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: June 2016

Dominion, Independence and Strength

Seth Godin has something to say about bigger and better; a quick and thought provoking read.  Indeed, the theme of his message speaks loudly to what is already becoming more clear to me with a new 60 Day Challenge I commenced as of yesterday… with 5 videos already in play… and to our recent thoughts on Assertiveness.

Entering Dominion and Independence Days

July 1 is Canada Day, otherwise known as Dominion Day.  July 4 is Independence Day in the USA.  With Strengththese celebrations of identity and the blogs and videos above in mind, I offer you some questions around your own identity as an individual or organization.

  • Is bigger your better?
  • Is smaller your caller?
  • Who do you best serve and how do you best serve them?
  • Where and when and for how much will you serve them?

Establish and advance your own dominion and independence in terms of how you best serve.  There, you will find your strength.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Here are two successful organizations that have answered their own questions well, knowing who they are and who they best serve.  We salute:

PPS

Our work is all about character. We go beyond behaviour 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.

Assertiveness in Service

On Monday, we posted this on Assertiveness on LINKEDIN.  Before that, we shared this post on action over mindset.  With both, the message centered on Assertiveness, the Virtue.BAR

The Virtue, for Me… and Us

As a virtue, Assertiveness is pre-existent, regardless of our practice of it or not.  Indeed, all virtues are the same in this context.  They exist.  We have but to access and practice them.  That is our choice.

For me, personally and professionally, this is a timely discussion and examination.  With Summer Break from College upon me, this is a time of relaxing, reflecting and strategizing in the best and most honest and creative of ways.  With an ongoing road back to health and to teaching business at the College of the North Atlantic again in the Fall… and a time of heightened creativity for Epic Engage™, for me, this is a time to practice Assertiveness.

Assertiveness engages us to speak and share our truth with confidence.  It is “the voice” virtue.  Laying claim to an ever more clear articulation of who we best serve and how we best serve is part of that.  Certainly, for us at Epic Engage™, we do go beyond behaviour to help build character driven, united, and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  That is who we are and what we do.

Believing and Doing

We believe that strength of character and unity in diversity lead to both resourcefulness and what we call joyful excellence.  We believe that character is about going deeper than behaviour.  We believe that consistent, cool and constructive behaviour results from character.  We fiercely and unapologetically believe in the nobility of being human and do serve to help build strong and inspired cultures where everyone counts and contributes.  That is who we are.

And we do it through free and accessible front line services.  We do it through affordable and accessible coaching and training online.  We do it through high end, high content programming where we charge our ultimate value.  We strategically and assertively consult and decide on who and how we can best serve; with confidence.  That is ultimate price integrity.  We know our worth and we know our service and passion.  We get to choose.  We know who we are, what we do and what we are worth.  That is Assertiveness; and its power of real choice.

How About You?

How about you?  What do you do best and for whom do you do it… and in what ways and prices and values?  Where and when will you offer what you do for free?  What and where is your paid value?  Assertiveness helps to make these decisions.  It engages you to make decisions on who you best are, what you best do and with and for whom you best do it.  You value your gifts and talents and you demonstrate that in the decisions around who and how you will serve, and when and where.  With Assertiveness, we each get to honor ourselves, our words and works and what we believe to be right.  We expect and give respect. We ride with whom we ride, and know our worth; allowing others the same decision.

The BIG Work

The decision to practice Assertiveness is big.  The work in laying claim to who you are and what you do best is bigger.  But, it demands decision and action.  In both, your best focus is served by Assertiveness.  Your most strategic choices are best served by this Virtue.  Your health, energies and integrity are equally served thusly.  With Assertiveness, you ride your best ride and you ride with those who share in the ride.  You get to choose.  Ask yourself?

  • Who do you best serve?
  • How do you best serve?
  • At what prices and values will you best serve?

Be Your Own BOSS

This year, we have been accessing, reading and studying on the subject of price integrity; a place calling for Assertiveness for many.  There are certainly a number of perspectives out there.  In our participation in the BOSS Program with Hugh Culver, we found an approach that fit within our understanding of Assertiveness.  We opted for three “tiers” of real value and price, if you will.

  • FREEPIC Forum™.  Our FREE Buffet of Services, for all.
  • lightHOUSE™.  Our Online Coaching and Training, for many.
  • EPIC Stand and Deliver™.  Our Live Training and Development. for select.

This allows us to serve those we choose to serve, as best we can… with a structure that has integrity and alignment…. the free, the accessible and the live work.

As for Us

We are Epic Engage™. We go beyond behaviour to help build character driven, united, and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  We work with any and all colleagues, constituents and clients who see authentic and personal value in same and delivering service on many levels to many seeking robust and healthy cultures of character, strength and unity.  We ride with those who share in same. We will make our services accessible and affordable for all to engage, while also offering high value for worthy price.  We know who we are.  We know what we do.  We know for whom we do it best.  AND, we know our worth.

How about you?  Spend time reflecting on the questions and the answers so that you might, with Assertiveness, state and lay claim to your ways and worth.  That is personal power.  When we know who we are and who and how we best serve, we can serve with joyful excellence.  Go there, be and do that.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Our work is all about character. We go beyond behaviour 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.

