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The Cast

Consider It? I CAN

This week, we are exploring CONSIDERATION as a virtue… a strength of character of leadership at school, work, business and community.  Before we go further, CONSIDER THIS.

  • To think about the needs of others, thoughtful of feelings, speaking gently and tactfully… being a joybringer with thoughtful acts… this is Consideration.
  • BUT, it is also to make and hold our decisions with care and discernment, being thoughtful and mindful… considering all factors, and options.

In our work around character, leadership and getting results, we use an 8-step, 4-phase process called ICCCCCAN™

PHASE ONE.  Know Your Battleground.

  • Identify the ISSUE, at hand.  Get abundantly clear on what the problem actually is, as opposed to symptoms.  You are attempting resolution, not a band aid… so you need to know the real and core issue.
  • Determine the CAUSES that have brought you to this issue or situation.  Make a clear list of the factors that have brought this issue to bear.  Know thy enemy here implies knowing what caused the matter… helps you solve the matter.
  • Inventory the specific CONSEQUENCES, if you do nothing.  This is your motivation.  Be very descriptive in terms of what will happen if you do nothing to resolve the issue.  Get clear on the pain.  This is your leverage.

PHASE TWO.  Prepare Your Base Camp for Battle.

This phase is about knowing your realities.

  • Get clear on the CRITERIA for making any decisions.  What are your real world parameters in making decisions and taking action?  In other words, what would truly limit your capacity to respond… time, money, other?  Be truthful here, so that you identify legitimate and real criteria… and not simply excuses.
  • What is your COMMUNITY of support and resources available in addressing the issue?  Who has your back?  Who can you call on?  What resources are available going forward?

PHASE THREE:  Battle Cry!

This is the heart of your solution.  Character is fundamental to great responses.  Character leadership matters at the heart of any issue.

  • What is the CHARACTER demanded by the matter at hand?  What strengths of character are demanded to address the situation fully and effectively?  Character is the basis of great and consistent and needed action?  Get clear on the virtues you need bring to the table?

PHASE FOUR: Engage the Fight!!!

Now, and action!

  • What are the ACTIONS and behaviours to be manifested and demonstrated, born of the character to be practiced in making a difference?  Make your detailed action plan.
  • What is your first step, NOW?  Be specific.

These 8 steps in 4 phases demand diligence, discernment and decisiveness.  So, maybe you might consider this process.  It is one wholly characterized by CONSIDERATION.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

PS

Here are some additional resources that may be of use and\or interest:

PPS (Other Resources)

  • 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 …
  • and our buffet of FREE services and resources here.

 

Encourage Confidence

This week, we started looking at Confidence in a LinkedIn post called In Confidence.  Within that post, we suggested “The strength to face what life brings, to act with self-assurance, appreciating our mistakes as lessons; this is Confidence. To practice patience and mastery; this is Confidence. To fully express our talents, capacities and ideas… this too is Confidence. Maintaining a positive outlook and trust in others is Confidence. The virtue that is Confidence goes beyond simple notions of perceived self-confidence. It reaches for a confidence in life itself.”

We introduced thoughts from L.P. Jacks and Max Ehrmann that spoke to the manifestation of Confidence as a virtue; a strength of character.

We also noted that “With Confidence, there is no shame or blame… only moving forward.”

IMAGINE

  • Imagine this in the classroom and on campus.   What would Confidence look like in students and educators and counselors and administrators… and in support staff?  How could Confidence be encouraged?
  • Imagine this at work and in business.   What would Confidence look like in teams, staff, management and leadership?  How would it be engaged and practiced with colleagues and clients and customers? How could cultures of Confidence be encouraged?
  • Imagine this in our communities.   What would Confidence look like in community teams and staff, management and leadership?  How about citizenry?  How would it be engaged and practiced with colleagues, clients, customers, and constituents? How could communities of Confidence be encouraged?

I say this because a wise and ex Vietnam Vet in 1987 shared an insight that has remained with me for these 30 years… and will continue to do so.  “Mike” once told me “Courage first, confidence second.”  By that he meant that Confidence grows from Courage.  Courage is the soil from which Confidence grows, like a great tree.  The more you pay attention to the soil, the stronger the tree grows.

