June 2011
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Month June 2011

Lost and found

My mother died in December. She was 94. Last Saturday, a week ago today, was her 95th birthday. She was ready to go. I miss her.

My brother died in 2009. He was 60. He was not ready to go. While we didn’t see each other often, I miss him too.

My dad died in 1997. We were the apple of each other’s eye. I still miss him.

There were four of us when I was growing up. Now it’s just me. I’m getting used to it. There’s no more buffer. Ready or not,

A revisionist history …

One of my clients, a career woman named Mary, wife and mother of two school-age kids, has been feeling so overwhelmed that she wants to request a 30% reduction in her workload. And she’s willing to take a 30% reduction in income. In the past few months, she has created several maps of how her life would look, less this 30%. She likes what she sees.

Here’s the hitch. Part of her just can’t say “No” when there’s work to be done. She’s always taking on more. Even when she has no energy for the extra effort, a voice deep inside is urging her on.

So she knows that unless she actually says no and does less,

The answer to how …

The work I do with leaders is not easy, nor is it for the faint of heart. One common question I hear, especially when leaders are struggling to hold others accountable or to change how they and their organizations work, is “How? How do I do this?”

It’s a seductive question and one I typically reframe within a larger context. I learned a lot from a master at doing this: author and consulting expert Peter Block. Check out his book The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters.

Here’s a taste to whet your appetite.

There is something in the persistent question How? that expresses each person’s struggle between having confidence in their capacity to live a life of purpose and yielding to the daily demands of being practical. … My premise is that this culture, and we as members of it, have yielded too easily to what is doable and practical and popular. In the process we have sacrificed the pursuit of what is in our hearts.