 

Assertiveness Speaks

First off, I invite you to experience this video.  And this.  Oh, and this too.  Besides a seemingly common theme of black and white imagery and music, they each evoke for me thoughts around Assertiveness and its power to enable our voices.  That is the power of Assertiveness and it is a virtue.

Many talk of it not unlike a skill; but, it is more.  Consider the Virtue that is Assertiveness.  Consider its pre-existence.  It exists, regardless of whether we practice it or not.  As such, we need only call upon it to access it… something akin to calling on an angel or drawing an arrow from a quiver so to speak.  The quality or strength of character exists like an ocean and we but need to take a dip.  This is important to remember with Assertiveness and all virtues.  They exist and await to be accessed and practiced.  Indeed, Elizabeth Gilbert speaks of Genius in the way that we must consider Virtue, IMHO.  It is in their practice that we see results.  So, let us take some time to consider the Virtue that is Assertiveness, here and now.

The Virtue

It is that strength of character that enables us to speak our voice with quiet and peaceful confidence; and allow others to do the same.  It empowers us to speak and share our own truth and value ourselves in doing so.  It engages us to stand for what we think to be important and right, and for our own value and worth.  With it, we are better able to set clear, consistent and healthy boundaries, knowing we are worthy of respect.

AND, it strengthens us to see the same for others.  Desiderata speaks to this when it says “you have a right to be here”.  It is neither arrogance nor aggression.  Assertiveness stands with dignity.  It is noble.  It is our voice; and it recognizes the voices of others.

The Practice

Assertiveness is practiced by:

  • speaking and sharing our perspective and truth,
  • valuing ourselves, our talents and our gifts
  • standing for what we believe to be right
  • setting clear and healthy boundaries, and
  • expecting and giving respect.

Here is an interesting read on introducing oneself that speaks to this virtue that is Assertiveness.  Have a read and consider how you might creatively engage this on your first day of class or sitting at a table at a conference where you know so few.  With that in mind, I invite you to also watch this video on Assertiveness with a few ideas on its graceful application.  Be warned, the Sun asserts itself amidst the recording though, lol.

The Need

In this world in which we live, we need Assertiveness to raise our voices; not in some clash or conflict but BLG3in full and effective dialogue and consultation.  We need it in the face of the incessant drama.  Assertiveness deals with both the apathy and contention because we speak and address in the now; not allowing the festering.  We engage in the now, in healthy and honest ways.  We need it in the world, locally and globally.  We need it in building cultures at school, work and community… of peace, passion and prosperity.

An Exercise or Two in Assertiveness

With that in mind, what daily practices can you engage to encourage a healthy and strong application of Assertiveness in yourself and others at school, work or community?  Consult and dialogue… and identify 2-3 simple and daily practices that might encourage the courage to find our voices. That being said, and in so doing, I invite you to reflect on the Virtues Reflection Card above.  Have a conversation with your team, class, community or family on how it can be fostered.  Then engage that process… the richness of ideas and innovation and initiative will all be advanced.

As a specific exercise in Assertiveness, I invite you to engage an activity I affectionately call CLAWing Your Way™.  Identify 3 people in your life who you feel deserve to most know a strength that you see in them that they may not fully see as yet… preferably 1 at work or school, 1 as friend or in the community, and 1 as family.  Reflect on:

  • one strength of CHARACTER you see in them that they might not yet fully realize and you feel they deserve to know (you can use the poster below)
  • reflect on what you LIKE about that strength in them
  • and
  • WHY you find value in that strength in your life.

Then embark with Assertiveness to take the courage and find an appropriate time of quality and quantity alike to express that eye-to-eye.  It may take courage for yourself and for them, but insist, regardless of their humility and possible reaction, that you truly need them to understand how much you appreciate and value that strength.  Articulate, in the most real of ways… the evidence from your experience that speaks to this strength you see and value.  Be audacious, courageous and honest.

Then, make note of the results… mental note or written.  Once we practice Assertiveness, dialogue and friendship and creativity are enhanced and we are all better for it.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Last week, we shared a post on building united cultures.  Assertiveness is powerful in following through on this work.

PPS

You can find this post on LINKEDIN as well, right here.

PPPS

Our work is all about character. We go beyond behaviour 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 Hugh Culver

This month, with our third Leader ToC™ Blog Post, we interview Hugh CulverLeader ToC™ (Thoughts on Character) is our monthly series engaging leaders around the world on character, leadership and more.

Hugh Culver is based out of British Columbia, Canada.  From Hugh’s own site, IMAGES_key 4he is… “a recovering over-achiever who researches, writes, and speaks on how to THINK better, PLAN smarter, and ACT now on what really matters.”  Hugh speaks 45 times a year either on the main stage teaching his Think, Plan, Act model or one of his three workshops (leadership, conflict, time). The rest of his work time is dedicated to helping other speakers grow their business.