In my wide ranging and years of work with youth, I see this truth.  In the classroom and in training sessions I see this.  In my work with educators, entrepreneurs and emerging leaders, I see this.  We encourage to foster and forge Courage, with the intention of building Confidence.

I have seen great examples of this in my career within the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.  I have experienced great examples of this in finance, marketing, sales, HR and education.  I have also witnessed poor examples.  Encouragement is to give courage, in order to build Confidence.  Cultures of fear do not encourage… they build fear, doubt, anxiety and even apathy.

Now in the face of fear and hate and discouragement, we can find encouragement from others as Michelle Obama shares.  But it is not the fear that encourages the strength, but the seeking out of encouragement and heroic examples.  Michelle says that she is “a strong woman because of other strong woman,” and “You don’t mother alone, you don’t grandparent alone, you don’t struggle alone. You find your community.”

Communities and cultures of encouragement build Confidence.  Confidence advances the strength to face what life brings and to act with self-assurance, appreciating our mistakes as lessons.

Confidence gives us the capacity to practice patience and mastery.  It engages us to fully express our talents, capacities and ideas.  It emboldens a positive outlook and trust in others.

Consider the how and why to offering words of encouragement.  Imagine practicing Confidence ourselves and drawing it out in others at school, work, business and community.  Imagine it in our homes and circles, with family and friends.

Imagine… then do it up and get it done.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

PS

Here are some additional resources that may be of use and\or interest:

PPS (Other Resources)

  • 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 …
  • and our buffet of FREE services and resources here.

 

Leader ToC with Trent Langdon

This month, with our seventh in the series of Leader ToC™ Blog Posts for 2017, we connect with a friend and colleague in education, Trent Langdon.  With his background and passion, I am thrilled to have him join the conversation around leadership and character at Leader ToC™.

That being said, and before we head into that conversation, Leader ToC™ (Thoughts on Character) itself is our monthly series engaging leaders around the world on character, leadership and more.  Before we get started this month, here are:

… if you wish to catch up; there is your baker’s dozen. 🙂

And, we do indeed encourage the reads.  This is Issue 13, with more to come.  We are thankful, and look forward to continuing the learning journey; and having you with us.  We hope you engage and enjoy.

INTRODUCING Trent Langdon

Trent Langdon is all about building legacy through character education and social-emotional development. He is a junior high school counselor for nearly 700 adolescents and is dedicated to serving his students, their families, and communities. In addition, Trent works on behalf of his colleagues to build identity, protect professional roles, and to give teachers ‘a voice’; recently elected as Vice-President of the Newfoundland & Labrador Teachers Association (NLTA) for the 2017-2019 term of office. Trent is also a Canadian Certified Counselor with the Canadian Counseling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and serves as a member of the CCPA Ethics Committee (Complaints Division).  And last but certainly not least, Trent is a proud contributor to the Epic Engage™ team and co-author of The Leaducator Experience™.  Check out Trent’s blog.  You can email Trent at trent@epicengage.com and find him on Twitter or LinkedIn (@TrentLangdonNL ).

And now, on to …

Engage the Leader ToC™

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Hey Trent; glad to have you on board with this month’s Leader ToC™.  We typically start with the big question… “Who are you and what is it you do?”

Trent Langdon

Glad to be here Barry.  Well, I am an educator / school counselor, and an advocate for teachers, public education, human rights, and mental health.  In addition to my daily experiences as a teacher, I have contributed to the governance and leadership of my professional affiliations since the start of my career.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

That is no small order and track record; so you are working with those you serve in students and teachers and the profession of teaching alike.  With that in mind, for whom do you do this work best? In other words, who is your best audience?

Trent Langdon

I work directly for my students, families, and teacher colleagues within the education system… however I fundamentally champion character development, actions of integrity, and humanistic leadership (through the work of Epic Engage™ and my own social media communications).

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Tell us a little more about that.  How do you best serve them in doing so? In other words, how do you offer your services?

