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Alone Together

Have you ever faced into the wind of an oncoming storm?  Your eyes sting from the dust, your skin burns as you stare into the storm clouds and you fight the instinct, if only for a moment, to run to shelter. The power of nature owns you.
 

Storms come in many guises. American expectations about the economy are the lowest in three decades. Only 17% in a recent Thompson Reuters-University of Michigan survey expect their finances to improve.

These are real dangers in lurching into a new national narrative without a sense of history. To capture a sense of what's possible I recommend Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum's, That Used to Be Us : How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back. They push past the gloom with an annoyingly willed optimism, but the book clearly invites us to move from “alone” to “together” in economic recovery.

All the while, the funhouse mirror of the media and their galloping assaults on competing "truths" fuel a corrosion of our higher impulses.

This environment challenges us all to expect more and be more. And we must try. The full wind of a storm, when it is at our back, can also propel our best intentions.

The time for jingoistic boosterism has passed. Dr. Martin Seligman, a leading expert on optimism, suggests that "the basis of optimism does not lie in positive phrases or images of victory, but in the way you think about causes."

Changing your worldview by seeing all problems as temporary offers an updraft of hope. We must step inside ourselves to see the simple, sustainable beauty and art of our world, the surprises in the storm. Henry Miller reminds us that "confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not yet understood."

By standing in the wind, we can choose to move to a new place where we can see the redrawn boundaries of our life. We can choose to move from “alone” to “together.” We shed elements of our lost selves, sometimes in tears and confusion, to become more aligned and integrated.

We must make an ending to find a new beginning.
This applies to organizations, teams, enterprises and intentions. If more CEO's understood how to harness the natural energy of change, a lasting transformation could happen.

Michael Boyd, artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, was recently asked what he looks for in an actor to play Hamlet. He said that he wanted three things: honesty, simplicity and insight into an "impressive" world. He sought the ethereal poetry of gossamer juxtaposed against the raw courage of steel.

And isn't autumn the perfect season to shed our tired self? We look past the “now” and catch glimpses of a new season, one still obscured by the swirling eddies of dead leaves blowing in the storm. That's change; deciding to move from despair to promise, from “alone” to “together.” The tartness of beginning and hoping doesn't change. You have to stare down the storm and step through it with the knowledge that, after the gale subsides, you’ll discover a new freshness to the air and more connectedness as you rejoin the world.

"When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest."
 Ernest Hemingway, "A Moveable Feast"
 

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OUR WORK:

I am often asked about our work and our global leadership Practice. We help leaders become more effective, and to produce exceptional results. We are in the Performance business.

We partner, assess, coach and support senior leaders and Board members to enhance their effectiveness as leaders and to help them take responsibility for their work and their lives, to lead and live fully. We believe that in a world of possibility we can choose to create conditions for greatness, to alter the forces that act upon us, and to exercise our intention upon the world of business and commerce. We can choose to take responsibility for our lives and our future, and in so doing, unleash incredible energy to live and perform at our best
In our newsletters and commentaries we frequently comment about the elusive path to life balance, the challenge of staying present in our own lives, the invitation to own more of our experience, to live, lead and love more authentically, and to have more fun.
 

Roger Fransecky
rfransecky@apogeeceo.com

-end- metroMAGAZINE

 

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