Some facts about Hugh

  • Co-founded the world’s most exclusive tour company and only private flights to the South Pole.
  • Build (or was a partner) in five businesses, including eco-tourism, construction, training and development, and whitewater rafting.
  • Selected to present (over 1,000 speeches and counting) to: Telus, Royal Bank of Canada, Fortis, PepsiCo, Shoppers Drug Mart, UBC, Canfor, and Suncor.
  • Canadian best-selling author (Give Me a Break—The Art of Making Time Work For You)
  • Ultra distance athlete, mountain climber, father, husband
  • Presented to faculty at four universities and three colleges
  • MBA, CSP (one of 50 Canadian Certified Speaking Professionals), CFP (one of 150 Canadian Certified Facilitation Professionals)
Yes, Hugh co-created the world’s most expensive tours (to the South Pole), started five companies, and consults to Telus, Shoppers Drug Mart, Red Cross, and Bell. He is the author of Give Me a Break – the art of making time work for you.

Leader ToC™

BARRY:

Hi Hugh and thank you so much for your gracious acceptance to do Leader ToC™ with us.  To get down to business, so to speak (two puns in one there I think), what is it that you do?

HUGH:

My pleasure Barry.  I teach people with expertise how to build a successful business as a speaker.

BARRY:

And so who do you best serve?

HUGH:

People who have had some experience as a public speaker and want to turn their speaking business into a full time business.

BARRY:

Ok, I get it.  In our vernacular, you unleash experts to be leaders through speaking professionally.  I like that.  It is, with my Character Lens on… all about empowering experts to build their speaking business… to be more of service.  In doing so, what are your thoughts on what makes for great leadership?

HUGH:

Leadership is all about matching vision with action and a team. At first, most leaders do everything themselves. Eventually they develop a team and teach others. The sooner the transition to a team happens the sooner a business can be built.

BARRY:

Vision, initiative and co-operation.  Agreed, a fully functioning and united team creates powerful synergy.  With that in mind, what is one challenge you feel requires engaging leadership at this time?

HUGH:

This is a challenging time to be a leader in business – the economy is unstable, technology has made competition more visible and costs have increased.

BARRY:

Hearing that.  In this world and our corners of it… change, big and small is constant.  What is the return on investment in facing that challenge, for you?

HUGH:

We are growing our business and recognize that the effort we are putting in now will be paying returns long-term. Our strategy is to stay very focused on our core market and to avoid most distractions in marketing and new product launches.

BARRY:

Oh, I am hearing that.  Our own experience with your incredible BOSS program engages that message.  Focus is a powerful notion amidst change; and a great closing note for this Leader ToC™.  Hugh, I want to personally thank you again for the time, amidst the purposeful busy-ness of your work and life.  It was an honor.

HUGH:

Again, a pleasure Barry.  Thanks for the opportunity.

 

Leader ToC™ out…

 

Over the coming months, around the third or final 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 …

our FREE buffet of services here.

 

Act! … and The Greater Dance

I am dedicating this post to Linda Kavelin-Popov and her work in creating and building The Virtues Project™ and her LKPnew book, A Scent of Sage. I see the dance in all of her work.

Consider This

Before getting underway, I invite you to consider the following.  Recently, we explored Wholeheartedness as a virtue; a strength of character.  We looked at:

We also examined Determination in:

And, I invite you to engage this video on Purposefulness.

Now, there are a few reads and views… should you choose… on ideas around what is ultimately wholehearted determination with a purpose.  In times of both trial and triumph, I suggest these partnered strengths are vital.  In times of change, big and small alike, they are a necessity for both resilience and excellence.  They form a dance trio that is a huge part of any success.  I now call them The Lesser Dance™… wholeheartedness, determination and purposefulness in action.

Another Trio: The Greater Dance

But there is a Greater Dance™The Lesser Dance™ is our power.  The Greater Dance™ is the arena in which to engage that power.  Yes, this morning, amidst my own experiences of change and life… I am brought face to face with another dance partnership… a bigger one… the BIG one, IMHO.

Increasingly, I am being the witness to the new buzz… mindset.  Mindfulness has been our buzz code for awareness; and Mindfulness is indeed a Virtue.  Now, increasingly, we hear of Mindset and how much it matters.  I do not deny its importance but I ponder its role, if you will.  These days, we spend so much time and attention on our mind when there are three elements to being human…  three partners in the BIG dance… mind, body and spirit… and they are partners.  They are The Greater Dance™, the arena.

So, where am I going with this?

The apparent absolutism of some of the Mindset messaging out there right now, seemingly gives the throne to the mind.  In my years with Dale Carnegie Training®, I was fully aware of and understanding that Dale Carnegie himself said “Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic.”  Sometimes it is not about feeling it or thinking it first.  It is about acting it.  That is the realm of the body.

  • Act with enthusiasm and you will be enthusiastic.
  • Act with confidence and you will be confident.
  • Act with compassion and you will be compassionate.

Each action has physical manifestations and practices.  In sports, we might call this Game Face.  In Collagetheater, we might call it some variation of Method Acting.  Either way, it fits into my experience with and understanding of character.  Character is accessible to all of us, in potential.  It is free to all.  Virtues exist whether we practice them or not.  They exist.  We simply need to access them by practicing them… and by doing so, we manifest them.

Mindset is important.  But so is practice.  Call it Bodyset maybe.  Steve Pressfield writes of this in The War of Art.  Creativity is practiced.  Sometimes the practice of any strength precedes the Mindset; maybe even, often times.  If you are having difficulty assuming the necessary Mindset, practice it.  That is the realm of the body; it is physical action.

