and been taught over the years is that I must remain open to the wisdom of the ages… all the ages.  Engage the age is simplicity in the face of the generational mosaic.  Be open to learning.  It is a sacred and powerful truth of leadership.

Learn baby learn.

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Another interesting post on the Millennials

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 more posts here or in our LINKEDIN groups at:

… and on Twitter, @epicengage 

… and on Facebook, at Epic Engage Global

… AND on You Tube.

You can also join our STRONG SCHOOL™ GLOBAL… a free 30+ video and exercise based program around personal leadership.

Simplicity, Part 1

BLGI am dedicating this post in honor of 4 human beings I have had the blessing to know and who all passed on to what I call The Next Realm, in the month of April.  This one is for you Carl, Tina, Shannon and Ken.  Your kindness and good natures kept it simple and good to be around you.

Simplicity. 

It is a simple concept (virtue, strength of character), but it requires conscious work.  That being said, it is fun… and it works… if you work it.

Music for me is a source of simplicity and the joy that comes with it.  I lose myself in the song.  The musicians I know seem to love to work at it so that the performance is simple; perform.

Consider this 58 second snippet from an interview with Prince.  He speaks of the ability to “stop on a dime” and the excellence of Bruce Springsteen and James Brown in doing so.  That kind of excellence is simple, but requires work.  It is about mastering the fundamentals.

For a little more on the excellence of Prince, check out this post on LINKEDIN.

Now, consider the virtue of simplicity.  It is knowing what you care about… clear of clutter and excess… true to purpose; these are the strengths of simplicity.  The physical manifestations of it are guided by clear focus and purposefulness.  Prince refers to the boatload of unpublished music as if  “it will happen when it happens”.  You can sense his true purposefulness.  He lived to write music and he wrote music to live.  He was a true artist.  Such an approach fosters not only excellence… but an appreciation and joy for the now and for life.

Living in a Complex World

We seemingly live in a complex world with a multitude of sides and agendas and supposed shades of grey.  There are many demands on us… and we often respond accordingly… with shotgun focus; hoping that will work.  If we do not respond, we often fear missing something or the guilt of not responding.  Certain temperaments experience this more than others but it is a somewhat universal experience to one degree or another.

Simplicity is not only a virtue… a strength of character; it is our best path through the “overwhelm”.  Trying to be all things to all people leads us to mediocrity and burnout.  Sharpening our focus and detaching from distractions can serve us to reach new realities of excellence and joy… joyful excellence.  It can help us to serve who we serve as best as we possibly can.

Some Good Works on Simplicity

Joe Calloway speaks and writes and consults on this.  I have long admired his work and message.  Keep it simple.  Work on the fundamentals.  Strive for consistent excellence in meeting expressed and understood expectations.

Greg McKeown in his book Essentialism speaks to this too.  Steven Pressfield delivers a message in line with simplicity as well.  The message is “stick to the knittin'”, whatever you chose the knittin’ to be.  Get a clear and fierce focus.

Looking Inward

Our own work has been evolving with this message.  With 30 years in training and development and education… in the private, public and community sectors… our capacities are substantial.  That being said, that can be a slippery slope.  Clear branding demands clear focus.  In looking at our body of work, we have sharpened our focus by finding the common thread through it all.  It has resulted in:

We go beyond behaviour to build character driven, united, resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.

We are not behaviour driven in our work.  We do not deliver on tips and techniques; though some incredible behaviours are embedded in what we do.  We believe and contend that behaviour results from the practice of character.  Unity and resourcefulness start there too.  So, our work is singularly focused on exploring, advancing and celebrating a clear articulation and manifestation of character at school, work and community.  In other words, we align high character deeds and words.  That is our passion, our purpose, and our power.

That is our song.

Simply Align

Being and doing, wholly aligned and consistent, is simple.  But it requires work; work on the fundamentals.  This is the secret of great artistry and athletics alike.  It is the secret of engaged and successful campuses, companies and communities.  It is the secret to resilience and strength in times of trial and triumph alike.  Character more than matters; it manifests success.

