I recently delivered our Leadership Basics program to a really great group at Bureau of Reclamation. This is a fun program to lead because the participants really love reconnecting with who they are. The morning of the first day, I do this exercise on values; because I believe that a component of leadership presence comes from living your values at work. Someone that I had invited to observe the session was noticeably touched as she gained a deeper level of awareness about who she is at her very center, and what is crucially important for her. Our lives can get so full and yet we can feel so empty.
There is a little model I keep playing with that helps me make sense of the larger complexity that is life. I have this acronym that I call the Power of Y. I go back and forth thinking it is a bit cheesy and then later I fall back in love with the symbolism and meaning it creates for me. Anyway, I think of it as a pattern of integrity. If any of you have ever read the book Steering by Starlight, the author Martha Beck tells a story about how this guy had to have his nose reconstructed from a piece of his ear, and how from time to time his nose kept trying to grow in to an ear as the cells tried to regroup into the essence of what they were intended to be. It sounds a bit far-fetched, I know, but there you have it. I had to do a little research myself, because it felt unworldly to me like something from a Dr. Seuss book. That created this image in my mind of a caricature with an ear growing from the place that his nose should be. It is not my intent to make light of another’s tragedy and the real lesson here is there is a pattern integrity that tells a cat to be a cat rather than a dog, an ear to be and ear, and you to be who you were meant to be.
So back to my main point, this Power of Y that I was penciling out and fixated on some time ago, only recently reentered my awareness when I came across it again while going through some old notes. Take a look at the diagram below. What do you see?
Do you believe like me that it is your life’s work to uncover the truth that lies within…to remember who you really are and what you have to offer? I know you might be thinking that if the Power of Y truly is like a blue print of who we are at the core and it conspires to shape us in to what we were always intended to be then doesn’t that feel a bit like fate? Yes and No. I’m not advocating fate as the preferred explanation. I do think fate gives us the pieces and the parts but it is ultimately up to us to align them in such a way that they create a kaleidoscope that is rich in texture and color. The perfect pattern that makes our heart sing and the heart sound we create is exactly what the world needs… and the possibility of it already exists embedded within you.
Why fight it? If an ear can’t forget it’s an ear, then you must be working really hard to not be who you are meant to be.
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Deb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement by having a different conversation at work, contact us now.