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Drive Time

2020 has been interesting thus far, but the Year itself brought nothing; we did. 2020 is an arbitrary construct, a measurement of time. Is it 2020… or 5780 in the Jewish calendar, 2563 in the Buddhist, 2076 in the Hindu, 1441 in the Islamic or 177 in the Baha’i? You get the point.

What happens in our world is generated by us (not by a number), directly or indirectly. 7.8 billion people have an impact. We are seeing it now. That said, it is our response, individually and collectively that matters now, and going forward. It is time for a new realization me thinks. And we are in an infinite game.

The Drive Ahead

In Dare, Decide and Detach last week, I shared “Optimism sees ‘the stuff’ ahead and knows we will get there.” This is true … individually and collectively…. locally, globally and glocally.

Well, the next two days, I am adding a 4th D; Drive. This past week, I have written on Determination and Devotion and Dignity and Diligence and Discernment and Dominion as virtues in my ROCK 105 series; exploring strengths of character in these times. Well again, the next two days, I am adding another D; Drive. I am not speaking of a specific virtue. I am not speaking of drive and hustle. I am speaking of a literal drive; the kind of drive accompanied by great driving music… like Auberge and One Day Remains and Drive Time and Dedication … and all songs Amanda Marshall and Shinedown. I am talking blow off the cob webs drive. I am talking hear your spirit drive. I am talking no plans drive. I am talking gypsy drive. I am talk flow over drive drive. You get my point.

Panda and I are, at time of writing (one day ahead of my normal day of writing this blog), now 123 days in self isolation, with a singular bubble.. mostly by choice but knowing my space in life does not lend itself to be strong bubble candidacy (no parents, no children). Now, there is a sentence, lol. I choose such Responsibility as I understand this to be a global pandemic that will require us to develop new habits going forward. Without getting into that discussion now, I will simply say that:

  • no, I do not believe we all have to physical distance, wear masks and wash our hands forever going forward (though that last one, yes)
  • no, I do not live in fear, but Responsibility
  • yes, I believe in science, and science is the process of disciplined learning
  • yes, I do believe our entertainment and engagement going forward will differ
  • yes, I believe that is good and necessary
  • yes, mine will

That said, that is not the point today. The point is my spirit says drive. It says drive to dig deeper on joy because ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, ” Joy 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.” And music can be a Ladder for the Soul.

All that said, this time of Responsibility has brought challenges physically, mentally, and emotionally. Understandably so. And my Soul, impervious to any worldly affect, knows best and screams in a whisper… “drive”. We only need but silence our many voices, and listen to that still, small voice inside. It knows. It always knows. You see, ROCK 105 brings us to…

… for Wednesday, July 15, 2020. For me, I will be driving. How do they connect? Seeking to understand and listening with Compassion are part of Empathy. Refraining from toxic judging is too. Thinking about choices, caring and feeling connected are too. We often think of Empathy for others. I suggest Empathy can be targeted on and for ourselves as well. Do unto others can be applied to Empathy. Practice Empathy for yourself as you might have for others. Hence, the spirit call to drive.

I will listen to that call. I will listen to my Soul. And, I will hear.

Here I go.

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green

aka The Unity Guy

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Barry Lewis Green moves the needle on character leadership and unity building with joyful ferocity and thoughtful zeal.  Barry helps leaders forge strong, united cultures at school, work, business and community.  Joe Calloway says, “I had the distinct pleasure of being in an audience in Montreal with Barry Lewis Green on the stage. Quite simply, Barry absolutely captivated us with his talent, his message, and his heart.  The feeling of unity that Barry created in the room that day was extraordinary.”  With 39 years in education and leadership training and development … and work in the private, public and community sectors across Canada… and as a speaker, educator, master facilitator, coach, writer, singer, dancer, and cartoonist, Barry stokes the fire

A Recipe for Heroism

On Monday, we posted on The Heroic Now.  Even now, I invite you to have a first read or a review if you have already done so.  Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers:

Definition of heroism

heroic conduct especially as exhibited in fulfilling a high purpose or attaining a noble end… the qualities of a hero

We consider heroism to be a prime ingredient in what we call the epic leader… front line or top line or anywhere in between.  It is not a title but an identity and role.  With marches planned and causes and actions, local and global, being lead and fulfilled… it might be a valuable exercise to identify the recipe heroism.  If we value heroism, maybe it is timely to identify its strengths of character.  Trait Theories on Leadership say that people identify leaders by the qualities that they think leaders should have and then see, around them, who might possess those qualities.  Heroism can be examined in the same way.  We identify heroes, consciously or unconsciously, by the traits we believe a hero possesses and then see who possesses them.

Take some time to consider the strengths of character that make for the heroic.  Examine the poster in that aforementioned and earlier post on LinkedIn.  Make a list of the qualities (virtues) that you believe are integral to heroism.  Upon doing so, you are now more mindful and aware of your own perceptions of heroism… and can indeed better encourage them in yourself and others.  It enables and empowers the growth of heroism in our classrooms, companies and communities.  The world, locally and globally, needs more of it.