Others are Talking and Walking It

Laurie Beth Jones once wrote (if I recall correctly) that a mission statement should be one sentence, easily understood by a 12 year old and easily memorized by everyone in the organization.  I like that.  That is simple.  Simple works; if you work it.  For years, Richard Bolles has delivered on simplicity in career planning… finding your true and clear focus.  In many ways, Sir Ken Robinson does too, with his work around The Element.

Next Up

I am drawn to these messages and these bodies of work for their focus on simplicity.  We are best able to be heard when we find our song and sing it.  We are best able to serve when we find our service and deliver it; consistently and with excellence.  Simplicity is a powerful strength of character that fights the slippery slope of being all things to all.  Still, it takes practice.  It requires work… in finding our simplicity and then delivering on it.  Indeed, in our next post, we will explore some questions to explore simplicity at school, work and community.  Simple enough.

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

A Simple Anthem

PPS

Yes, 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 more posts here or in our LINKEDIN groups at:

… and on Twitter, @epicengage 

… and on Facebook, at Epic Engage Global

… AND on You Tube.

You can also join our STRONG SCHOOL™ GLOBAL… a free 30+ video and exercise based program around personal leadership.

 

 

broadCAST for May 2016: May It Be

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.  We encourage you to connect with these experts.  They each bring great value in service to their work.  For May 2016, the question is:

With “May it be…” in mind, what is one clear intention you have for the balance of this year?

MAJEED MOGHARREBAN SAYS…

My intention for this year is “embodiment”. In my business, I give a lot of great advice on life and business and it is not always easy for me to follow my own advice. I believe that for my work to have the majeed-square-web-ready-300x300greatest impact, I must first embody my message. I must become the change I wish to see, and that means facing my deepest fears and challenges and transforming my body and mind to be the person needed to show up to make the impact that I want to make. The more I want to change the outer world, the more I need to focus on my inner world.

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

SHEENA GROBB SAYS…

One clear intention I have for the balance of this year is to work on truly valuing the natural dichotomies of life… instead of subtly fighting against one thing or another depending on what my mood demands in that moment. Discipline vs. spontaneity… giving vs. receiving… sitting vs. acting. Instead of constantly searching for the thing we should be doing, never content with what we’re focusing on, an intention Sheenacould be to appreciate the “ebb and flow” of it all. Balance requires both/and… it requires the pull of opposing forces. Living in balance means holding space for change, and allowing for it when the time comes.

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

WILLIAM C. MURRAY SAYS…

Action follows intention. Intent provides meaning and direction, a goal and a purpose. Intention gives focus, and being mindful of our intentions forces us to ask bigger questions, such as ‘what do we want the results to look like?’ and ‘where do we want to invest our resources of time and effort?’ and ‘why are we interested in this path?’. I share this with my students all the time when I coach them on learning techniques. Think about reading a textbook chapter. You could open the book and start reading, moving from the first to last page – to what end? Consider starting with the intention of reading to find key terms and definitions – this fundamentally changes what you will find and how you will pull out the information to learn it because you have a clear purpose. The intention produces better results, moving you towards your goals. One intention I have this year is to better manage my time, paying more attention to the finite amount of time available to divide among activities. Like many people, I have found that I can get caught up in the moment of a really exciting opportunity, quickly saying yes without william-murray-296x300assessing my time availability. Recently, I have been approaching opportunities more intentionally, asking myself questions like, ‘How does this project serve my two or three big goals of 2016?’ and, ‘In terms of time resources, what is the cost of this project? Do I have the time currency to pay for it?’ This intention has helped me to respect myself and others, creating greater balance and focus in the work I do.

