Identity aspect: gravitas

Posted on 12:00 PM by dave

Original image by Johnny Kruger:
I am firewolf.  

This is my identity.  
A lot of who I am can be understood by observing wolves.

While there are many aspects of wolves that I could draw upon for the content of this conversation--  their tribal tendency and territorial nature, just to name a few-- I'm going to focus on their inherent authority.

I've noticed a trend over the past decade or so that when I'm in an organizational context people LOVE my strength-- resourcefulness, provision, and protection-- but not my authority.  When I'm in a pack of humans, I naturally take charge with or without formal agreements... and this can be very disruptive.  

Notice something: I said naturally.  

Before jumping to narcissistic conclusions, consider for a moment that most of us are relatively unaware of how we show up in our own lives.  Perspective on our own personality and heart is difficult to see on our own which is why we need to have a community of others surrounding us.  Most of what I'm about to share has been the result of others speaking into me and seeing me, really seeing me.

When I show up, I don't need to assert myself nor does it take effort on my part to take the lead.  I don't need to jockey for position nor do I feel it necessary to play games.  When I'm standing in the strength of who I am, I lead.  And I don't lead from the sidelines or periphery, I lead from the front.

I'm an Alpha though I don't need to proclaim it to be so; it's simply how I show up.  I have a certain gravitas.  And this aspect of who I am either repels or attracts others to my leadership and leaves little room for middle ground.

This makes me dangerous.  Just like in Narnia, Mr. Beaver could say of me, "Of course he isn't safe... but... he's GOOD."  My heart of intent in all circumstances is always "to set hearts free."  This is the context of my leadership, the underpinnings of my authority: to set hearts free. 

It frustrates me to no end when for the sake of freedom I take the lead only to be boxed up or compressed into a smaller role.  In that place, I will bite when I'm backed into a corner.  I will fight because my territory is in jeopardy.  Freedom is at stake and I refuse to back down, to play small because it's safer.

Remember, I'm an Alpha.  I'm a wolf.  I cannot be tamed or domesticated.  I am meant to roam the wilderness lands with my pack.  Yes, my provocative howl strikes fear into the hearts of the timid, the posers, the wannabes... but it is for their unleashing and advancement that I am fierce and tender.

I am firewolf.
I am dangerous.
I am free.



Posted on 2:42 PM by dave

There is a purpose and intent to how everyone is wired.  Everyone is unique.  At times, we may resonate with the similarities in one another, but we are not identical.

This is by design.  We all have an intrinsic design that calls us forth, that beckons us forward.

Our habitat points us toward our design; our habitat is that space that exists where our heart comes fully alive.

Consider for a moment, Koi.  Koi are designed for freshwater and tend to reside in calm, shallow ponds.  The set boundaries and certainty of their surroundings is the prime environment for them to live peacefully and contently.  They are dependable.

Trout, on the other hand, occupy lakes, streams, rivers and, for some, the ocean.  They live for the rushing streams and myriad of options to swim for miles and miles.  Some trout live for years in the ocean then return to the lakes and streams of their origin.  They are quite the sojourners.

Dolphin thrive in the ocean.  The insurmountable depths and endless sea beckons them to frolic whimsically in the never ending ebb and flow of the tides.  They come and go as they please.  The vastness of aquatic options does not intimidate them.  They are playful explorers.

Each of these aquatic animals are uniquely placed in a habitat-- call it their domain-- where they most come alive.  They thrive in their domain.  It is as if they were made for it and it for them.

We, too, have a habitat, an environment, a domain in which our heart comes most alive.  It is this way by design.  For some of us, like the Koi, it's the trusted syncopation of our corporate career.  The certainty of our schedule.  The regularity of our existence.

For some of us, like the trout, it's the dynamic nature of our daily rhythm.  The ever changing pace of our job.  The fluctuation of our existence.

For some of us, like the dolphin, it's the boundlessness of what the day will bring.  The "anything goes" vastness of our work.  The limitlessness of our existence.

All of us have a domain that fits for us.  To expect a dolphin to thrive in a 1,000 gallon Koi pond would be ludicrous.  To expect a Koi to flourish in the salty waters of the ocean would mean certain death.

One of our goals should be to identify the type of environment that best calls us forth according to our design and the design of the people we interact with on a regular basis.  It would be toxic to expect someone who values structure, substance, and summary to be in a role or environment that requires imagination, fluidity, and adaptation.   The inverse is true as well.

How have you experienced this in relationships or at work?
What habitat makes you most come alive?
If you had a perfect day, what would you be doing?


The Audacity of Brilliance

Posted on 11:42 AM by dave

Image credit:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

As a coach, life intrigues me. I find myself curious about people, buildings, conversations, architecture, landscapes, body language, texture, color, design, etc. I can't help it. We are surrounded by beauty and creativity and it captivates me!
People are the most curious of creatures. The way they think and emote, the way they gather and scatter, the way they connect and disengage-- it's fascintaing!
I had an uncle-in-law, John, who was known to say, "People just know so much," and it enthralled him. He loved a good conversation and enagaged others with a thirst to know them more deeply and true.
I experienced him like this...
Everyone is creative.
Everyone is an artist.
Everyone is a genius.
An engineer creates structures and substructures with intertwining layers of electrical, plumbing, fire suppression-- it's a genius art. A mathematician architects computational techniques and algorithms expanding knowledge and understanding-- it's a genius art. A photographer crafts a visual story bending light around a subject-- it's a genius art!
How many of us deny the existence of our designed genius? Or worse, how many of us have a hint of our genius but don't develop it? We don't lean into it living lesser than the fullness of what we have to offer?
Denying or refusing to acknowledge our genius or not developing it is arrogant and deprives the world of the gift of our design, our uniqueness, our art. This world needs our imagination and ingenuity.
Next time you're in conversation with someone, have an internal dialog with them and ask, "What is powerfully unique and true of you?" Get curious about what makes them come alive. Then, call it forth. Unearth the gold of this naturally creative person and admire it. Show them why they matter and name it.
We need more people like you with the audacity to call forth the brilliance you see and experience.