Next up, we will look at some simple strategies around possibly encouraging it.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a 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 and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

PS

Singing of MLK.

Singing of Malala.

A song for the hero.

The words of Tauriel on the necessary fight.

PPS

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

PPPS

  • Our work is all about character. We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe. As part of that work, we offer you …
  • and our buffet of FREE services and resources here.
  • oh, and words around which I will find my example of heroism…

 

What to Do with IT

Earlier this week, we introduced the IT Factor on LinkedIn.  In doing so, we invited you to:sing-300x200

“… consider and decide upon one joy or passion in which you find natural and healthy escape… you lose yourself “in the zone”.  It is your go to path to switching gears, allowing you to move forward by engaging your sense of personal freedom.  For me, it is my music and singing. How about you? Name it.  Claim it.  Once claimed, reflect on ways that you can make it accessible to you daily, in some way, shape or form so that it truly is go to. Make it so. Make it your go to for shifting those gears.”

Having such a go to joy can be powerful in shifting those gears, when needed.  Still, reflecting upon that Thankfulnessfor which we are most thankful tells us much more about who we are; as the real deal.  As noted in the last post (particularly in the video), we know that it is best to be thankful for all… trials and triumphs alike.  They all have value as teachers, indeed and in deed.  We know that thankfulness is a powerful virtue of grounding.  Still, when we focus our thankfulness on that for which we are most thankful, we start to get glimpses of ourselves, real; and that speaks to Integrity.

Before going any further, here is an engaging read from the Harvard Business Review… essentially around building cultures of integrity.  It is worth the time, just to open up thought.

Now, moving on…

Last night, I did my weekly WHATSUPWITDAT Facebook Live Chat.  Within these 28 minutes or so, I spoke real.  Indeed, within the video I referenced a most kind comment that was made of me by those who know my work… about being the real deal.  I do not say this for any other reason than to admit that I seek to be real.  Strength is real.  Life is real.  Challenges are real.  And success can and should be so.

So what is my point this morning?

Think about your classroom, whether you are a student or educator, counselor or administrator.  How would the IT Factor strengthen the culture in the classroom and on campus?  How would genuine gratitude for the trials and triumphs as blessings or teachers help with building a stronger classroom?  More specifically, how would exploring that for which we are each most thankful help us get to know and accept one another more?  How would it help in being more open and celebratory, expecting the best?  I can say that when I get to know my students better, the classroom is better.  When I get to know my colleagues better, the staff room is better.

And what does that do for Integrity?  What would that do for living our best, faithful to our ideals and who we are at best?  How would that impact unleashing who we each are at our best?  Then, how would that unleashing strengthen our ability to make better choices and stands based on who we are at that state of best?

Consider these questions for your workplace, business or community.  How would being truly thankful for that for which we are most thankful help us to better articulate who we are and let others know who we are?  How would it increase understanding and connection when we know and can lay claim to that which makes us most happy and grateful.  How does having a better understanding of what makes each of us truly tick help us in building the kind of team or community that is both aware and ready to work better together?  And how does that impact the integrity of each of us and the whole as well?

Rhetorical questions?  Possibly.  I humbly suggest that when we can articulate that for which we are virtuesmost thankful, we start reading our own tea leaves and can better describe who we are at core.  Others can get to know us better when they understand that for which we are most thankful and why we are so thankful for those things.  I suggest, again humbly, that such knowledge helps us to lay claim to who we are at best… and that empowers us to make better decisions, choices and stands, individually and collectively.

Ultimately, I suggest that you start deeper conversations.  Get to know both yourself and others by exploring your highest order of thankfulness.  Heighten the conversation within and without, to move beyond the simple and polite talk.  I am not suggesting counsel one another.  I am suggesting get to know one another.   Any great TV or movie or book really gets going when we get a better understanding of the real character at play.  When we better know ourselves and others, our integrity is advanced… and that engages us to make those better and wiser decisions, choices, actions and stands.  Snape knew this truth.

So, get real.  Get thankful.  Get talking.  Get listening.  Get each other.  Real conversation leads to real knowledge and real knowledge strengthens integrity.  Last night on WHATSUPWITDAT, I experienced it first hand.  Tomorrow night, we explore it live on Facebook @ Barry Lewis Green.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

PS

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about voicing, exploring, Educatoridentifying, 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 and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

PS

Facing fear, can be a road to both Thankfulness and Integrity alike.  Some perspectives on same.

PPS

A simple musical message on thankfulness.

PPPS

An addendum, with this video talking about The IT Factor.

PPPPS  🙂

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.

 

What Makes a Leader?

Thanks to Harry Tucker and his sharing on LINKEDIN, I read this piece on leadership in China this Strengthmorning.  If leadership is of interest to you, I believe that it is certainly worth your time.

Then, this past week there was this… the August 20 Tragically Hip ConcertGord Downie is a story in courage, honesty, integrity and leadership.  His living story illicits such responses as this video.  Millions have been moved, myself included.  In my own attempt at response, I wrote this on Facebook the day after the live show.