William C. Murray, PhD. is all about humanizing our business in two core ways: providing amazing service and building strong relationships. His passion for service excellence comes from years of hands-on experience in the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors. William is an author, story teller, an occasional painter, and a full time teacher with over 15 years of experience. He holds a PhD in management with a focus around meaning creation, language, and sensemaking.  www.williamcmurray.ca

LAURIE PINHORN SAYS…

I’m always learning something new. Recently, I started an online course to upgrade my Cognitive Behavioral Counseling skills. My intention for the balance of this year is to find more balance in my ways of thinking. This is going to involve me practicing what I preach to my clients, “be the watcher of your thoughts.” When my thoughts are rigid, I’m going to encourage more flexible, fluid thinking patterns. I’m doing this because I believe in the power of our thoughts. I see each day how our thoughts have the amazing ability to either keep us stuck in old unhealthy habits or keep us moving forward towards our health dreams. This is my mantra for the month of May. “May I have flexibility in my thoughts and Laurieactions.”

Laurie Pinhorn is all about nutrition and whole health.  She is a registered social worker, holistic and therapeutic nutritionist, an Orthomolecular Health Practitioner and a member of The Academy of Naturopaths and Naturotherapists (ANN). She is a passionate speaker, educator and service provider on the subject of nutrition and its connection to mental and physical health.   She works with individuals, families, groups and corporations to design and deliver nutrition and wellness programs to optimize health and performance.  With a diverse 20 year background in clinical social work, holistic nutrition and physical fitness; Laurie’s hybrid of expertise is very unique.   Laurie holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology and Biology), Bachelor of Social Work, and a Masters in Holistic Nutrition from the Edison Institute of Nutrition, focusing on the nutrition and mental health connection as it specifically relates to Autism, Anxiety and ADHD.  www.lauriepinhorn.com

JOEL SWEENEY SAYS….

My primary focus for the remainder of this year is to get my service offerings online and available to a much broader audience. I am really excited about the potential that the online market offers. Until this year my clients have been almost entirely local. It has been and continues to be a pleasure and an honor to service this client base. I will not only expand my geographical reach, I will expand my impact dramatically. It is very gratifying to know that  I have something of consequence to offer my target market. In the past few months I have become very clear on my target audience and what I do for them. I help entrepreneurs and business professionals become confident, engaging and effective speakers. I am excited by the ability to serve. I am excited by this new journey I am on. I am restructuring my product and service offerings to fit this amazing online opportunity. It is very satisfying to realize that this will allow me to reach ideal clients well beyond the borders of Newfoundland and even Canada. The most Joel-Sweeney-291x300prominent lesson I have learned since beginning this journey is that it is a lot of work and there are a lot of pieces to consider. It also requires a strong commitment to consistency of timing and content. Knowing that I will expand my reach and impact and that I CAN make a difference makes it all worthwhile. What’s the “May it be …” in your world?

 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

TRENT LANGDON SAYS…

With the ‘daily grind’ and ‘rat race’ becoming the norm for so many of us, I mindfully start each day by taking the driver’s seat but yet, promising myself to enjoy the ride. This is my personal and professional intention as I clue up another school year and move forward into the summer. I generally attempt to do this by seeking out those natural highs of musical injections, chocolate infusions, and breathing, in order to survive the ‘tornado of to-do’s’. But it has also become about listening to myself, truly listening to Trent1-296x300those around me, and embracing what it is to be a true care-giver and contributor to the community.

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

RAY HOLLISTER SAYS…

At the risk of sounding cliché, my clear intention this year is to become healthier – this impacts both my personal and professional life. Physicians the world over are all agreed: losing weight as you get older gets increasingly harder to do. Since the benefits of losing weight are numerous, the impact on health is enormous – if you’ll pardon the pun. And, to help me adjust to, and engage in, consistent action, I have chosen to label my ‘intention’ as becoming healthier so as to help me make this a permanent Lifestyle choice. Physical health has never been a big concern for me in the past, I am learning now – to my Ray-300x294detriment – how foolish this decision was early in my youth. So, to ensure a long(er) and productive life, my goal and commitment is to living a healthier life.