Trent Langdon

When a group or an individual is interested in connecting to explore any of the themes / areas mentioned above, I work directly with them (either in person or online) to create an action plan that addresses their specific needs (whether it be group work, a speaking engagement, etc.); supports and services are then delivered with a personal approach.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

So you do personalized programming around your body of work and audience.  Excellent.  Based on your work over the years… in these times, what are the challenges and opportunities of leadership… from your perspective and experience?

Trent Langdon

Here is a thought that encompasses a challenge and an opportunity.  A challenge is maintaining that ‘human’, personal component as part of daily interactions.  The opportunity is to maintain that ‘traditional’ human approach by ensuring time is set aside to send that ‘store-bought’ card of condolence, ensure that you meet for coffee at least once per week with a friend / colleague, or send a hand-written message of thanks to a person that has inspired you in some capacity.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

I like that… the challenge and opportunity as two sides to the coin, so to speak.  So, in the face of that, when considering the strengths of leadership as they might relate to character… what virtues do you consider to be paramount as strengths and why do you believe them vital?

Trent Langdon

Hands-down, my personal ‘go-to’ virtues are INTEGRITY, HUMANITY, & THANKFULNESS. These three give me an opportunity to look inward (integrity), outward (humanity), and simply acknowledge (thankfulness) the Source / God / Creator of all things good.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Love it.  Given that, what is one piece of advice you might have for our readership on developing leadership and strength of character in these times?

Trent Langdon

Investigate those virtues that are your foundation; those virtues that guide and strengthen your personal and professional efforts.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

I hear you.  That is core, in my opinion.  To thine own self be true.  And you do work ultimately around that.  So, how can someone connect with you for more information on your work?

Trent Langdon

Well, you can email me directly at trent@epicengage.com and connect with my Blog or on LinkedIn and Twitter (@TrentLangdonNL ).

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Trent, that is it… for now.  🙂  I really appreciate the time… and your work my friend.  Thanks for joining us on Leader ToC™.

Trent Langdon

Been a pleasure Barry.  Thanks for the opportunity.

 

Leader ToC™ out…

Folks, check out Trent; I encourage you.  You will be glad you did.

And, yes indeed, we continue on.  Continuing through 2017, around the third or final Friday of each month… we will 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™

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

PS

Here are some additional resources that may be of use and\or interest:

PPS (Other Resources)

  • 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 …
  • and our buffet of FREE services and resources here.

Come Passion, Come…

This week, we are looking at Compassion as a strength of character and the role Responsibility plays in practicing it.  We invite you to explore these two posts and consider the importance of Compassion and Responsibility for you now… at school, work, business and/or community.  Maybe check out THIS video on the Ultimate Compassion and Responsibility even.

In practicing both, we actually start to build a reputation of consequence and a simplicity of living.  We are focused on what matters most to us and how we can best live and serve it.  We know where we will best bring our passion.

With that in mind, we also invite you to consider the launch of the Leaducator™ Experience in service and response to world embracing educators, entrepreneurs and emerging leaders.  That is for whom we choose to be most responsible, going forward.

How about you?

  • Professionally, to whom do you choose to be responsible?  How might you best serve them? How might Compassion serve you in that choice?
  • Personally, to whom do you choose to be responsible?  How might you best serve them?  How might Compassion help in that respect?

Ponder that.  Reflect on it.  Make it so and see where it goes.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

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.

 

MaD Commitment

Earlier this week, we posted on Commit and Depart; initially exploring Commitment, Detachment and Initiative and the process of letting go to move forward.

Then, we explored Motivation and Discipline as they might connect with Commitment… particularly with my personal road back to health.  I am intent on getting back to my own optimal strength and health.

Commitment to something important requires us to detach or depart from something less important.  We do not break habits; we change them.  That requires the virtue of Sacrifice which is to give up something important for something more important.

In doing so, we must needs find our best motivation.. driven by Enthusiasm, Purposefulness and Determination … and reinforced by Discipline.  In other words, Commitment requires us to depart from old ways, in favor of new ones.  We best do that by our motivation and our practice of Discipline.

We invite you to think about an important goal you might have, personally or professionally.  Here is a process we might suggest.

