Image Source: Happy Owl-oween! Readers’ Lens – Seattle Times
Photographer Daniel Chernin, Barred Owl captured on camera in Issaquah, WA USA 12 September 2022
Metaphors express figurative language used by professional coaches to expand perspective, especially when a topic feels tough, tight, or tender. As leaders embody coaching capability skills, metaphors are developed and animated to tell engaging stories of desired experiences that inspire and motivate action. Evocative questions plus impassioned reflections that stimulate meaningful influence on a person's fear of uncertainty combine to open thinking and sensing. Like learning any language, beginning with simple words and ideas relevant to everyday life accelerates the integration of skills. Early success builds the courage to continue stretching to adopt new words and deliberate practice. The natural world on planet Earth offers many metaphors to appreciate the cycle of life. In the stillness of a forest, we can perceive behaviors from all our planetary relations that focus our attention and reminds us of the capacity we have the potential to embody.
Barred owls are frequent visitors to the ancient Fir trees next to my home in the Pacific Northwest. Owls sing from dusk through the night. As a metaphor, barred owls possess many qualities we revere in our daily lives. The owl has excellent vision and hearing. They can adjust in an instant from a telescopic to a microscopic focus. The pupils respond in a fraction of a second to very minute changes in light intensity. The owl's eyes are specially adapted to detect subtle movements. The barred owl has a benign nature. Although they may try to appear threatening, they are harmless. Many believe its vocal performances put other animals and people off; however, the owl song invites friends and supports working together to feed their families. Their voices reflect the ability of this owl to teach us how to use our voice for more significant effects.
Sharing the empowering use of metaphor feeds my purpose to awaken the leader within each of us to rise and meet the massive and accelerating evolution of our time. People often ask me what I have been paying attention to lately. My answer is this: patterns of belief, expression, interaction, and choices that significantly influence our sense of well-being and harmony. September's Vanguard Conversation Series with Dr. Laurence Hillman explored the development of an archetypal eye. The eye through which we can all perceive, hear, and embody the universal energies of humanity, deliberately and consciously, to serve civility in all our relations. An archetypal eye transcends othering and strengthens our capacity to live from wholeness in every choice. How to focus our attention on civility more deliberately in terms of the essential skills offers half of a solution. We must also give our attention to mindset – the attitude, beliefs, values, and thoughts that influence how we show up, interact, and make decisions. The November Vanguard Conversation Series on 15 November welcomes visionary global leader Neil Scotton, PCC, who will join us for an exploration of JUDGMENT. Our conversation may offer ideas for how to answer both the question, "what are you paying attention to?" and "what you ought to do in response?" The answers are not up to anyone but you. If you want to deepen your attention in advance of the session, listen to the TEDx Talk, Judgement is the Key to Inviting Change I delivered this Spring.
You may recall from last month's message that I traveled to experience the mysteries of Egypt. It was a profound experience, being on the land and in the many temples and sacred sites for a four-millennium civilization that sustains and thrives to this day. Gratitude fills me, realizing the many hearts and hands over time who lovingly restored and continue to preserve this important time in human history. With the US holiday, Thanksgiving, arriving this month, please allow yourselves time to slow down and be still. In the quiet, hear deeply into the memories of this and past years of your lives. Remember all your experiences that continue to shape who you are today. Give thanks for all of it.
Many of you may recognize Bono, the stage name for Paul David Hewson (born 10 May 1960). He is an Irish singer-songwriter, activist, and philanthropist who has inspired me for many years. Bono is not only recognized as a musically talented artist but has proven to be ceaselessly creative in his efforts to aid humanity. By using the skills, he acquired as a songwriter, singer, and band member, he changed the ideological perspectives of world leaders with the goal of ending poverty and health crises in third-world countries.  He recently released a new book, Surrender: Bono Autobiography: 40 Songs, One Story 2022. I listened to an interview with him on Sunday morning. Near the end, he offered a superbly evocative question as the answer to a probe about the source of his creative energy: "What is the top-line melody?" I heard him paying attention to patterns and want to invite the same for all of us to influence our mindset toward the unlimited creative energy in every human being.
What is the top-line melody in your life right now that you choose to nurture and strengthen?
We are each imbued with unique gifts and experiences in our lives. Every moment combines, weaving the fabric of our human family. Yet, with these privileges also comes a responsibility to broaden our view beyond the borders of our individual body to the communities, contributing to a healthy collective consciousness. In case you missed it, a source of inspiration for this question came from the World Values Day panel where we explored Worth, Courage, Compassion, and Peace. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity that my privilege and responsibility inspire and for our readers, leaders, students, graduates, and colleagues worldwide who engage with and through inviteCHANGE. Thank you for your faith in our work to shape a world where people love their life's work. Only with our regenerative community will we all rise and meet the evolution of our time together, healthy and thriving.
 Animal-Speak by Ted Andrews 1999, Pages 179-182 for more about owls, and this book is an excellent way to strengthen capability by incorporating the language of metaphor through animal behavior.
 Danielian Jr, Jeffery S., Sometimes Melodies Are Not Songs, They're Ideas The Creative Life of Bono: Implications for Developing Talents and Gifts 2007
Experienced with individuals at the Board of Directors, “C” Chair, Executive and Senior Management levels, Janet assists executives in adopting effective habits of perception and behavior to lead and accelerate corporate strategies. Typical engagements address executive development in the following areas: articulate and inspire through clarity of vision, enable respectful challenge, debate and catalyze synergy for strategic business choices, risk/reward critical thinking about investments and shareholder value, plan leader succession and architect sustainable cultural/strategic change.
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