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

BARRY LEWIS GREEN SAYS…

Wow, I could echo everyone on this one.  But I won’t… and yet, I will.  My intention centers on the virtue of Simplicity.  I recently blogged that it was actually a virtue; a strength of character.  I affectionately call it the focus virtue.  One of my favorite quotes goes… “One cannot obtain the full force of the sunlight when it is cast on a flat mirror, but once the sun shineth upon a concave mirror, or on a lens that is convex, all its heat will be concentrated on a single point, and that one point will burn the hottest. Thus is it necessary to focus one’s thinking on a single point so that it will become an effective force.”  Like, I am sure, many…. I have become much of both a “go to and wanna help guy”.  That still exists.  But this road back to health has taught me the need for simplicity and sharpness of focus.  Where can I best serve is a better question that where can I serve.  The book Essentialism by Greg McKeown and the works of Joe Calloway have become heightened faves for sure.  And I see so much wisdom in what The CAST™ have shared here.  Like Majeed and Laurie, I want to be a purely living example of our work.  Like Sheena and Laurie, I want to experience the balance.  Like William, I want to be strategic and discerning in my use of time and resources.  Like Joel. I am eager to serve who I best serve.  Like Trent, I want to explore that joyful mindfulness.  And like Ray, health is essential, going forward.  But, for me… it comes to focusing with powerful intent… on simplicity… to be that simple man that LP Jacks wrote of… “The Educatormaster in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.”  Simple, man.  🙂

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

QUOTE for the MONTH

“What one does is what counts. Not what one had the intention of doing.” — Pablo Picasso

VIDEO for the MONTH

Check out our motivational video playlist.

The FREEPIC Forums™

Check out free resources and services right here.

 

May the fourth be with you! BLG

 

Like a Family

Over the last month, on LINKEDIN, we have been exploring the virtues of acceptance, unity, zeal and simplicity; as they relate to leadership.  Indeed, in combination, they can be truly powerful.

Imagine a family.

Imagine a family going through times of economic trial.  Imagine that the family debt is critical and banks and creditors are increasing pressure to better manage finances and pay the bills.  Now, imagine the application of acceptance, unity, zeal and simplicity.

Imagine acceptance; the power to truly see where we are, when we are.  It is the starting point virtue.  It moves us away from the “what if” to the “what is”.  It is not about defeat.  It is about knowing and accepting where we are, as that powerful starting point.  Dale Carnegie once suggested several steps in addressing worry that went something like this.

  • Get the facts.
  • Ask what is the worst that can happen.
  • Accept that it could happen.
  • Then improve upon the worst.

This is the power of acceptance.  It frees us to take action.

Now, imagine unity.  Imagine if the family said that “We are in this together.”; because that is what strong families do.  Everyone matters and contributes, to the extent of their true capacity.  That is unity in diversity.  We each bring what we bring, to the table.

The parents (and grandparents) might do more and take more on, and cut more; because they can.  They might take on second jobs and cut back on the “unnecessaries”.  Working age youth might take on a part time job to help out, or chip in with chores or helping make suppers in lieu of eating out as much.  Younger children might help around the house a little more.  The youngest and most vulnerable might not be asked for anything, but wholly provided for… sometimes being truly in need of a service is providing a service to those who have the blessing to serve.  True service is noble.

In either case, capacity would dictate contribution… and all would see it as strengthening and helping the family.

Imagine zeal.  Imagine the capacity to be enthusiastically purposeful in saying “we got this” and we are going to see a better day.  Imagine this virtue of the hunt, applied to climbing out of the abyss.

Then, imagine simplicity and the power to work on fundamentals.  Imagine the application of Essentialism.  Imagine the power to live (and I mean truly live) more minimalist (not an oxymoron or paradox… less is more).

Yes, imagine simplicity.

I say this all for two reasons.  First, take this imagined family crisis and apply it to a school, a business or a community.  Imagine it for a Province or State or Country.  Imagine, indeed.

But second, I want to address why we explore and advance character leadership and education.  Character bears the fruit of capacity.  Capacity bears the fruit of creativity.  The betterment of the world at home, school, work and community can indeed be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds… through commendable and seemly conduct.  Indeed.  In deed.  Imagine that.