  • Get very specific as to what you are committing to achieving.
  • Get clear on what you must release to do so.
  • Now, get abundantly clear on your motivation.  Find your enthusiasm for the goal by exploring the absolute and real relevance it has for you.  Get real on it.  Get particularly clear on the purpose of the goal; why it is important.  Ask yourself how you will show Determination in making it happen.  These are the key elements of true motivation.
  • Then determine how you will practice Discipline in those moments of doubt or distraction or even despair.

Commit, release and go MaD.  Try that out and see where it takes you at school, work, business and community.  We think it might be interesting.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

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.

 

Life, Death and the 44

To consider that. after the death of the body, the spirit perishes is like imagining that a bird in a cage will be destroyed if the cage is broken, though the bird has nothing to fear from the destruction of the cage. Our body is like the cage, and the spirit is like the bird… if the cage becomes broken, the bird will continue and exist. Its feelings will be even more powerful, its perceptions greater, and its happiness increased…” — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

I love this quote as it speaks to challenging our understanding of life and death.  That understanding needs challenging as it often impacts how we live.  Many fear death, see it as unjust, or avoid the idea altogether… preferring some subconscious sense of invincibility.

Almost two years ago, I experienced a brain bleed or TIA or mini stroke and I so very much remember being in that first CT Scan.  I knew nothing of what was going on inside my head; nothing.  I remember lying there and posing the question to myself, “What if I have only 90 days left?”

The answer was powerful, intriguing and inspired by the quote above.  I was overrun with thoughts of how I would live and work my possible final 90 days, before my cage supposedly would break.  I was positively overwhelmed by the notion that I would bring “all the guns” if I had but 90 days.  That meant I would live and serve as very best I could and can.

As the journey continued, I started realizing that I probably would have more days.  I understood that test after test was confirming the mystery that we could not find a cause.  I understood that, residual affects aside, I had more time.  That notion of what I would do; it became less urgent.

Life and Death

My point is this.  We must needs reflect on our own mortality; not as something dire… but as something real.  We must consider that (a) we will die, (b) we know not when and (c) death is not a door slamming shut but one opening.  The result is both freedom and urgency… to live the life that matters and counts, for us.  Yes, if you fully understood these three ideas… how might they impact our understanding of the precious nature of our life and the idea that we will not end?

Having not an end, expands our concept of Patience as we understand that time has no real meaning, except to measure in this world.  Having a sense that there is a doorway though; it reinforces the urgency of making this life count.  It matters, now.  So, we end up with freedom and urgency in powerful balance… to live our best lives.  My choice is to meditate on these notions, and to own them.  I want to reinforce my own approach to life… an approach that does not fear death but sees it as a reminder that this chapter we call life is important as a chapter would be in any book.  It must be written in our living it.

I constructively challenge you to investigate for yourself.  Download the Secret Truth© for free on our shop.  It is a compilation of wisdom from many traditions.  View this powerful video from Kesha that boldly encourages us to find our strongest being.  See where these thoughts might take you, and your work.  A sense of spirit strengthens our capacity to study, work and live in this life.  A true sense of spirit strengthens our ability to live our own epic life. As we note on our home page

  • In these times of uncertainty and change, walking with an assured step is vital.  We call it Humble Swagger™; a genuine, robust, caring, tenacious and healthy confidence grounded in nobility, humility and certitude.  It is about being determined to do the right thing and bring everyone together to achieve excellence in doing so.

A powerful sense of spirit advances such.  As I and we head into a new stage for Epic Engage™, and with the above in mind and heart… we offer this assortment of 44 posts, perspectives and resources… in service to impact, leadership and character at school, work, business and community.

Why 44?

Ultimately, I have no idea.  All I know is that, for the last 6 months or so, I keep consistently seeing the number 44 multiple times a day, without “looking” for it.  I am not into numerology per se but have checked it out.  The best I can read is that it supposedly references creative forces and that one is on track and very close to best path… that there is a need for focus and discipline in building one’s dreams… and building something to benefit many generations.  It is apparently about building for both the present and the future… and the need for being realistic, pragmatic, efficient, disciplined, confident, conscientious, balanced, and methodical.