Now, there are indeed blurred lines in the dance amongst mind, body and spirit; but that is what a true dance is… and it is a blessing.  It means that if we are being challenged in one area of the partnership, we can access another partner.  The mind does not have to kick things off.  Indeed, it could be argued that even the acting and practicing has a role for the mind in the decision making.  Indeed.  But also, in deed.  If you are not feeling or thinking the way you need to… you can act it, practice it and manifest it; not unlike pumping the gas to start the car.  Sometimes you really just have to do it.

Consider these virtues to the right.  Which you do you need to practice more?  Which do you not feel or Virtues on Blackthink as much as you would like, wish, desire or need, but could put into practice to build the wiring so to speak?  If that makes sense.  Engage the Bodyset and practice.

So, I am not denying the importance of Mindset.  But let it not become the new buzz.  Let it become part of the third partner that it is in the dance of success and life; The Greater Dance™.  They each can have each other’s back.  Actually, they do.  The connection is real.  Use it.

With that in mind, maybe it is still and ultimately important to “let deeds, not words, be your adorning”.  True for us all.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Check out this video on The Present.  I think it speaks to wholehearted and determined purposefulness, as well as mindset, bodyset and spiritset (if we call it that).  🙂

PPS

Our work is all about character. We go beyond behaviour 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.

.

 

Going BIG: Consideration and Determination

From dictionary.com on DETERMINATION.

noun

1. the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose.
2. ascertainment, as after observation or investigation: determination of a ship’s latitude.
3. the information ascertained; solution.
4. the settlement of a dispute, question, etc., as by authoritative decision.
5. the decision or settlement arrived at or pronounced.
6. the quality of being resolute; firmness of purpose.
7. a fixed purpose or intention: It is my determination to suppress vice.  

Seems to cover it all; all the bases.  #6 is, for the most part, what we commonly understand about determination.  We understand it to be that state where we are resolute and steadfast.  What we often forget or neglect is that it is truly born of discernment, diligence and decisiveness.

Daring, at its best, is the result of determination grown from discernment, diligence and decisiveness.  SingIndeed, Determination is a virtue.  It is a strength of character…  itself resulting from thoughtful and wise discernment, and the decision and commitment to follow through.  The knee jerk is foreign to Determination.  With Determination, our re-action must mean resolute action.  That requires consultation, with ourselves and/or others… in whatever time we have to do so.  Taking big actions requires making big decisions and that requires big consideration.

In a recent LINKED Post on being Determined to Navigate Change, we explored the power of Determination and character in facing change; in embracing and riding it.  Before that, we explored Facing the Crowd of Change… examining values, virtues and defining your Life Sentence™.   Change is out there; our reality… and a constant in and of itself.  Our own powerful constant can be our Determination, grounded in some simple and fundamental steps.  I have often suggested in sessions that the best path to collective or individual decision making and Determination is what I call Taking the CAR™.

  • Consult.  Here, we practice the art of conversation and the Virtue of Consideration.  Consideration itself is a virtue; that capacity to fully examine what we have as facts before us.  The first step in making any great decision is to consult… within ourselves or with others.  We must take the time to converse, consider, and discern.  This step demands the virtues of consideration and discernment.
  • Action.  This step requires decisiveness and initiative, both strengths of character.  But, it must be noted that we must add Commitment as part of this stage.  It too is a virtue.  Half hearted decisions are not worth the time and energy.  Here, we must decide, fully… no room for doubt or sabotage, conscious or unconscious.  Our decision must be wholehearted or we will never know whether its success or failure was the result of a poor decision or poor effort.  Thusly, this step requires the virtues of decisiveness, initiative, commitment and wholeheartedness to make it matter.
  • Reflection.  After considering and fully committing to the action… the follow through… we must review and reflect upon the results.  If we have indeed committed and brought everything to the table in our efforts, we can effectively examine and review results with the idea of perfecting.  This step calls for openness, excellence and truthfulness.  We must look at our efforts and results with clear eyes in order to identify our learnings along the way.

The Source of Determination.  

Determination is a matter of resolve; resolve born of effective consideration, powerful commitment and wise reflection.  No path is straight, but all paths require determination.  Determination requires consideration.  It demands it.  Commitment comes from full consideration and commitment strengthens determination.  I once heard it said that “commitment is doing the thing you said you would do when you felt committed, long after you no longer feel committed“.  That kind of Commitment comes from Determination and Determination comes from Consideration.

With that in mind and going forward in the face of the constant that is change, I suggest you build your own constant of Determination by adopting the process of Taking the CAR™:

  • Consider all the facts.
  • Make a decision and act, fully committed.
  • Reflect upon your results after doing so, to best learn.

With the BIG decisions, do this.  With any decision that has medium to longer term impact, do this.  With any decision that has significant impact in the now, do this.  Make this a habit of leadership.  Engage the team in the experience.  A process of excellence, in the face of change, is the result.   Determination does that and Determination rides in a CAR!

