Although the book has been around since 2009 and the strengths finder assessment has been around even longer, most leaders aren’t familiar with the concept or know how to apply strengths.
Leaders tend to be problem solvers, which leads to being deficiency obsessed. Rather than focus on deficiencies and weaknesses, which will most likely not go away, leaders gain more leverage when they focus on the strengths and gifts they and others bring and capitalize on them. Continue Reading »
What makes a fire burn is space between the logs, a breathing space. Too much of a good thing, too many logs packed in too tight can douse the flames almost as surely as a pail of water would.
So building fires requires attention to the spaces in between, as much as to the wood.
When we are able to build open spaces in the same way we have learned to pile on the logs, then we can come to see how it is fuel, and absence of the fuel together, that make fire possible.
We only need to lay a log lightly from time to time. A fire grows simply because the space is there, with openings in which the flame that knows just how it wants to burn can find its way.
Fire is on my mind. I live in Northern New Mexico. Because of extreme drought, we have fires in the mountains all around where I live. This morning I went outside to ash falling from the sky. Last night I went to bed with a view of fire on the mountaintops by Los Alamos, 30-40 miles or so away. The mountain ridges looked like the cone of a volcano.
Judy Brown’s poem is about a different kind of fire and addresses a different kind of theme about fire. Her poem is about giving space, a light touch, and not micromanaging. It is about allowing what is to be.
One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice– though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. “Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do– determined to save the only life you could save.
I love this poem. It speaks beautifully to finding your own voice and path.
A problem, however, with the poem’s message is that it suggests that other people are a hindrance to this pursuit and suggests that each of us has to journey alone.
Certainly, other people can be a hindrance, especially those who tell us where to step on our journey, “though the voices around you/kept shouting/their bad advice.” Advice is usually unhelpful. Your path is not my path and vice versa. Continue Reading »