Bottom line is I like the message. 🙂

Then, quite unplanned, I created the following list of resources to offer.  Lo and behold, there were 44.  I may lose people on this, lol.  Still, there truly was no plan on my part.  44 was the number.  It may or may not mean anything at all.  Regardless, here are the 44 resources.

As for me, and in the spirit of living… tomorrow I am going to see Despicable Me 3 and Spider-Man Homecoming and then rock out some Karaoke, lol.

Peace, passion and prosperity… and reflection.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

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.

Clean to Lean

The lean business model is all about simplicity and focus; and Cleanliness is the virtue.  Earlier this week, we shared on Clean Leadership… taking the first steps to examine this often misunderstood virtue or strength of character.

In it, we suggested:

Simplicity and the lean business model are its results.

It demands of us the time and energy and priority to inventory all that is occupying our school, work and community life.  It is about examining the BIG ROCKS as Stephen Covey referenced.  So, the simple question around getting clean and lean is:

What are your big rocks?

Now, I personally invite you to watch this video on A Clean Thought.  Then, schedule in some dedicated and devoted time to make a list of all the rocks in your life, big and small.  Be thorough.  I mean thorough; diligently so.  Leave no stone unturned.  Once you have done so, create four columns:

COLUMN 1: DEEPLY WANT TO

These are the boulders. This column is for those rocks in your life that you deeply and passionately have affinity and need for in living a fulfilling life, on your terms.

COLUMN 2: HAVE TO

These are the stones.  This column is for those rocks that may not be associated with passion, but they are needed… to live, period.

COLUMN 3: SHOULD DO

These are the pebbles.  This column is dedicated to those rocks in your life that are wish list and desirable but not cravings or truly needed.  They are more born of a sense of obligation. if anything.

COLUMN 4: GET AROUND TO

This column is for the sand in Dr. Covey’s metaphor.  These are the things that ultimately hold no great importance… but if you have time, yeah you would do them.  They are the noise and distractions.

Go through your list and mark a red mark in the appropriate column for each item… based on your ideal life.  THEN, go through the list again, and mark in black mark what is your reality, at this time.  Now, you have something truly to reconcile.

  • What sand is now big rock for you?
  • What big rocks need to be more like sand?

The goal is to get clear and clean up the alignment of your life.  Maybe some sand needs to become rock.  Maybe some rock needs to be sand.  Either way, in doing so, you are practicing Cleanliness. You are refreshing and cleaning your life.  You are demonstrating respect and honor.  You are understanding garbage in, garbage out even more powerfully.  You are cleansing yourself of habits that no longer serve you, or maybe never did.

To get lean, we need to clean.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

PS

PPS (Other Resources)

  • 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 …
  • and our buffet of FREE services and resources here.

Cheering Ourselves On

Earlier this week, we shared this post on Cheerful, Humble Charisma … to open up the conversation around Cheerfulness as a virtue; a strength of character.

Then , last night, this happened on Froude Avenue in our fair city of St. John’s.  Since then, the rising up  of help has been phenomenal.  People are cheering on with material and emotional support.  Amidst the loss, Cheerfulness has it’s place to cheer those in need.  And Froude Avenue Community Center is a source of Cheerfulness.  Keep helping.  It is a manifestation of Cheerfulness.

That being said, Cheerfulness does indeed play a role in cheering ourselves and others on.  When we offer ourselves, out of a generous spirit, we are practicing Cheerfulness. Dale Carnegie himself once said that one of the greatest ways to reduce stress in our own lives is to focus our attention on the needs of others.  Cheerfulness and Helpfulness go hand in hand.

This coming Thursday, June 29… CAPS Cares is offering an opportunity to practice both. Bottom line, it is all about advancing public conversations around healthy minds and wellness… a slant on Cheerfulness, if you will.  Here is our latest update on the event, free and open to the public.

That all being said…

here is a three-step exercise we suggest you practice…. around manifesting Cheerfulness.