Drive your CAR.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Our work is all about character.  As part of that work, we offer you our FREE buffet of services here.FREEPIC

4 Steps to Great Leadership

I love these words of Baha’u’llahNoble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.  They speak to the need to avoid knocking ourselves down and limiting our capacities to serve… and the call to set our best and highest standard and rise to it.  They are intended as a message from God, Source, or however one might name it; if one does at all.  Whatever your belief or none, I simply suggest you transpose your name for “thee”.  See how that reads and feels.  Repeat it.  Ponder it.  Munch on it.  Whether you have a faith or not, the experiment might just lead one to understand our best capacity, as humans.

With this in mind, I now suggest you have a read of these four posts from a few weeks back… on the Virtue that is Nobility.

As a child and youth, and as a Baha’i later in life at the age of 32, I believed and believe in the Nobility of HBBH Coverbeing human.  Indeed it inspired my first book, Human Being Being Human.  Indeed, it also inspired this statement on our home page with Epic Engage™:

We fiercely and unapologetically believe in the nobility of the human race and help build those strong and inspired cultures where everyone counts and contributes.  That is Epic Engage™, The Character Leadership Company. 

Certainly, it guides our purpose for excellence in going beyond behaviour to help build character driven, united, and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  Respectfully, we hold to our guns on this one.  With the eyes of Nobility we see the best and potential in us all.  For us, it is neither naïve nor foolhardy.  Our broad and deep experience tell us so.  Nobility sees potential and recognizes challenge.  It rises above and serves the greater good or cause or service.  It is not born of bloodline.  It is born of a universal birthright and its only test is our acceptance that we have access to this powerful virtue.

My suggestion, this day, is four steps to accessing Nobility as a leader at school, work, community and life.

  • First, read and reflect on the words above; devour them.
  • Second, ask yourself what do you best do and who do you best serve in doing so.
  • Third, ask yourself what strengths of character you best need to continue doing that.
  • Fourth, act on that daily and consistently.

In doing so, things will not always be easy.  But they will be right.  That is the course of great and responsive leadership; noble goals and actions to back them up.

So, I invite you engage these steps as a 90 day process.  See where that takes you.

That is my plan.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Our work is all about character.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

3 Things to Know about Creativity

A couple of weeks back, we focused on the Virtue that is Creativity.  We explored it with three posts and Rockerperspectives, including:

Creativity is a Virtue.  We often think of it as a skill, and one to which some are born while many are not.  Dr. Edward de Bono recognized the Virtue or strength of character that is Creativity when he wrote The Six Thinking Hats.  His premise was and is that we are all creative, in one or more of 6 different ways; but we all have access to this thing called Creativity.  Sir Ken Robinson would argue same, me thinks.

Creativity is universally accessible; a Virtue of our humanity… our best side, if you will.  What stops or blocks our Creativity is our denial of it.  When we see creativity as a skill to be born with or acquired, it gives us license to reject the idea that we possess any such skills or talents.  When we understand that Creativity is a Virtue… a strength of human character, accessible by us all… we start to explore our potential.  We understand that it is an ocean that we can dip our capacity into and draw out results.

Results imply creativity.  If you turn conflict into peace, you are accessing Creativity.  If you turn uncertainty into certitude, you are accessing Creativity.  If you are turning chaos into order, you are accessing same.  If you are turning ignorance into understanding you are accessing this powerful Virtue.  Creativity implies transforming from one state to another; getting results.  We create when we do so.Collage

Creativity is the problem solving virtue.  It addresses an existing state and moves it to another state.  Moving cultures from mistrust to trust is creative.  Moving classrooms from doubt to confidence is creative.  When we consciously help transform, we are accessing our Creativity … whether it is a blank canvass into a work of art, or some chords into a song, or disorder and disunity into order and unity.

So there are 3 things to understand about Creativity.

  • It is pre-existent, whether you access it or not, it exists.  It is a Virtue, ancient and imperishable.  Creativity is not unlike an ocean.  It is there, waiting.
  • It is accessible, to everyone.  You are on the beach.  Your beachhead is your access.  It is as close as your life vein, not separate from you.
  • You must dive in, and trust.  Accessing Creativity implies that you must enter the water.  That requires acceptance and trust that Creativity is there, and the action is to simply start.

Creativity, the Virtue.  Take some time this weekend to explore and ponder how you best manifest it.  Then, go into next week, laying claim to your own footprint of Creativity.

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 FREEPICresourceful organizations and communities around the globe.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

The Virtue of Order

I read this post on LINKEDIN this morning… around Critical Things Organized and Productive People Do Every Day by Dr. Travis Bradberry.  I suggest that you have your own read.  It is worth the time.  It begins with…

“We often confuse being productive with working as fast as we can, every second of the day. We fear that slowing down to get organized will kill our productivity, but the facts suggest otherwise:

  • The average office employee spends over one hour each day just looking for things.
  • The average U.S. executive spends six weeks per year searching through messy desks and disorganized files for misplaced information.
  • 23% of adults say they’re late paying their bills because they lose them.

Being disorganized is costly, in terms of both money and time. But if you can convince yourself to slow down and get organized, the ROI will shock you.”

