Elements and LEAPS in Las Vegas

It’s been over two weeks since I returned from the International Coach Federation Conference in Las Vegas and I have had some time to let the ideas and experiences percolate a bit.   While I was there I felt like a big sponge, absorbing so much, with joy, I must say.   I have felt this way each time I have attended one of these conferences, and then the experience stays with me for months and informs much of what I do.  Now, having had a little time to reflect, a theme emerged for me:  a big part of what the conference was about was love.  There were three keynote speakers and two of them spoke overtly of love and one more obliquely.    And add this to the fact that I have just listened to Steve Jobs’ commencement address to Stanford graduates where one of his big messages was to follow our hearts,  our intuition, and to not settle, but keep up the search to find what we love.  He stated: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”.

This was my fourth time attending such a conference.  There is something about the coming together of 1,000 plus people from all over the world who are trying, in various ways, to make the world a better place, and make a living too.   A vibrant energy is in the air.   During these events, we are told, over and over, by incredibly talented and respected people, from all disciplines, who come to speak to us, that our profession is well-placed to do just that: make the world a better place, one person at a time.    And it’s true, we are.  The coaching process offers people a chance to reflect on what matters most to them, create meaningful goals and the help and accountability to reach and often far surpass those goals.   Coaching gives people the opportunity to tap into their whole self, including their imaginations and their hearts and their bodies, not just their intellects.   My tag line for my website, “Making Room For You” is a reference to this; when you are really in touch with what is meaningful to you and you are acting in a way every day that reflects that, you can grow “bigger”.  You will grow towards your potential.   My coaching facilitates this growth, by making room for you in the coaching process, so you can then make more room in your life for the bigger You.   With all the stimulation in the world these days,  it is important to take the time to reflect and remember what’s really meaningful to you, preferably well before a crisis hits.  Coaching is, among other things, forced reflection time.  When you are in the habit of reflecting, your actions can be more intentional and in line with what’s important to you.  You will feel more satisfaction and fulfillment in your life.   (If you haven’t already downloaded my PDF on Reflection, I invite you to do so now- click to the right of this post.  You will then also be on my email list to receive these posts and any other news from me in your inbox.  I promise to only send you really valuable information, at reasonable intervals.)

So, here are a couple of highlights from the conference to illustrate the theme of love:

Sir Ken Robinson, whose book “The Element” I read in the Spring, was a big draw for me.    He writes of how finding your passion changes everything.   And this is what he spoke of at the conference.  The “element” is the place where your passion intersects with your talents.    It’s not enough to work at what we are good at; we must love it too, and be spiritually fed from it.  (I think this is a challenge for people who happen to be good at quite a few things, which is true of many a female and male professional, as well as others.  They can end up, perhaps by default, just working away at one of those things, with often great material success, without finding the activity/work that they are both good at and passionate about.  But are they really working to their full potential, are they fuelled by their work or are they generally drained by it?  If you are one of these people, what would it be like for you to explore this idea further?  What would it be like for you to take up the challenge of finding your Element?  It is never, never too late!  And it might be a much less daunting a challenge that you think.  I am a big fan of small steps and tweaks, having seen the changes they can work.  If you are curious about this, I would be delighted to have a conversation with you about it.  Please contact me.) Sir Ken Robinson continued, we are facing a crisis in natural resources and we are facing a crisis in human resources.  We must do things differently if we are to survive as a human race, to be sustainable.  So, we have to dig more deeply into who we are in order to solve this problem.   (Michael Gelb, another keynote speaker,  called our current challenge a challenge of the imagination age, as opposed to the information age.)  Sir Ken Robinson told and asked us:  “To be born is a miracle, so what are you going to do with your life?”  He stated that many people don’t enjoy their weekday lives at all, they just work to get themselves through to the weekend.  (Been there, done that!  Not fun.)

Steve Farber, author of “The Radical Leap”, among many other books, spoke on the last day and he exhorted more about love in the context of leadership.  Specifically, his advice was:  do what you love in service of those who love what you do.  It’s not enough to just go on merrily doing what you love, it must be in service of people who love what you do.  It’s a dance, a duet, not a soliloquy.  I loved this speech because he is so clearly a respected leadership expert in the business world, and the first and most important thing that comes out of his mouth is talk of love.   He puts the love first.   After that, there came the rest of his LEAP acronym,  generate energy (if we love what we do, we generate energy), inspire audacity (it’s about creating the energy to do something audacious, a bold and blatant disregard for normal constraints in order to change the world for the better), and provide proof (prove how we are going to change the world, walk the talk, lead by example).   And, he added, that in order to make the “LEAP”  you will be feeling many “OSM”s, that is “Oh Sh– Moments”.  It’s a natural part of the process.

All in all, the conference has left me energized, hungry for more ideas and learning and eager to even more fully understand how I can do what I love in service of those who love what I do.  It’s the latter part of that which is my focus this Fall as I have been reaching out to people to more fully understand what my clients’ and potential clients deep needs and wants are.   In service of that, I will be sending out a survey and asking you for your help in furthering my undersanding of these issues so that I can be of better service to you.  I am aware that we are all connected and that pretty much anything we do involves collaboration and community.   I invite you to collaborate (and conspire!) with me to help us all work towards finding our “Element” and putting it into action with a great big LEAP!   My hope is we call all do our own small part to make this world a better place and live in a more sustainable way.     Please watch for my survey at the beginning of November and collaborate with me by answering the questions and sending it on to friends and family.   In exchange, I will provide those who respond with an information product that is tailored to helping solve the challenges that come to light in the survey.  Thank you!

Inquiries for you to reflect on:
Have you found your “Element”?  See the bolded questions for you in the third paragraph of this post.
How could you find ways (even very small ways) to integrate more love into your life, be it love for someone close to you or passion for your work, or some other form?   Keep me posted!


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