Wednesday, February 28, 2007

a very small flame

So, this is where I found myself before heading off into the world yesterday.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I find it is very important to find a moment of inspiration before starting the day. Today that moment was long in coming. And even still, I'm not completely convinced that where I am pointed is exactly the direction I want to be taking.

But non-the-less, it is more than where I started off from.

And if nothing else I recognize that the best I have to give today is far from the best I've ever done - but right now it is all that I have.

"I think the guys who are really controlling their emotions ...
are going to win."
— Tiger Woods

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Powerful. Intense. Ardent. Fervent. Profound. Impassioned.

I've been giving a great deal of thought to leadership. In my mind, management and leadership are entirely different entities and I'm not even sure they can coexist.

1.the act or manner of managing; handling, direction, or control.
2.skill in managing; executive ability: great management and tact.
3.the person or persons controlling and directing the affairs of a business, institution, etc.: The store is under new management.
4.executives collectively, considered as a class.
reference -

The quality of being able to lead others; leadership ability.
reference -

Management has class structure, which tips the scale toward an 'us vs. them' mentality. It lends itself to rigid structures within an organization where the value of people is diminished to their 'production' capabilities. To me, management has negative connotations, perhaps because I've been 'managed' and found it degrading. By definition management is the need to handle, direct and control those in some one's employ.

Leadership, on the other side of the fence, can turn out to be one of those illusive and shadowy ideals. No doubt that it is a current buzz word in industry these days - but lets be honest, under the guise of leadership, traditional management practices prevail.

Leadership is for all. Leadership is about personal integrity. Great leaders know how to direct their own lives and can do so with consideration for the greater good. Leadership is about personal responsibility. That I choose everyday to get up with purpose and accomplish in my own life the goals and objectives that I have set out. Leadership is about making a difference. Having courage in the face of those who are 'managed' to act on my own accord and live up to the high standards I set for myself.

I believe that as a society we need to move from a climate of management to leadership. As a teacher, I know that it is easier to manage than to lead - because it means putting people in their place and assessing them on well defined qualitative and quantitative rules of engagement and production values. In the end, a student passes or fails all under my direction and control. When a student steps out of the defined model, we have well established methods of punishment to bring them back into the model boundaries.

I am certain that within organizations such as schools, we still need boundaries. And leadership is about discipline, but it is self-discipline and the edges are blurred. There is more room for mistakes. There is more room for creativity. More room for expressive thought. More room to find new ways. And most importantly, more room for the individual and their unique contributions.

It is very possible and perhaps even easier to manage people without knowing who those people are. To lead, one must care about themselves and the well fare of those around them. Leading is not a 9 to 5 job. Leading does not allow time to 'numb-out' in front of the tv every night.

Leading is first and foremost about finding that fire within yourself. Believing that your contributions matter and that your still small voice is burning with desire to be more than you have ever been. We need to fan these flames until they are hot enough to consume any fear that prevents us from being the leader that is inside us.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

May 31, 2006 - journal entry

I recall a neighbor once say that she inteded to grow where she was planted. For her, this meant making the best of her life - a recent divorcee and empty nester with more or less a menial job. When she spoke the words it was with such faith and contentment. For a time, I too strove to flower, where I too was planted, right next door.

Since that time, ten years give or take a day, I've been in and out of season many times. I've weathered climate change, soil conditions and varying amounts of rain. In my own way, I've grown wherever I've been planted, just not always in a rosey well manicured garden kind of way.

I have a new neighbor now and I notice a diffence between my garden and hers. She understands plants and their unique needs. She's nurturing but not necessarily patient. She gives thought to the surrounding plants, their height and color and overall feeling she is trying to achieve.

Sometimes we get planted in the wrong spot - and need to be moved!

Friday, February 09, 2007


Several years ago now, I read a little book that had a major impact on the way I live and view (my) life. The premise is that there are four ideals we as human beings should philosophically agree to and in doing so we will be altered in the way we relate to both ourselves and with those we walk through life with. In fact I was so moved by the work that I incorporated it into a class I was teaching on career and personal planning. I've taught a myriad of topics but this I felt in my toes, that if ever there was a message we were in need of hearing, well, this was it.

One could consider this a way of taming our ego without actually using the "e" word. Or perhaps just as a way to deal with both the good and bad hands life can deal. It starts with 'I' and I have found that unless I am in the act of indulging my ego identity, the 'I' often needs to be confronted and disciplined for its reckless behaviour.

Mastery is a lifetime - well, if you're me it is a lifetime! and just this week I experienced both the first and second agreement most regrettably and shamefully. In a moment of frustration I did not use my words impeccably. And within the span of a few hours and much soul searching I realized that although the words were directed at another, they were really about me and what I was dealing with inside. Someone just conveniently walked into the line of fire.

So as a refresher to myself and hopefully inspiration to you, here are the Agreements as taken from this the author's site.

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.


Yes, words to live by. Namaste.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Waning & Waxing

Most days I take my evaluations of the world a little too serious. I'm certain that global warming will change the course of all of our lives very drastically over the next 30-50 years. What gw (here i am refering to global warming not george w.) doesn't alter, technology most certainly will. My cynical self poses the query of 'what the fuck?' And internally I wonder what today will really have to do with tomorrow.

I'm a reasonably responsible adult. I do the things the big bank commercials have subliminally trained me to do. I have a mortgage. I save for retirement. I have great credit. In return the banks salaciously seduce me with carrots on sticks of promises for future greatness and financial success.

Meanwhile. I am just me. And I think 95% of all this is bullshit. We are gullible pawns. I mean really, what difference would it make if I had bad credit? Maybe. Especially if I buy into the world ideal that things make me happy happy happy.

But that leaves me with a more encompassing problem. I don't buy into the ideology. And this leaves me constantly questioning why I live as though I do!

PS. I am not opposed to people being shiny. But shiny all the time is just annoying.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Unfinished. Unwritten.

I was seventeen when I met him. I recall a few unexpected but pleasant games of one-on-one basketball that seemed like the perfect opportunity to bump into the other. But still, I paid him little attention. My friend was interested though so I encouraged her strongly, to no avail.

Soon he started calling. Information calls. Did I know what was happening when, kind of calls.

Then he started taking me places. Like coffee shops and walks on the green. Sometimes he would hold my hand, but rarely. I thought him to be quite funny and boyish in a rugged sort of way.

He had this red cable knit sweater that was a favorite of mine. And sometimes, in the evening when we were out with friends, he'd offer it for me to wear. I loved the way it smelled.

A few months later he kissed me. And I decided to stop dating other boys, even though he never asked me to.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Friday, February 02, 2007

Mission Impossible?

Okay, so normally I wouldn't shame myself quite this badly. But something needs to be done about this situation! My office has become an all too realistic replica of my bedroom when I was 16 years old. Yikes. An entire room version of the everything drawer.

But no more. Enough is enough.

So I'm getting down to business and Sheryl (Crow) is going to help me through.