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Teenage grandson: leadership guru, by Nancy Dorrier

My grandson, Phillip, 16, and I just returned from a vacation in California.   
He was the last of the grandchildren to go on “a Nana trip,” and we planned the trip with the redwoods in mind. I was happy he hadn't aged out of spending time with his grandmother.  
Around Christmas last year, I wondered to Phillip and his brother Alexander if I would ever become a boring grandmother, if at some point their friends and girls would be more interesting so they wouldn’t want to visit.  “No way,” they said. “We will bring our friends and girls, and oh Nana, you will never be boring.”   So okay, not boring.  Sometimes hard of hearing and not getting the joke, but not boring. And they are happy to repeat themselves and explain the jokes. On the trip to California, Phillip and I saw the redwoods, lots of them. Phillip had his daddy’s drone with him, which he had stayed up late to fix before our early morning flight.  He filmed from the bottom to the top of the thousand-year-old trees.  Spellbin…

Existence, by Jane Smith

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It was Saturday, my typical run-errands day. My list included groceries, a bolt, and a tube of caulk that Phil needed to move the towel holder, which is turning into quite a project. And, oh yeah, a new hair brush from Sally’s Beauty Supply, not on the list but important because I needed it for our upcoming vacation.  
I complete everything in short order (so efficient!), and as I unload the grocery bags from the trunk, I remember the brush.   
Does that ever happen to you? The one thing you know you will remember turns into the one thing you forget? When I go to the grocery store without a list, I may or may not get what I went in for, and I may buy other things that trigger a “get that” response. If I don’t see the thing I went in for, well…who knows?
One of the distinctions of Dorrier Underwood’s work is existence. That means that things--read ALL THINGS--need to have a physical location to exist. If something is only in our minds, it doesn’t have any real existence. It is only a tho…

Bats in the Bedroom, by Laura Neff

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It was about 11:00 p.m. when I heard my husband Robert hollar, “WOAH!!!” from the bedroom.

I could tell this was a hollar that signaled, “HELP NEEDED, NOW,” versus an exclamation produced by seeing something cool on his iPad. Sure enough, as I leapt down the stairs two at a time, I heard, “THERE’S A BIRD IN HERE. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP?”

In the home we share with two dogs and three indoor/outdoor young cats, we have an agreement: if a critter is alive and in the house, it’s my job to catch and release. If it’s dead, Robert’s on clean-up duty. This was clearly an “alive” situation, and realizing that, I took a deep breath as my feet touched the first floor, steadying my energy to interact calmly with our frightened feathered guest.

As I skidded to a halt in the bedroom door, I could see something whirling fast around the room in absolutely perfect circles, flying at a level just under the whirring ceiling fan, not touching a thing. As I looked closer, I noticed an umbrella-like outline on i…

The Case of the Missing Tomato (AKA Fact vs Interpretation), by Kimberly Chatak-Nelson

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It’s a mystery to me!  I looked outside and the first, the one-and-only tomato, on one of our two tomato plants, was gone.  It hadn’t quite ripened and I was going to give it one more day and then pick it.  I had thought about bringing it in a day early and letting it ripen inside, but I felt like if it ripened on the vine it would be tastier.
Now, it’s gone.  
I asked Cliff if he picked it.  He said, “No.”
We both looked at each other.  He said, “Did you pick it?” (I am not sure if he was serious or teasing.)
Now the “What’s happened.” is “The tomato is gone.”
The story that we tell about it is actually stories plural.
An animal picked it. A squirrel took it. I’ve seen big rabbits around. A rabbit ate it. A neighborhood child stole it. Neighborhood kids have been canvassing our tiny deck garden for years, looking forward to taking that one-and-only, prized-by-me tomato.
And Cliff had another story: “Kimberly picked it, forgot she picked it, and ate it. Her memory isn’t what it used to be.”
Ther…

Integrity, Principles, Points of View, Stories to Follow

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Integrity, what is it?
Doing what works, doing what you say you will do, and on time.
Integrity, Principles, stories to follow...
Being related and integrity are the source of results, and that is it.
Look there strategically. Are you building relationships? Are you being true to your word? To your strategy?
Being true to your values Being true to your standards and ideas Being true to who you have said your self to be
Guilt and shame is not integrity They are internal states. You are loyal to your internal state (how you feel) At the cost of being out here Related in the world
You are dancing with disempowering conversations
You could give your word not to do that When you notice a disempowering conversation When you notice being loyal to how you feel about it Unless you are lit up and empowered by how you feel, but mostly regarding not keeping
your word, you are ashamed, guilty and embarrassed
All of which are internal states
Just don't buy into it and entertain the disempowering conversations as t…

How Transformation Lasts, by Nancy Dorrier

Making transformation last or letting it go and then starting over
An opening for love was present in Congress after the shooting at the baseball field where Republican Congress people and staff were practicing for their game against the Democrats.  At the Capitol and at the White House, there was a somber mood, preceded by shock, then condolences and love and a commitment to harmony and affinity in the midst of disagreement about policy.
Compromise and coming to decisions for our country--that's the job of leadership.
At first I was thinking I could write about making transformation last, but itdoesn’t,just like everything else: objects, political parties in the majority, good moods, bad moods, marital bliss.
Transformation exists over time by our continuing to create it.  We create it in conversations for a new human being, a new relationship, making new vows and promises. We create it and recreate it.  We apologize for where we fell short of our commitment, and will fall again, to …

Transparency, by Carol Orndorff

I often hear from people on the leadership team of one client that their boss (call him “Fred”) is not very “transparent” with them.  Lack of transparency is easy to complain about when people feel like they don’t know what’s going on or they’re concerned that they are being left “out of the loop.” People expect and even demand transparency of others, and yet as leaders we can easily overlook our own tendency to be vague or even unintelligible with the people who depend on our leadership.
Merriam Webster defines transparency as the quality or state of being transparent, and then goes on to define the root word as:  free from pretense or deceit:frank easily detected or seen through:obviousreadily understood characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices.

I’ve made it a practice to have Fred open all of our team sessions, welcoming his people and confirming his commitment to the work we are doing with his division.  Prior to any session…