  • STEP ONE:  Think of 5 things that cheer you up, especially when you might not be feeling such instinctively.  They need to be powerful.  Thoughts of a certain vacation, specific memories with children, an accomplishment that brings a healthy humble sense of pride, an activity that brings a genuine smile to your spirit, a song that does the same… and so on.
  • STEP TWO:  Then consider what artifacts you might have that remind you of same… pictures, souvenirs or the like.  Determine what visuals serve as anchors to remind you.
  • STEP THREE: Create a space at your desk where those artifacts can reside… a go to mini oasis of cheer, so to speak.  In moments of being “off”, take one of them up and spend some quick, cool reflection time.  Do not just glance at it.  Pick it up, savour the memory.  Taste it.  Munch on it, until it ignites Cheerfulness.  Go there.

Cheerfulness, like any virtue, is practiced.  We must sharpen the blades on it to build the muscle.  We will explore some more later this week… but if you are in the St. John’s area, get out to CAPS Cares.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

PS

PPS (Other Resources)

  • 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 …
  • and our buffet of FREE services and resources here.

 

Home at Timmies

This week, we are checking out Charity and Leadership.  In that same LinkedIn post earlier the week, we suggested that “Charity is not an act or event. It is a spirit; a way of being. It is a spirit driven to feel compassion, and to share our talents and resources.  It is a virtue that engages us to give with a genuine generosity of spirit, to withhold from judgement, to allow others their space and mistakes, and to help in need.  It builds trust and trustworthiness alike, when sincerely practiced.”

And Charity begins at home.  Now, home can be defined as wherever we are or to where we are called.  This morning, for me, it was called to while standing in line at Tim Horton’s.  I had an a-ha reminder moment and, this morning, I posted the following on Facebook, in response to that moment.

  • It occurs to me this morn… that the strongest people know and acknowledge their insecurities.  We all have them.  If someone purports otherwise, hmmmmm.   Accept and embrace them… and do the best you can.  There you find strength amidst your doubts. Love to all.  Peace.  #authenticity #courage

Charity begins in our own hearts; to cut ourselves some slack.  When we practice Charity with ourselves, we build the capacity to practice it with others.  Imagine such a spirit of compassion, acknowledging our own talents and resources as gifts and being willing to share them with Humble Swagger™.  Imagine practicing a genuine generosity of spirit with ourselves, withholding from arbitrary and often cruel self judgement of ourselves, and allowing for our own space and mistakes.

That is Charity, at home.

Charity is listening with open heart… to hell with the agendas and opportunism.  Let go of the need to manipulate.  Charity is a deep respect for others’ stories.  Charity allows us to be ourselves; and others the same.  It does not imply agreeing and being in some contrived form of lockstep.  It does imply honor and respect that destroys condescension and superiority. Charity listens.  Charity cares.  Charity seeks to understand.  And, Charity desires to help… in whatever way is needed, possible and best.

Charity moves us beyond bullying.  It advances understanding and acceptance… of our differences and sameness.  It empowers educators, coaches and mentors to see their students and clients as individuals and not cut from any same exact cloth.  It enables entrepreneurs to go beyond expectations in service to colleagues and clients alike.  It engages emerging leaders to give of their time and resources to those who matter most in service.

Indeed, Charity is not an event; nor an action.  It is a way of being.  It is judicial in its choices to help; finding its best and most strategic way to be of service.  Charity, practiced with the virtue of Discernment, moves the needle on our most authentic reputation for caring and excellence.  People see that we truly care and have focused our energies on best giving a damn.  People see that we are “all in”.  We are known to be committed.  We give our all to what is important.  We give.

For educators, entrepreneurs and emerging leaders, Charity can be an incredible path to trust and trustworthiness.  Those we serve and with whom we work will know that we are in it for the right and best of reasons.  They place their precious trust in us because of how they see we care.  Charity is not posed nor faked.  Charity is authentic and fierce.

It manifests itself in our conversations and actions; in our words and deeds.  It manifests itself in the time we take to listen, in the true desire to see and understand ourselves and others, in our willingness to move beyond any pre-conceived sense of knowing better.

Charity unites us powerfully.  We have each other’s backs.  We care.  We give a damn and people know it.  We are not giving out of need for our resumes or reputations.  We give because we give; a damn.  We give because our work matters, our lives matter, and the people around us matter.  We give because we receive, in return… not reward but respect… for ourselves and others.

