21st Century Leadership: Co-Creating New Paths Forward

“We’re faced with the biggest leadership crisis ever.”

That’s the backdrop of my recent conversation with business strategist Ayelet Baron on the Radiant Sessions Podcast.  And she would know. Ayelet’s a former tech executive from the Silicon Valley that “fired” herself so she could dedicate herself to cultivating the next generation of leaders.

When we spoke, I caught her at home in British Columbia after she just returned from Israel with a stop in San Francisco where she was speaking and teaching others about this new era of leadership. She opened up my heart and mind to new possibilities in the midst of (if you read the any of the news) chaos and dysfunction.

One of the transformations we’re going through is an awakening to our connection to each other and the earth. We’re not separate from nature. We’re simply a part of it. And we’re realizing that we’ve been running our businesses in a very un-natural way. And, oh yeah, it isn’t sustainable. Short term profits may pad bank accounts, but they don’t serve nature nor our higher interests.

As the calendar flips to December, we can clearly see the disconnect. What’s nature doing right now? Slowing down. It’s getting dark early. Animals are sleeping more. Trees have dropped their leaves and are quietly preparing for the spring.

And what we, humans, doing? Speeding up. Shopping and spending money. We’re busily running from one holiday event to the next. Many of us find ourselves in frantic rushes to hit end of the year sales or fundraising goals. And…and…we feel empty.

We’re doing what our culture expects, but so many of us feel unfulfilled and disconnected.

The good news is that this mindset is cracking up. Collectively we’re opening up to a new perspective.

On the surface it doesn’t seem that way, right? [Read more…]

Lessons for the Transition: Coaching Penguins

Last year we won one game. Out of sixteen.


But it’s not about wins. At least that’s what a good coach will tell you. It’s about coming together as a team that makes the experience so rich.

For the second year in a row, I’m the head coach of my daughter’s soccer team, The Little Lake Grange Penguins. And I’ve never had so much fun!

It’s not because we’ve won our first five games of the season, but because I get to shape the experience of being a part of a team for these five, six, and seven-year olds. The lessons learned, the camaraderie, and the fun are special treats that come with playing on a soccer team.

Part of the appeal is that when I was six my life was well, like many of my friends, unstable. But I could always count on sports and my teammates to be there for me. Some of my teams were terrible. Others were great. But it was always fun and a way to experience being a part of something bigger than myself. My teammates counted on me to do my best. And I counted on them to do the same. And over time, we developed trust and respect for each other.

I was active in organized soccer, basketball, and baseball from six through eighteen so this team stuff was a huge part of my life. In fact, I remember my last basketball practice as a senior in high school as one of saddest days of my life. Leaving the gym for the last time I was emotionally destroyed. Basketball was a consistent presence Monday through Friday, 3:30 – 5:30, October through February for four years. Summers too.

It was a group of guys working toward a common goal and just trying to get better. And to say goodbye (as there weren’t any college basketball scholarships being thrown my way) was more than just not playing a game anymore, but it was saying goodbye to the steady presence of tribe. [Read more…]

How A New Perspective Changed My Life and Business

Ok, so some of this stuff is personal, but I feel compelled to share because even when we are most powerless we retain the power to change the way we view a situation, which can make all the difference.

My dad took his life when he was just thirty years old. I was three. Any suicide is going to have a complicated story attached to it. And this story is no different. I’ll spare all the details, but the gist is for my entire life my perception of my dad was that he was a small, defeated, depressed man.

Life got too big and messy so he made a decision to remove himself.

So yeah, it sucked.

I never got to know the guy. I didn’t have the whole picture. And the view I had mostly included sadness and depression.

Then earlier this year I met Claudia Wenning of Quantum Level Consulting. Claudia is consultant with a fantastically wonderful and unique skill set. She helps others view their lives, and their circumstances, from different perspectives.

The results often time include the identifying a new way forward. She’s a doctor of naturopathy, an herbalist, a reiki master and more. She reached out to Radiant Tribes because she needed help marketing her business. As we started that journey, I had a few personal consulting sessions with Claudia where we talked about my dad. By asking questions, and relying on her expertise, she was able to help me see my dad from a completely new point of view.

Afterward our session, I began to dig deeper into my family. I jumped on to Ancestry.com to check out the ‘ol lineage. I found roots all the way back to Ireland in the 1500’s. I called my dad’s brother and asked him questions that I’d never asked before. [Read more…]

The Intersection of Technology and Human Empathy

It’s never been more clear that we live in times of transformative change. Thomas Friedman’s latest book, Thank You for Being Late, is a fascinating account of the impacts of the accelerators of globalization, climate change, and technology. The intersection of the three is shaping the world in profound ways.

