Author: Melissa OMara

Daring to lift our gaze from our “smaller worlds”

It is easy to get on our daily treadmill and focus our attention on our smaller world of work, family, and friends. Surely, we can all do this and our plates will feel full. Our time and attention could be spent here easily. However, there is a bigger picture at play that is affecting all of our smaller worlds, and I urge you to continue to lift your gaze and shift your attention out to the broader space of the ecology of our planet, and the system of systems that enable our smaller worlds to be either stable or not so stable. This article by Bill McKibben from the Guardian on April 3 points the finger strongly at Exxon Mobile – labeling them consummately arrogant. I won’t judge the people of Exxon Mobile in that way, or even necessarily the entity, because I believe their behavior is a reflection (still) of their market. And who is their market? WE ARE. We buy the fuel that comes out of the ground, that transports our goods, that fuels the tractors that till the land to produce crops we eat, or that feed the animals that become protein on our dining room tables, or in the fast food lane. “They” are “us”. It is hard to imagine a world without fossil fuels. It is also hard to imagine a world where fossil fuel consumption...

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Are you someone that is “Daring Greatly” in your life and work?

On Saturday morning I read a quote on the inside cover of a new book – Daring Greatly – by BrenĂ© Brown whose research on “wholehearted living, shame and resilience” was catapulted into mainstream after her first TED talk on vulnerability, followed by Oprah interviews. This quote by Theodore Roosevelt is quite profound: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points our how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;...

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Introduction to Collective Leadership by PresenceAtWork

From the heart: I have high hopes that we can harness the collective intelligence across multiple disciplines and industries to address some of the very big challenges we face across every industry – creating sustainable, resilient and restorative practices that contribute to a better future for our children. The three principles of the Collective Leadership Allies Program are described in this video by Roelien Bokxem of PresenceAtWork and by me – a student, practitioner, and advocate of collective leadership. Principle 1: Leading from your authentic core Principle 2: Leading from the whole rather than from “The Rock” Principle 3: Leading from the emerging future rather than leading from past history. We also introduce a powerful body-based strengths model, and how these strengths contribute and inter-relate in a collective or human system. In particular, I can validate the importance of understanding the individual strengths and which strengths are most critical in each phase of a change or innovation initiative. This model brings value well beyond what I have ever learned from Myers-Briggs or other similar individual leadership type tools and methods. I invite you to listen with curiousity, and to think of relevance in your own organization. We have much meaningful and important work ahead, and this is all about “sharpening the...

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What’s love got to do with it? With leadership, change and innovation, that is…!

In 1996, John P. Kotter, Professor of Leadership, Emeritus at Harvard Business School wrote Leading Change. He outlined an 8 step linear process for effecting change inorganizations. And it was highly lauded by experts in leadership.    Interestingly enough, Kotter supplemented his first book with a second book The Heart of Change, which revisited his model. In his own words: “Our main finding, simply put, is that the central issue is never strategy, structure, culture or systems… the core of the matter is always about changing the behavior of people, and behavior changes…mostly by speaking to people’s feelings.”   So it’s appropriate to talk about human hearts and love stories in...

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On a frosty November morn…

Frost covering all,  A skunk coating in the front yard Adds a unique scent A puppy full of play Waltzes in the sun of a November morn A woman with restlessness of heart and mind wonders where and when and if her day will bear fruit and what type of fruit  she should nurture. Focus eludes her, creativity beckons her as she waltzes in the sun  of a November...

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