The people pictured in this blog… from Gary Summers to Corina Walsh, Joel Sweeney and Bruce Templeton… they care.  Indeed, each are bringing their capacities, talents and resources to CAPS Cares.  This is the practice of Charity in Leadership.  But so is every individual moment that we take to care; genuinely care.  There is nothing soft nor opportunistic nor political about the virtue of Charity.  It knows we matter and we all matter and that a huge part of leadership is to manifest that understanding and the caring that comes with it to build families, classrooms, campuses, companies and communities that know what is truly important and who we best serve.

Charity works.  It works it.  It works it at College.  It works it in Business.  It works it at Home and in the Community.  And, it breeds Excellence.  Where and with whom do you need most to practice Charity today?  Do that.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

PS

Leader ToC with Jean Marie DiGiovanna

PPS

PPPS (Other Resources)

  • 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 …
  • and our buffet of FREE services and resources here.

Leader ToC with Jean Marie DiGiovanna

This month, with our sixth in the series of Leader ToC™ Blog Posts for 2017, we are half way through the year and entering a time of celebration in Canada and the USA.  With Canada Day (July 1) and Independence Day (July 4) fast approaching, we thought to reach across the border and connect with the wonderful Jean Marie DiGiovanna.  I am indeed excited to have her join the conversation around leadership and character at Leader ToC™.

That being said, and before we head into that conversation, Leader ToC™ (Thoughts on Character) itself is our monthly series engaging leaders around the world on character, leadership and more.  Before we get started this month, here are:

… if you wish to catch up.  And, we encourage the reads.  This is Issue 12, with more to come.  We are thankful, and look forward to continuing the learning journey; and having you with us.  We hope you engage and enjoy.

INTRODUCING Jean Marie DiGiovanna

Jean Marie is certainly someone special.  I first met Jean Marie at the CAPS Convention 2016 in Edmonton and found her to be such a joyous and engaging spirit.  I simply had to ask her to contribute to Leader ToC™.  From her website, here is just a little of Jean Marie.

Jean Marie DiGiovanna, founder of Workshop University®, is a powerful Speaker, Trainer & Coach with a unique gift for helping people find their voice, speak their truth and get their unique message and services out to the world.

With 25 years of training, consulting and instructional design experience, Jean Marie has designed and facilitated new employee training programs and ongoing development courses in the areas of communication, leadership, productivity and team effectiveness for Fortune 500 companies to small startups. She has delivered hundreds of workshops and webinars on business and life strategies and has spoken nationally and internationally, helping thousands of entrepreneurs get their message and expertise out to the world.

Jean Marie was named a Top 10 Coach of Boston by Women’s Business Boston, and her articles have been widely published. She is co-author of Success is a State of Mind alongside Mark Victor Hansen, Les Brown and Deepak Chopra and author of Wake Up To Your Life: Powerful Monthly Workouts for the Mind, Heart & Soul (at www.WakeUpToYourLife.com

A resident of Boulder, Colorado, Jean Marie loves the outdoors, enjoys skiing fast, biking leisurely and dancing to live Latin music. One of Jean Marie’s core values is creativity so to help balance her love of training and development, she also enjoys painting and designing jewelry.  If you are curious and want to take a peek, you can find her art and jewelry designs at www.FlamesofGrace.com.

“That which you set out, deliberately create and believe in will come to you.  With steady focus, a clear mind and an active spirit, anything is possible.”

~ Jean Marie DiGiovanna

And now, on to …

Engage the Leader ToC™

 

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Hi Jean Marie.  Thank you so very much for agreeing to join the Leader ToC™.  I hoped to have you engage this conversation since we first met last December.  So, I am thrilled to have you weigh in.  I typically start with the question “Who are you and what is it you do?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

It is a pleasure Barry.  Actually, I am a professional speaker, coach and corporate trainer.  I help entrepreneurs package their expertise into experiential workshops, webinars and virtual programs and, in the corporate world, I deliver corporate training courses in the areas of communication, team effectiveness and productivity.