Crisis demands character.  The capacity and creativity to turn trial into triumph demands character.  It always has.  Our behaviour… what we do… is but a band aid if it is not grounded in strength of character.  We attain and access no acceptance, unity, zeal or simplicity without it.

Of these 101…

… which do you imagine being most important in times of crisis and trial?  How would they frame our approach to finding solution?  How would cooperation apply?  Humility? Optimism?  Confidence?  This is the first and most necessary conversation.  It is not “pie in the sky”.  It is about making a bigger pie, for all.  It is not a luxury conversation.  It is one of absolute necessity.  Until it happens, we are left with division, apathy, conflict, contention and strife… and we lose the house and home altogether… whether the house be literal or our school, company, community, province, state, country or world.

Character defines and dictates the depth and breath of our solutions.  In times of trial and triumph alike, character fosters sustaining and sustainable solutions because the solutions are grounded, fair and just… and powerfulFor us, we are unapologetic in our belief and contention.  Going forward, here and in our total body of work, we will continue to explore the strengths of character leadership.

We invite you to join us and engage.

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.

Put on the Lens

Practice makes permanence.  Good and bad habits alike are advanced by practice.  Practice does not imply perfection, perfecting or goodness.  Character does.  With that in mind, please take your pick of recent reads.

Now, we invite you to consider the 101 strengths of character noted here.

Back in early March, we wrote of The Character Lens; that ability to see things though the perspective of character present or lacking somehow.  We contend that consistent behaviour is born of practiced character.  Character is the soil in which the tree and branches of behaviour get their sustenance, if you will.  When we address behaviours, we address symptoms.  When we address character, we address source; and sustainability.

Still, we, by habit, simply consider the role of behaviour and consequences.  While understood, this does not truly get to the heart of advancing consistent behaviour.  That requires us to pay attention to virtues and strengths of character in building the kind of culture that lives and breathes the behaviours we most seek to see manifested.

So, going forward… the last week of each month, we will provide a case study using Pulse posts of currency.  10 are provided above.  We invite you to practice the Character Lens through 4 simple steps.

Consider the virtues already present in the case.

Look at the situation, and watch for strengths.  There is no such thing as too much of a strength.  The issue is really balancing one strength with another.  For example, in the case of bullying… those who practice bullying are actually practicing the virtue of assertiveness.  The problem is that they are not also practicing compassion and kindness.  Ultimately, aggression is the result of an imbalance in assertiveness and compassion.  Imagine if a kid who had been consistently bullying found the practice of compassion.  That kid can be an amazing leader; as could the adult who is practicing same.  So, the first consideration is to determine the strengths that are already present.

Consider the virtues, not present nor practiced… but needed.

Yes, consider the virtues not being practiced, but needed.  We all have access to all virtues.  We have access, in potential.  Still, as in the example above, there is a lack of compassion that needs to be addressed.  Or, in another example… what about that kind, compassionate and gentle student who is being bullied… consider the need to keep the compassion, kindness and gentleness… and add some strength and assertiveness.

Consider the actions needed to manifest and encourage the desired character.

Once you have assessed the aspects of character that are desired in the culture you seek to build, consider the actions needed to engage and encourage these strengths on a consistent basis… so that it catches, takes holds and sets ablaze the culture sought.

Set a plan in action to do that.

This is the practice piece.  Implement that which encourages the character of the culture desired.  Watering that soil, is the practice of character.  In so doing, remember there is a difference in perfect as a noun and as a verb.  The former is a myth.  The latter is reality.  It is about making mistakes and learning, often.  That is what we do and find.

We invite you.

So, take any one or several or all of the posts noted above.  Apply these four steps to gain practice in building your Character Lens.  It will serve you well.  To help, and as noted, we will be posting monthly cases to practice excellence with the Lens.  Hope you engage and enjoy!

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

The virtues of strength, faith and determination and more?

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 more posts here or in our LINKEDIN groups at:

… and on Twitter, @epicengage 

… and on Facebook, at Epic Engage Global

… AND on You Tube.

