Thursday, January 22, 2009

Business as unusual?

A flurry of comments, twitters, facebook entries, blogs over this week about the change ahead! I have only blurry memories of President Kennedy, certainly not enough to be able to judge whether Barack Obama compares favourably. But neither do the majority of us utilizing the electronic media for our delivery. All I will write about, as the knowledgeable pundits will be chewing on the phenomenom of Obama-mania for a long time, is President Obama's comment about the "price and the promise of citizenship" and our duties and responsibilities.

I am considering this week the next five years of my life - time for the next five year plan - not just my own progress, but what the collaboration with my colleagues, partners, husband, children and friends will accomplish. It is both an org chart and a design for life. The most critical piece, the element which is the most challenging for me is to formulate the outline without repeating it "as usual". I am building this edifice outside the box, an architectural blueprint for a building without walls or floors which still supports, encloses and holds safe those within. How the hell do I do that?!

Now, I know how to write a business plan, how to organize an enterprise, how to manage a team and I even believe that I operate at a high level with consideration for the future and a willingness to incorporate sustainability. But all of the methods of doing business, all the practices I have developed over the years do not prepare me for this. And yet this is the most significant strategy I have ever created at the most pivotal moment, not only in my life, but in my time. And quite frankly, I am confounded. I don't know what I am doing - not a comfortable place to be sitting, I assure you.

Yet, as I allow myself to explore and relax into thoughts where my busy mind doesn't usually plumb, I begin to observe the faint markings of a trail. There are clearly others ahead, pioneers seeking the same destination. And this is where the responsibility part comes in. In order to conceive of a hereafter that does not replicate what has been, I must also be willing to cast off into unmapped territory. I cannot generate a new way from what I know how to do. I have to trust that the outcome, while not assured as successful, will provide the results essential to keep playing. This is the long game. And it has a cost and an assurance. The price is giving up our fundamental knowingness to travel this perilous path; the promise is what Barack Obama said:

"This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny."

Yes, even me.

Stay tuned - I will happily share the outcome of the day of planning.
(The image above is a wordle of this blog - if you haven't yet, check out )

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Days of fog

Interesting that it took almost a week of fog, completely concealing Maple Bay, for me to realize that I, too, have been in a fog for the last while. Oh, I justify it with the "it's January" line and give myself all kinds of reasons that it is okay to be sleeping in and not out walking. This morning I realized how pervasive both the murkiness of the weather and my state of mind have been. As quite often occurs, the "aha" came in a coaching a client, for which I am eternally grateful for being a coach - I always get as much value as the person I am coaching. What became apparent was that the next year is going to be a roller coaster of ups and downs and the sooner I get onto the ride, the quicker I will be zooming along.

I have been resisting what is possible this year - looking at the all the rationale for it not being an extraordinary twelve months. This manifests in insignificant, petty, trivial behaviors that do not lead to action. I waste time, find "busy" work to do, avoid the steps that would have me being engaged. It is then a short jump to being discouraged and so very tired...

What I am committed to - all of us, connected, remembering and being known - won't come out of those well worn paths. It is only in recognizing and celebrating the incredible journey ahead, all the work, toil and energy it will take, that is actually going to translate into the fruition I desire. "Fruition": the manifestation of good efforts. That about says it all.

And how does this "aha" become the action? As we all love insights, especially juicy ones that shine such clarity on how it has been, my experience has been that it often stalls there. Well, my advice to a client would be - get a coach! Establish the structure to encourage the little spark of insight to stay lit. So, that is next - the first step I will take is the one I have put off for months - finding a coach for me. I am playing a big game here, I have declared that I WILL make a difference in the world. Best to have my team in place in order to win at this contest.

On the "Grammy" front (like "Grammy Hall", I love it) - my daughter and I went through bags of baby clothes last weekend - we had so much fun. Of course the ensembles we created for this oh-so-stylish little person were all for a boy as that is where the contributions had come from, and we are not yet clear on baby's gender, it grounded this miracle that is happening in our lives in reality. I wonder if this awareness that I have of the incredible nature of this event comes from being one generation removed? I sure don't remember having thoughts like this when I was pregnant. Must be the gift of being a grandparent. Whew, I am very grateful that I am not going through the physical-ness of having a baby inside me - I just get to share the intimacy of it with my very generous and loving daughter!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009 - what will be the subtitle for this year?

2009 - it has been suggested by several of my thoughtful and thought provoking friends that this is a year of signficant transitions and changes and we will not believe what will have transpired by the time the calendar rolls around to December. While I sit in my office, overlooking Maple Bay on Vancouver Island, in, arguably the most delightful place in Canada, I am aware of the responsibility I hold for the months ahead - personally. I pause when I type that, considering how arrogant that sounds/looks but I can no longer be quiet and small and hide behind those who appear bigger and stronger. "They" will take care of that - I can't affect that - what difference would it make - these are familiar mantras of mine. This year, in this time, they definitely ring hollow.

As a coach, a lover, a mother, a friend and a proud citizen of Canada, I am taking a stand for visionaries and their visions in order to push the momentum forward. I will make use of the resources and networks I have in my life to advance my agenda. I won't hesitate to speak for that agenda - for connecting people - and watching the ripple of those connections as they glide outward in larger and larger circles.

I often say that I have the privilege, as a coach, to engage with others at a profound level, to bear witness to the shift from thoughts in heads to movement in hearts. Now, as I am speaking to more potential coaches about the opportunities and possibilites of training and developing skills in coaching, I am so aware of the power of our words. Never before has it been as clear to me that we are speaking our future into existance. The challenging conversations we are having, the heartfelt dialogue, the controversial articles we are reading, the radio stations we are listening to (shameless plug for CBC Radio 2 - rocks my world!), these words shape our world. Choose yours with care.

This year - 2009 - I will become a grandmother, a role I have been considering for some time. As a grandmother, an elder, (dare I say it?), a "crone", I will have reached a position from which to impart wisdom; a daunting task. However, what I most look forward to is a new playmate, someone new to have fun with. Yes, 2009, the year of merriment? That would be unexpected!