 

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

I am intrigued.  I knew a little.  Tell me and us more.  For whom do you do this work best? In other words, who is your best audience?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

My best audience for the workshops, webinars and virtual program work is service oriented entrepreneurs (Speakers, Coaches, Authors, Thought Leaders). I have delivered my corporate training for companies in high tech, bio-tech, insurance, retail and manufacturing.  It truly is industry agnostic as every leader and employee in a company can improve their soft-skills.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

I love that; industry agnostic.  Brilliant.  Then, how do you best serve them in doing so? In other words, how do you offer your services?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

With entrepreneurs, speaking and referrals have been my main marketing tool. After someone hears me speak they may hire me 1-on-1, purchase my home study program or attend a webinar series or virtual training program.  In the corporate world, I deliver 1-2 day courses and I also facilitate off-site sessions…  and coach executives, leaders, managers and directors in the organization.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

That makes a great deal of sense.  There is a natural synergy to it.  So, based on your work over the years… in these times, what are the challenges and opportunities of leadership… from your perspective and experience?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

I have found that the leaders who experience the most challenges are middle managers.  They not only need to manage their direct reports but also manage up and learn how to push back and request what they need.  Their challenge is finding the time to coach their staff so they think for themselves.  When leaders can coach more of their teams, they can then spend more time leading vs. doing the work.   The other challenge is time – finding the time to meet with their team, address the unique styles each team member requires to be led and dedicating time to support their team in what they need.  Often the tactical takes precedence over the strategic so the strategic activities never happen. The opportunities I see are great once leaders can learn how to effectively manage their time, push back gracefully and delegate and let go of control more.  Once they can do that they will have more opportunity to grow their staff and work on more of the strategic activities.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

I could not agree more.  This is true in education, business and community leadership.  So, when considering the strengths of leadership as they might relate to character… what virtues do you consider to be paramount as strengths and why do you believe them vital?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

The critical strengths I see necessary are honesty, integrity, authenticity, openness and willingness to learn.  Honesty is critical to build trust with others.  Honesty is not only being truthful but doing what’s right. Integrity is also critical to build trust because it requires doing what you say you will and cleaning up if you don’t.  When both of those activities happen, trust is further developed. When people trust you as a leader they are more likely to follow you and be inspired to take action.  Authenticity is critical because people follow leaders who are real and show their humanity.  Leaders who are open to feedback and open to new ideas are able to expand their thinking more and leaders who are willing to learn will not only improve their own leadership skills but grow their staff beyond what they thought was possible.  We can only grow to the extent we are willing to change and stay open to that growth.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

So true.  I love it; and that takes courage and commitment.  Given that, what is one piece of advice you might have for our readership on developing leadership and strength of character in these times?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

When you feel stuck, ask for help.  Don’t try to “go it alone”.  That is not a sign of a good leader.  It is a sign of a strong ego.  Seek out mentors who are beyond where you want to go so you can learn from them.  Always surround yourself with people who are stronger and more skilled than you.  Don’t be afraid to build a team that is even better than you.  Stay true to your values and push back when something doesn’t feel right.  If it doesn’t feel right, there is a reason. Your gut is trying to get your attention.  The more you listen to it, the happier you will be.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Now, there is some real and true wisdom.  I love the insights and focus of what you are doing Jean Marie.  With that in mind and given our time, I am sure others would like to connect.  So, how can someone connect with you for more information on your work?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

They can go to www.workshopuniversity.com, email me at jean@workshopuniversity.com or call me at 303-413-8001.  Would love to connect!

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Well, once again Jean Marie, I deeply appreciate your time and wisdom.  I, for one, will be connecting with you on your work for sure.  That is all the time we have for now.  But I strongly I encourage anyone to connect with you Jean Marie.  Your friendly spirit of both service and excellence is remarkable. Thank you so much.  It has been a treat; so glad we had the chance.

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

I have enjoyed it and appreciate the opportunity.  Thank you Barry.

 

Leader ToC™ out…

Folks, check out Jean Marie on her website . I encourage you.  You will be glad you did.  And, yes, we continue on.  Continuing through 2017, around the third or final Friday of each month… we will 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™

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

PS

Here are some additional resources that may be of use and\or interest:

PPS (Other Resources)

  • 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 …
  • and our buffet of FREE services and resources here.
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