You can also join our STRONG SCHOOL™ GLOBAL… a free 30+ video and exercise based program around personal leadership.

Be a Prince

First, I invite you to read this on Prince.

I was and am a huge fan of the musical talent and personage and humanity of Prince.  On many occasions, I spoke to and of his brilliance in business classes I have taught.  Indeed, I feeling a mourning even now, for the loss of such in this world.

Now, with our work and that inspired by the work of The Virtues Project™ in heart and mind, I am going to look at this post noted above (which speaks to the entrepreneur that was Prince in this lifetime) through the Character Lens.

Connecting with your inner passion and purpose is extremely powerful.   I see purposefulness, zeal and creativity.

Success takes hard work and persistence.   I see persistence, determination, steadfastness, commitment, initiative, flexibility, integrity and resilience; all.

You can come from nothing and be successful. I see humility, strength, forbearance  and fortitude.

Tambourines are essential to life and are under appreciated.  I see simplicity, faith, faithfulness, fidelity and truthfulness.

You may see and name more.  In Prince, I also see the remarkable resourcefulness that is wholeheartedness.

and I see nobility.

But, isn’t that what we should see in a Prince?  Long live The Purple Reign of our own nobility in us all, as we may be inspired by his authenticity and excellence.  He certainly knew how to pick his battles.

Peace, passion and prosperity…. and Prince, thank you.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

While I sing, I do not play guitar (yet)… but if I did… it would weep.

PPS

Some more of the talent…

PPPS

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 more posts here or in our LINKEDIN groups at:

… and on Twitter, @epicengage 

… and on Facebook, at Epic Engage Global

… AND on You Tube.

You can also join our STRONG SCHOOL™ GLOBAL… a free 30+ video and exercise based program around personal leadership.

 

 

The Season and Reason of Zeal

First, I personally invite you to read these three LINKEDIN posts.

and this one on Practicing Character, Experiencing Emotions.

This year has been “eventful” for me.  April 20, 2015, my mother passed.  Having been what I call a BLGservant protector, that was a powerful time indeed.  My faith was and is strong, but it was indeed and in deed, a powerful time.

On August 20, 2015… I experienced my brain bleed / TIA, and a journey of multiple CT Scans, MRIs, and treatments of various sorts and sizes.  Pacing and being somehow content with the ultimate of uncertainties were both notable challenges. I do not have a need for certainty on most things; nor do I expect it.  But this was a challenge of epic proportions for me.  Vitals all testing positive was great news throughout.  No diabetes nor high blood pressure or cholesterol… great news.  Still, no one could ascertain cause.  Throughout the entire process I was challenged to learn new understandings of patience, flexibility, purposefulness and more.  Oh, and zeal.

This spirit of thunder (and lightning) that was ever a go, now understands that thunder and lightning take their breaks.  If it was constant, you would never notice… and it would not serve to “clear the air”.  My understanding of my own zeal now is much more strategic in the most authentic of ways.  I am not saying that my spirit was ever a “put on”.  It was not.  It is just that I once felt that it was vital to always be “on”; responsive, responsible.  A pace of grace now follows with my zeal.

As I return tomorrow… to teaching Organizational Behaviour at the College of the North Atlantic… and return to “back in the saddle” with leading Epic Engage™, I am both thankful for the support and friendship of those closest to me over this last year (you truly had my back and more) and ever cognizant of this lesson.

The thunder and the lightning will continue, and it will naturally and powerfully and wisely pace itself.

Yes, tomorrow I start back at a love of mine, teaching Organizational Behaviour to students from Canada and Qatar.  Tomorrow night, I speak about my journey, with zeal, at MoMondays.  Then, I will rest… because that is what thunder and lightning does.

The past three days were Draft Days for the NFL.  I looooove the NFL and the Draft.  Like those young athletes, I feel the new opportunities and the new life, and I feel the Zeal.  Yes, Zeal is a virtue.  When partnered with the virtues of Discipline and Grace; well that is the real magic.  Indeed, Zeal has its season, and its reason.

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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