The fast pace of change is challenging human’s ability to adapt. Part of our human nature is looking for simple answers. See: Donald Trump and his assertion that he alone can solve all of our problems. This is appealing because change (especially at its current scale) makes it easier to hand over responsibility to someone else.

However, that’s a temporary and inadequate solution. The fact is we’re all in this together – and it’s complicated.

Along with technology, it’s evident that consultants, mentors, coaches, therapists, and teachers have an important role in helping each of us navigate these changes. Guides that have tools to help us improve our relationships are critical. They can help us enhance our relationships with each other, with the planet, and with technology. When we have relationships that work –  we can create a culture that thrives.

Friedman predicts the highest paying industry in the future will be at the intersection of technology and human empathy. Healers and guides are perfectly positioned to harness technology in a way that increases humans understanding of each other.

Stories of technologies like robotic suits that create an experience of aging fifty years in minutes are becoming more and more common. We can literally walk in someone’s shoes. With virtual reality we can see the world though someone else’s eyes. Creating these kinds of empathetic experiences is unique and has the potential for each of us to view the world from a new place – and take new actions.

Virtual reality, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and others have changed the game. Who knows what we will learn via these technologies, but if they can help us relate to one another as humans then the possibilities are limitless.

We’re all inter-connected. We are our brother’s keeper. Your happiness in my happiness. This understanding is evolving over this period in history and it’s happening in the blink of an eye. We may or may not be able to look back to see the exact moment that we reach a critical mass of this awareness –  just like we can’t exactly pinpoint when smart phones became a must haves. But we know it happened.

As humans, we know the answers to our societal problems. It’s when we act out of our connection that we will begin to actually implement the solutions. It’s the people and organizations that are clear on this vision, along with an actionable plan, that will ultimately come out the other side. In fact, these organizations are not only helping create a critical mass of this awareness, they’re also creating new systems from which we will operate.

This moment in time offers a unique window of opportunity. Changes of heart and new understandings are happening all around us. There’s an energy that won’t last long. And those that step forward, mindfully and with purpose, will be rewarded.

Old systems are crumbling in front of our eyes. In the midst of the dust, new systems are being created. Though it’s sometimes difficult to see, progress is created one day at a time. One project at a time. One conversation at a time.

The more we explore the shared space of technology and human empathy the better we’ll be able to adapt to the changes of our time. Within that space lay the answers to creating a thriving and resilient society.

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Walking the Walk: Guiding Transformational Change

This has been a year of personal transformation. I suspect that 2017 is going to bring much of the same. At 41, I’m no longer a kid. And I’d like to clarify my vision and the impact I’d like to have in the world. My life experience has taught me a lot. I’m looking forward to taking that experience, and its accompanying wisdom, to improve myself and my business in the New Year and beyond.

Today I read an article from Gary Vaynerchuck that resonated: Document, Don’t Create: Creating Content that Builds Your Personal Brand. The gist is if I’m looking to grow my business it’s more effective to talk about my process than the actual advice or consulting that I “think” I should be giving clients. He argues that the people who are willing to discuss their journeys instead of trying to front themselves as the “next big thing” are going to win.

That message rings true. Therefore, I’m committing to becoming better at documenting my journey and growth via blog posts like this, videos, and social posts. Many of the things I counsel my clients and team to do are things that I can be doing myself, and/or do more effectively. By telling this story of how I’m improving as a leader, and how our organization is improving, I can provide a road map for others. In a way, it’s a walk the walk kind of thing.

I’ve been re-evaluating my business, my role within it, and the actual impact we’re having. We’ve had some nice successes and some tough failures along the way. And the fact is we, I, can be better.

In addition to creating more content, other steps I’m taking include: Confronting my childhood trauma so that I can ensure that my personal and professional relationships are true and right. I’m reconnecting with former colleagues, clients, and friends to network and to give and receive support and ideas. I’m reading more books. I’m identifying new business tools and resources to deploy. I’m connecting current and former clients with each other to explore mutual interests and opportunities. And in general, I’m looking to expand who I am.

The timing is right. We live in an era of transformative change and I’d like to see the network I’m building guide these changes and provide impactful services to organizations involved in helping people navigate these times.

We live in a time when humans will act upon the understanding that we’re all connected and dependent on each other and nature. This awareness, driven by new technologies and awareness, is creating The New Economy – an economy based on connection. Radiant Tribes is here to support thought leaders and organizations that simplify lives, easily connect people to each other and resources, and make lives more efficient.

The resulting efficiency means that we’ll have more time on our hands. Elon Musk in a recent interview said of the future, “People will have time to do other things and more complex things, more interesting things. [They will] certainly have more leisure time.”

The question is how we will fill that time? My hope is that we spend it nurturing our relationships and pursuing transcendent goals.

What about you?

I look forward to this process and look forward to the personal and professional growth ahead.

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