Orderliness is a Virtue

Orderliness is indeed a Virtue.  Virtues are strengths of character and pre-existent.  They exist whether we practice them or not.  They exist whether we call upon them or not.  They are always in potential.  In our best moments, they cancapacities be and are called upon and practiced.  Certainly, in our own capaCITIES™ Course of Action, we explore the capacity of character and culture to strengthen strategic advantage at school, work and community.  I say this to help us move beyond the “I am not organized” argument that comes often from the all-too-common understanding of differences in temperament.  Certainly, some personalities have a greater inclination to be “naturally” organized.  Still, behaviour is the surface and character is the depth.  Behaviour is the tree and character is the soil.  Committing to the soil will advance the tree.  Committing to practicing strengths of character helps to breed a consistency of behaviour that is sustainable… and sustaining.

In other words, if we practice the Virtue that is Orderliness… if we continuously call upon it not unlike calling on (dare I say) an angel if you will… then we start to internalize a piece of character that can truly serve us.  My own preferred metaphor is around arrows in a quiver.  Each Virtue is like that and we get to choose which we will use and practice, given our lives and needs and more.  The arrows are always there, though we might not draw upon them enough.  For me, the arrow that is Orderliness is one I am increasingly drawing upon.  I say this, personally and professionally.  It is not my “born” nature to be orderly, but it has become a practice of character, a sharpening of the blades as I like to call it.  Steven Pressfield might call it The War of Art; a commitment to the crafting of character.

From Behaviour to Character

Dr. Bradberry cites several characteristics of orderliness; and I find them highly valuable and useful.  Here, through the use of direct excerpts of his insights and wisdom, I simply suggest the elements of character that are actually called upon, if we but do so,

They don’t let their desks get cluttered. You may think you know exactly where, and in which stack of paper, you can find a particular document. But you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think you’d be more productive with a clean and organized desk. Just the act of organizing the stuff on your desk helps you organize it in your mind. In addition, research conducted at Princeton University revealed that the more our brains are bombarded by the competing stimuli on a cluttered desk, the less we’re able to focus. And this wasn’t just subjective evidence; they were able to see the difference in MRIs of the subjects’ brain activity.

This is the Virtue of Cleanliness.

They never touch things twice. Organized and productive people never put anything in a holding pattern, because touching things twice is a huge time-waster. Don’t save an e‑mail or a phone call to deal with later. As soon as something gets your attention, you should act on it, delegate it, or delete it.

This is the Virtue of Initiative.

They don’t respond to e-mails as they arrive. Productive people don’t allow their e‑mail to be a constant interruption. In addition to checking their e-mail on a schedule, they take advantage of features that prioritize messages by sender. They set alerts for their most important vendors and their best customers, and they save the rest until they reach a stopping point in their work. Some people even set up an autoresponder that lets senders know when they’ll be checking their e-mail again.

This is the Virtue of Discernment.

They work from a single to-do list. Remember the days when people used to buy those expensive, leather-bound planners and fill them up with a to-do list color-coded by priority? Those might seem a bit old school now, but no one can deny that it was effective. Why were those planners effective? They reminded us how important it is to keep a single to-do list. When you consolidate everything into one list, you always know where to look, and you can stop wasting time trying to remember which list has the information you need.

This is the Virtue of Purposefulness.

They have a high level of self-awareness. Highly productive and organized people have a clear sense of who they are. They know their weaknesses, and they put organizational structures in place to overcome them. If they tend to let meetings run too long, they set a timer. If they have trouble keeping meetings productive, they make an agenda. If they forget to check their voicemail in the morning, they set a reminder. The details don’t matter; what’s important is that they think carefully and use specific aids and routines that work with their organizational weaknesses.

This is the Virtue of Mindfulness.

They make time for lunch. We’ve all been there—you’re head-down busy, and by the time you look up, it’s way past lunchtime. You end up either going without, or grabbing a donut or a bag of chips from the snack machine. Both are really bad ideas. The donut will give you an energy boost for about 20 minutes, but after that, your focus will drop like a rock. As far as skipping meals, not only does it affect your concentration, productivity, and problem-solving skills, it also affects your waistline—and not in the way you might expect. Research from Ohio State University shows that the weight you lose by skipping meals is muscle weight that you regain later as fat.

This is the Virtue of Caring.

They eat frogs. Eating a frog” is the best antidote for procrastination; ultra-productive people start each morning with this tasty “treat.” In other words, they do the least appetizing, most dreaded item on their to-do list first, before they do anything else. After that, they’re freed up to tackle the stuff that excites and inspires them.

This is the Virtue of Courage.

They tidy up at the end of each day. The best remedy for clutter is to set aside about 10 minutes at the end of each day to organize your desk. Although we know that it’s best to touch things only once, we’ve all stopped halfway through a task because the phone rang or somebody stopped by to chat. You really can’t prevent such things, but you can end the day by resolving all of the things you left half-finished.

This is the Virtue of Diligence.

They plan their days the night before. Organized and productive people go to bed each night, secure in the knowledge of what they’ll accomplish the following day. They get their priorities straight the night before, so that once the day starts, they’re less likely to get distracted by the “tyranny of the urgent”—those little fires that pop up and get in the way of their real priorities.

This is the Virtue of Wisdom.

They make full use of technology. There’s been a lot said about how modern technology extends the work day, making it so that we’re always on the clock. While that may be true, technology can also make us more productive. Whether it’s setting up an e‑mail filter to keep your inbox spam-free, or using an app like Evernote to organize information you’re going to need again, technology isn’t always bad. Used properly, it can save a lot of time.

