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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Look Up, Leader!


See that awesome sky.
It seems that there's a lot of expectations of leaders in this brave new world of constant connectivity.  It's that insistent voice calling from the wings, "Come on, come on! Surely you can come up with something bright and shiny, brilliant and unique everyday!" Whenever that new thing arrives, big or small, it's heralded with wild trumpeting, a resounding cheer, bright neon arrows pointing to #yippee you! followed by multiple retweets from social media mavens across the clouds through FB/twitter/pininterest/snapchat (or that new social media thing I don't know about yet).

While some people are focusing on the glamourous flavor of the moment, I admit, I'm becoming more and more interested in those quiet, and equally cool, ideas that emerge from the soft spoken creative genius leaders who would rather not post anything, anywhere. How do we carve out space for these less flashy, simpler ideas from that quiet creative genius you in a world filled with constant noise, ads, posts, and techno stuff?

Here's a suggestion  and you can do it anytime you want, but it's especially effective when you find yourself glued to your phone or computer screen.


When you were a child, this was such a simple and innocent act.  In my childhood world, I'd be out messing around in the backyard with my bro, Jim, and suddenly I'd fall down into the grass and roll on to my back and I'd just stare up at that amazing sky.  Sometimes it was blue or light gray or bright pink. Sometimes it was filled with spacious emptiness. Sometimes it was swirled with wispy streams of overlapping and beautiful complexity.

The sky, full of clouds or clear pristine space, is a reflection of you and your potential - it's expansive and wide.

Looking up creates a simple physiological shift; a physical reminder that while your head might be caught in the drivel and doldrums of the day, that you are more than that brain. You are big and beautiful and expanding.

This past week I gave a talk for the Soroptimist International of the Americas in Vancouver, BC.  This women's club has been around for almost a century helping women and girls to reach their potential.  They fund programs to help support women's education, health, or to prevent human trafficking, or to provide resources and opportunities around the world. Check them out and support their work.

My audience in Vancouver BC was from many nations and these women drew the most amazing pictures of their dreams for the future.

The SI women continue to look up from all parts of the earth and in their willingness to serve others, they remind me what an honor it is to be alive. One of the leaders said during her lunchtime talk, "We are indebted to life until we serve life." - Raquel Arreola Ruiz, past President of Soroptimist International of the Americas. And so it is.

why not give yourself a break from your screen.  Right now. Go outside and look up, leader.  Remind yourself that there's a bigger picture and plan for you too. Stop a moment to appreciate the amazing and expansive world that surrounds you, that you're an intricate part of, that offers you the chance to expand beyond who you are and what you know.  Look up, leader.

"Oh my,  Bettina! Will you look at that!  Look at the sky!  It just goes on and on, and oh my goodness Bettina, I'm think I'm getting some kind of understanding here.  Bettina, this is what I believe God is like. Why God just goes on and on and.." - Pauli Moran, from the play, Farmgirls.



Pictured here:
the SI Team from Taiwan.
Awesome artists and
tireless leaders
joined me for a photo
my keynote. Thank you!



can change everything.
If you haven't drawn your vision
of the future for awhile.
Download that free template
here. Then watch this video
and get going! Look for our new
toolkit to help you work with
your team or organization!



The short one on the left won the
bike race in Gresham last weekend.

The tall one on the right is a 55+ bike
racer who made it happen with an
awesome lead out. This is what it
means to be on a team.  Find your
team and appreciate them. Guess
what? You reading this?  You are my
team and I am so grateful for

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