Maybe one of the things we can take away from the example of Gord Downie and #thetragicallyhip is the importance of living a life and work true to you… your craft… your meaning. Maybe just maybe one of the great gifts of thanks we can give back for his and their example is to find our own craft or profession or vocation, that to which we will give our love and excellence. I said many years ago that WEALTH is When Love And Excellence Take Hold. What we witnessed last night and over the years is a band that understands that. We can best honor that by learning and living from the example. Now there is a legacy. Thank you to Gord and the band for showing us what commitment, passion, purpose, honor and love looks like. While I personally was not a huge fan of the music (though I liked it) I am a huge fan of their personhood. Peace.

This all brings me to a simple question.  When I teach on Trait Theories of Leadership, I suggest to my business students that the people they see as leaders are seen by them as such because those leaders possess 101 on Blackcertain traits or strengths of character that my students believe a leader must possess.  In other words, Trait Theories of Leadership say that we pick who we see as leaders based on whether or not they possess what we believe to be the strengths of a leader.  With that in mind, taking both the aforementioned article on leadership in China and the story of Gord Downie into account, what strengths of character come to mind for you that a leader might possess?

This is no trivial exercise.  Acknowledging these strengths tells you something about what you admire and what you seek in a leader… and it gives insights into what you might like to develop and strengthen in yourself.  That is why we call it leadership, by example.  Gord Downie has sampled it for us.  What do we admire about that and him and how can we reflect it in ourselves?  How can we reflect it at school, work and community?

Leadership begins with character.  Begin there.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a strength coach.  His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and sing-300x200resourcefulness.  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 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.  As part of that work, we offer you …

our buffet of FREE services here.

 

 

Learning from Kim and Yoda

For some fun and purpose, have a watch and listen to this tune by Kim Mitchell.  I have always loved this song for its joyfulness and truthfulness.  It is campy, catchy and connects on a message.

“I know there’s a lot of feathers but not much chicken.”

As we finish up some thoughts on excellence, I am purposefully diverted to the virtue of humility as well.  Consider both by pondering the Virtues Reflection Cards from The Virtues Project.

Virtues- ExcellenceVirtues- HumilityLifelong learnerstrive for masterywork in progressresilient, not perfect.  Personally, I contend that perfect as a noun is a myth, but as a verb… it is humble and excellent, and real.

I think that humility and excellence ultimately walk hand in hand.  Excellence, true excellence, demands understanding that we are a “work in progress”.  It demands that we understand that our quest for excellence requires us getting that we are not there yet.  Humility is not about beating ourselves up.  It is about understanding that we both matter and have work to do.  We are enough, for now… but there is a journey. Great champions, beyond their bravado in the game, know this.  You cannot take things for granted and you cannot assume that you have “the answer”.  To master anything, you are always the student.

Why do I say this?  Well, for 30 years I have been in the leadership training and development field.  I have learned from a wide range of incredibly gifted and humble people who understood that they were students at best.  I have been blessed to know them and learn from them… and I pray that I will continue to be so blessed with those who have been in my life, are in my life and who will come into my life.  I intend to learn for a lifetime.  The words of Desiderata speak to me on this…

DesideracaIt speaks to me of humility and excellence, walking hand in hand.  Champions who have stood the test of time; they get this.  You are not “the answer”.  As soon as you think yourself it; the master, the guru… you are not.  What we all are, if we but realize it, is a part of the process of our respective crafts.  You might advance your craft.  You might even set records… but others will come to break them.  You honor the craft, on the field, at work or in life.  Substance comes from humility and the desire for excellence.  It is the meat of true and enduring and legitimate service and success alike.

I have long said that the world needs no more gurus or speakers.  It needs and cries out for humble and learning servant leadership, willing to hear and develop and, by example, lead.  We need no more messianic messages.  The answers we seek to the needs of the world require our humble search for excellence in our chosen crafts.  Tonight, on Facebook, I wrote…

Find your niche of service… what you do best and for whom you do it. None of us are “the answer”. Each of us have “an answer” to a particular need. Find that need, serve it and the world is a better place.

Then, I saw this video by Tim McGraw.

And then, this pic….

True LeadersThey are all speaking to me, this night.  Yoda never sought out and preached.  He shared his wisdom and demanded excellence, but he sought not to preach, but to teach.

YodaHere is the way I see it.  The greatest teachers are the life long students.  The eminent masters are the humble wayfarers.  They see themselves not as “the answer” and run from titles like guru.  There are many in this world who are working and earning the right to offer their own piece of wisdom… and together we each, if we do our humble homework, bring our piece of the answer to the table.  We find our niche… how and who we best serve; and we approach it with humility and excellence… knowing we are not THE GAME.  We just get to play our part in it.

So, to walk with excellence, I suggest that we walk with humility.  Mastery will take care of itself when we do.  Then, we go beyond the feathers and get to the chicken.  Then, we truly serve.  Walk and work with humble excellence.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

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