June 29, 2013 at 1:05 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

– A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

There are so many things that happen throughout our lives. We can all think of experiences or circumstances that are challenging for our family, friends, colleagues or those within our communities or further afar. Strength and courage are just two of the qualities that are on display daily as we as humans encounter such challenges as the ones described above.

This week I was reminded of the value of ‘champions’ in our lives. Within my work here in Australia and when I was working overseas in the past I have met and been inspired by so many children and young adults who are navigating life’s journey with less than ideal environments, conditions or treatment. Their ability to remain open to exploring the possibilities, discovering their potential and acting authentically was and is significantly impacted by the CHAMPIONS that play a role in their lives. This can be said for all of us as well, such is the impact of the interdependent communities in which we live.

“How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet
“You don’t spell it…you feel it.” – Pooh”

– A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

I love this quote, just like I love Winnie the Pooh, such a simple metaphor for how we create a positive difference in the lives of others. As Pooh explains, love is something that is felt within our spheres of influence. We are all capable of establishing connection, fostered through a genuine interest in the contribution and potential of others, while holding each other accountable through shared belief, care and support.

Acknowledging and celebrating the champions that are inspiring and empowering others in our communities shifts our focus to the positive difference we can all make. I witnessed many of these champions this week, within the schools I had the pleasure to work in, as well as in various spheres of our global village. Waking up each day with an attitude of I can, a belief in you can and inspiring we can is a journey we can all walk.

“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh.”

– A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

Today is what we have, an opportunity to use our thoughts, words and actions to make a difference for self, others and the world around us. Who are your champions and how can you be a champion for others?

Appreciating Complexity

June 22, 2013 at 12:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.”

~Harry Emerson Fosdick

I am consistently inspired by the students I have the pleasure to facilitate our programs for. Being able to engage and listen to their processing, questions, insights and ideas is a privilege. Yesterday was no exception.

Within the Lead with Courage: Stage 3 Leaders Program experience that I provided, the Year 5 cohort demonstrated their willingness to explore the possibilities, discover their potential and act authentically. Their enthusiasm, curiosity, experimentation and depth of thoughts, words and actions on the day was impressive.

A theme that kept coming up for these students within the various challenges and discussion was the complexity involved in the leadership journey, each individuals ability to use their daily thoughts, words and actions to make a difference for themselves and others. Each time it was reflected on by the students though it was from an attitude of empowerment. Rather than retreating, they demonstrated an eagerness to show up and foster this quote, ‘leadership is action, not position’ (Donald H. McGannon).

“The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.”

– Douglas Horton

Our individual and shared journeys of potential are grounded in complexity. Everyday we navigate its 86,400 seconds to the best of our ability. So as we encounter any combination of the following list that could go on and on, how will we show up?

Unknowns. Opportunities. Successes. Challenges. Choices. Experiences. Vulnerability. Loss. Fear. Difference. Learning. Perspectives. Assumptions. Courage. Acceptance. Belonging. Joy. LOVE.

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