All posts by Diane

In the Presence of Greatness

Some of the most memorable performances I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy have been Springsteen concerts.  The boss.  I’ve stood in the sold out stadiums before the show started along with thousands of other people waiting eagerly for the music – and the magic – to begin.

And Springsteen really does create magic.  In a matter of minutes, he seems to effortlessly transform the entire building and everyone in it into a kind of portal that vibrates with possibility, energy, and spirit.  Throughout the rest of the evening, he takes his audience right into the music with him and allows everyone to become a part of it.  I have never left a Springsteen concert feeling anything less than incredibly inspired and somehow renewed – as though some part of me I didn’t even know I had woke up while I was there and begged to be released into the world.

The last time I saw Bruce in concert I was musing over the fact that he, like all of us, has at one time or another most likely ordered a hamburger at a fast food joint or stood in line at the grocery store.  And I reveled over what it would be like to be standing there behind him – perhaps before he recognized his own inner genius and believed in it enough to write and record the music that would inspire others to give life to their own.

Would I know that I was standing in the presence of greatness?  Could I somehow feel it?  Or would I move through the rest of my day unaware of how close I’d come to magic?

And then I began to wonder about the people I actually do stand in line behind in the grocery store these days.  Who’s to say that one of them isn’t destined to touch the lives and transform the worlds of many as well with their own unique talents and passions?

In December of 2007, the Washington Post persuaded Joshua Bell, one of the finest classical musicians in the world to be part of a social experiment.  On a cold January morning, this internationally acclaimed virtuoso stood leaning against a wall next to a trash can in a Washington DC metro station with a baseball hat on his head playing some of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth over $3 million dollars.

Over the course of the forty five minutes that he played, a total of 1,097 people passed by this musician who only two days prior played a sold out theater in Boston’s Symphony Hall where the seats averaged $100.  Only seven people stopped and stayed – most of them only for a minute or two.  Twenty seven gave money, mostly change, for a total of $32 and some cents.  He ended each piece with no applause, no acknowledgement of his performance – or even his existence.

If people could be in the presence of someone like Joshua Bell while he was performing without stopping to appreciate and savor it for even a moment, perhaps it is also feasible that we are in the presence of greatness every day in some way – without even knowing.  It could be in the person who serves you your morning coffee, the guy in the cubicle next to you, one of your own children.  Maybe it could even be the person who stares back at you in the mirror.

Copyright Synchronistics Coaching & Consulting 2010.  All rights reserved.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy Leader, Know Thyself and Give Presence.  Download these and other articles for free at www.DianeBolden.com/articles.  While you are there, you can subscribe to receive a new feature article each month.  You will also receive my free report on 10 Traps Leaders Unwittingly Create for Themselves – and How to Avoid Them.

A Leader’s Blueprint

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 Have you ever walked by a building under construction and been curious about what was being built?  Perhaps there were people working diligently, each focusing on their own specific task.  Maybe there were steel girders, half constructed walls, and unidentifiable objects at some stage of completion.

At first glance, it may appear chaotic and messy.  But amidst the sawdust and cement blocks there is something that pulls it all together.  Though we may not know exactly what is being built, over time the construction begins to take shape and we start to recognize a room here, and another there.  And then we may begin to surmise the purpose and function of each room.

As the walls are plastered and the paint is applied, the appearance becomes neater.  And suddenly, it is completed in all its glory – a stunning compilation of raw materials, sweat, and focused action.

Perhaps we too build things in this way.  It is nice to know in advance exactly what we are building.  But at times things may feel chaotic, disconnected and random.  We have some experiences that uplift us and others that disappoint.  We may find ourselves without an explanation of why certain events and experiences are taking place.

But maybe underneath it all, there is a larger plan at work – one that will reveal itself over time.  As we undertake each new experience, another wall is constructed and a new room is being built.  What if we were willing to experience our lives with the same wonder and curiosity with which we look upon that building that is under construction?  And what if we were able to engender that same enthusiasm and optimism in everyone around us?

Are you willing to entertain the thought that somewhere within you there is a perfect blueprint of everything your life and your leadership will bring about?  And can you delight in the mystery of its gradual unfolding?

Copyright Synchronistics Coaching & Consulting 2010.  All rights reserved.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy In the Flow and Life’s Perfect Classroom.  Download these and other articles for free at www.DianeBolden.com/articles.  While you are there, you can subscribe to receive a new feature article each month.  You will also receive my free report on 10 Traps Leaders Unwittingly Create for Themselves – and How to Avoid Them.

ABOUT THIS BLOG

The more I work with people, the more I realize how very similar and connected we all are.   At one time or another, we all ponder deeper questions of who we are, what it all means, and how we can take what we’ve got and use it to make an impact in some small (or large) way.  More and more, people seem to be focusing their energy and attention on creating a life of meaning and significance and bringing more of who they really are to what they do.

This act of bringing out the very best of ourselves and others and focusing unique talents, strengths and energy into something that contributes to a greater good is what I call leadership.  It transcends vocation, title and role.  And it is more important now than ever.

Every day gives us a new opportunity to learn more about what we are capable of, what is possible, and how we can become part of something greater than ourselves.  We learn both through our disappointments and our successes, as well as those of others.  The best leaders habitually look beneath the surface to behold something greater and find a way to leverage it.  There is much to be said on the convergence of life, learning and leadership.  And that is exactly what this blog is about.

I believe there is something to be gained from collectively musing and reflecting on every day experiences.  Perhaps by examining seemingly unrelated events, we can understand and appreciate the synchronistic current that seems to pulse through all of our lives.  In the process we can unearth and harness the raw potential that lies waiting to be rediscovered within each of us – and in so doing, practice true leadership.

I don’t have all the answers.  It seems no one really does.  But I do have a lot of questions.  And sometimes all it takes to find what we seek is curiosity coupled with the awareness that these answers come from many sources.  May this blog be one more source of that wisdom – through the collective pondering and musing of a community of seekers like me and all the people I have had the good fortune to cross paths with over the course of my life.

Welcome friends, and Namaste.

For more on learning from and leveraging your everyday experiences, download Life’s Perfect Classroom at www.DianeBolden.com/articles and subscribe to the Synchronistically Speaking ezine while you are there.