This is the Virtue of Creativity.

They don’t ignore their snail mail. For this one, we go back to the “touch it once” philosophy. For most of us, there’s not a lot of snail mail these days that we actually look forward to. But ignoring it can cause problems, especially when it comes to things like bills and tax notifications. Just go ahead and open it, and take care of it as soon as it arrives; otherwise, you’ll end up digging under the sofa cushions searching for that overdue bill.

This is the Virtue of Responsibility.

Pick and Practice

There are many other Virtues at play here.  You can take your own picks.  That being said, I focus on the Virtues at play because they are indeed the soil.  As we strengthen the soil, we start to produce consistent Virtues on Blackbehaviours that work for us.  Being organized is a skill set; a set of behaviours.  But they are the surface.  The Virtue that is Orderliness is available to us all… and deeper… to be practiced and committed to in order to make our lives better and happier.

The post by Dr. Bradberry is ripe with great ideas and actions and strategies for practicing this Virtue called Orderliness.  It is a great read and source for action.  I love the insights and ideas; finding great personal and professional value throughout.  Ultimately, the thought I think to leave you with is that the Virtue, as with all, is accessible to each of us… regardless of temperament or “wiring”.  Orderliness is a strength of character that is a birthright for access and practice.  The arrow is in our quiver.  The angel is in our chorus.  The Virtue stands ready, on call… to be practiced.

The practice of any Virtue, including Orderliness, is about going deeper into that soil to both find our potential and our capacity to meet any given situation.  Despite our inclinations, we have access to all strengths of character.  Orderliness can be a powerful one for our own effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity… for own best purposefulness.

The ROI

The post by Dr. Bradberry quotes Benjamin Franklin.

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.”

For every minute practicing the Virtue that is Orderliness, an hour is earned.  Now there is a Return on Investment.  Invest in Orderliness.  Part of that investment is to take some time to go read Dr. Bradberry’s post and share it.  I did and am glad I did.

Yes, invest in Orderliness.  Certainly, it will invest in you.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Our work is all about character.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our FREE buffet of services here.

 

broadCAST for June 2016: The CAST

The broadCAST™ is a monthly weigh in by members of The CAST™ of Epic Engage™.  Independent experts in their own right, members of The CAST™  are asked to answer a question of simple but possibly profound nature.  We wholeheartedly encourage you to connect with these experts.  They each bring great value in service to their work.  That being said, and for June 2016, we thought it high time to allow our CAST™ members to introduce themselves and their work, in their own words.  So, the question for June 2016 is:

What do you do and whom do you best serve?

SHEENA GROBB SAYS…

Using music and songwriting, as well as the newly emerging Bio Emotive Framework, I help others experience, express, and resolve long held feeling beliefs about themselves, in order to find the Sheenafreedom they need to feel authentic, connected, and truly alive in their work and relationships.  I serve men and women on the leading edge who are generally happy with their lives and relationships, while still feeling like something is missing.  I serve those who are struggling with the same recurring patterns who wish to find resolve, but don’t know how.

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

TRENT LANGDON SAYS…

First and foremost, I am a junior high school counsellor for 600+ adolescents. I am dedicated to advocacy and service for children, teens, their families, and communities.  In terms of professional affiliation, I work on behalf of my colleagues to build identity, protect professional roles, and to give teachers ‘a voice’. I am Trent1-296x300currently completing my second term as a member of the Provincial Executive Council of the Newfoundland & Labrador Teachers Association (NLTA) and I am a candidate for NLTA Vice-President for the 2017-2019 term of office. I am also a Canadian Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and serve as a member of the CCPA Ethics Committee (Complaints Division).  And last but certainly not least, I am a proud contributor to the Epic Engage™ team, wholeheartedly believing in the promotion of character-based leadership and virtues-based living (for everyone).

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…

I offer my support and service in two succinct arenas: Exceptional Study Skills for students of any age, and Inspirational Programs for Trauma Survivors and/or family and friends of those dealing with Traumatic Incidents.  With SuperScores!, I offer a truly unique and exceptionally powerful system to help students Ray-300x294master the art of learning; enabling students to earn an average of over 90% on mid-term and final exams. In addition to the obvious benefit of superior results in final grades, a few other benefits include the relief from and elimination of ‘Test Anxiety’, improved recall, effective and FUN note taking, and a general sense of calm and confidence in any learning environment. Empowering students, especially college-age young adults, is a passion for me that continues to drive me on a daily basis.  The ‘sister program’ to this is “The Death of Harold”, a critically acclaimed presentation highlighting the power and majesty of resilience – a trait that we ALL have and can activate at any time. This message is based in love, passion, inspiration, and ACTION. Though it is helpful to all, I believe it is critical to give this message to those who have had, or are currently experiencing Traumatic Events in their lives. Also, families and friends of those who have gone through, or are currently going through Trauma, are served well with this message of hope, inspiration, and resilience.  If SuperScores! is my close to my heart, it is fair to say that “The Death of Harold” is the core of my soul. In the end, I can truly say that what I do is HELP, and I best serve students, parents, and those who seek to overcome.

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

LAURIE PINHORN SAYS…

I help people rebuild their relationship with their health and wellness. One of my primary goals is to assist people in understanding that both their mental and physical health is impacted by foods they are eating and not eating. Specifically, I help people understand how their mental health impacts their food choices and how that in turns impacts their mental health. I help people with anxiety and other mental health Laurieconcerns take control of their wellness by planning and incorporating holistic health management tools. Being a social worker who has been counseling people for over 20 years live better with their mental health concerns, I find it super exciting to overlay holistic nutrition, exercise and cognitive behavioral therapies in people’s physical and mental health recovery plans. I love it when someone sends me an update and they share that their anxiety is reducing and that they are building better health into their lives at the same time.  I truly believe and see each day that our mental health management needs to go way beyond just taking a pill.

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

MAJEED MOGHARREBAN SAYS…

I help entrepreneurs become successful, live a better life, and make more money. Through coaching, majeed-square-web-ready-300x300training, and keynote speaking, I help leaders become their best selves by mastering their psychology and communication. Those entrepreneurs who choose to live a life of freedom and adventure while at the same time making a great impact in the world, I call them Awesomepreneurs. An Awesomepreneur designs her life, uses her gifts, and makes her work playful and fun. I create community and facilitate growth for Awesomepreneurs and those who want to join the movement.

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

JOEL SWEENEY SAYS….

I help entrepreneurs and business professionals become confident, engaging and effective speakers.  I have been learning, teaching, coaching and writing about oral communication for over 20 years. Speaking is a craft and, like any craft, there is a unique set of tools available. I help individuals learn to identify the tools Joel-Sweeney-291x300in their Speaker’s Tool Box and how to use those tools to become a more effective speaker and presenter whether they are speaking one on one or one on a thousand.   I understand the challenges of dealing with speech anxiety. I have made that personal journey and I have learned to manage my anxiety by leveraging the tools in my Speaker’s Tool Box. My journey began over 20 years ago when I worked as a sales representative for a Fortune 100 company. Despite being successful I was so uncomfortable doing presentations that I left the company.  I joined Toastmasters and completed the entire program to achieve my DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster). In 1995 I started Professionally Speaking and developed the concept of the Speaker’s Tool Box to help others realize their dream of becoming confident, engaging and effective speakers. My latest book, The Speaker’s Tool Box – Perfecting the Craft of Speaking expands on this concept in detail.  It took me several years to learn to deal with my speaking anxieties. Now I get to help others ‘fast track’ that process. How cool is that?

Joel Sweeney is all about effective communications. He has been speaking, training, coaching and writing about it for over 20 years. He is the author of The Wedding MC Handbook and Little Helpings of Food for Thought. His third book, The Speaker’s Tool Box – Perfecting the Craft of Speaking, was released in the 2015. He is the owner of Professionally Speaking (established in 1995). Joel helps entrepreneurs and business professional become effective, engaging and confident speakers. www.JoelSweeney.com

BARRY LEWIS GREEN SAYS…

First off, as the Epic Engage™ guy so to speak… let me say how honored I am to have these wonderful people (committed, knowledgeable and soulful) as part of the CAST™ and consistent contributors to the broadCAST™.  It is humbling, beyond any cliché, because the work these people each do is such a gift of Rockerreal and added value.  That being said, me?  Hmmmm.  This website speaks to my and our work certainly.  But, if I were to succinctly express the focus of my and our work…  we go beyond behaviour to help build character driven, united, and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe.   It is about character leadership as a path to formidable and purposeful unity.  Inspired by the work of The Virtues Project™ globally, we bring our own insights to the notion that character builds unity and unity builds sustainable and sustaining success.  Unity is not simply holding hands and singing Kumbaya (though nothing wrong with that).  Vince Lombardi spoke to the kind of unity we are talking about, saying “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”  We go deeper to explore character as the root of consistent behaviour and the building of robust and powerful schools, businesses, workplaces and communities.  We do a lot of work with municipalities.  We do a lot of work with youth and educators.  And, we work with businesses and government too.  The common thread is the desire in our clients and ourselves to advance palpable, powerful and practical unity born of strong character.  We do that.  We help campuses, companies and communities to move forward together, stronger… and we do it through speaking, training, educating, facilitating, singing, dancing, cartooning, video, writing and entertaining.  This is what I and we do at Epic Engage™.  We strive for epic and we definitely engage.

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

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QUOTE for the MONTH

“The service you do for others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” —  Muhammad Ali

VIDEO for the MONTH

Clearly, The CAST™ finds joy in their respective works and the value they each bring… and no doubt feel grateful for their opportunity to do such work.  With that in mind, we are launching a new, funky and real video series called JaG™ where we explore the virtues of joyfulness and gratitude.  I love these words from ‘Abdu’l-BaháJoy gives us wings! In times of joy our strength is more vital, our intellect keener, and our understanding less clouded. We seem better able to cope with the world and to find our sphere of usefulness. We will be interviewing, visting and just plain having fun investigating nad celebrating joy and gratitude.  If you would love to add your voice to our conversations, going forward… email our Nicole at nicole@epicengage.com and we will set you up.  🙂   Check out a video intro of JaG™ here.

 

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