UN Climate Change Conference - Conference of the Parties "COP26". The title of the 26th meeting of country leaders to address the devastating experiences on the planet that a warming of our climate produces on every continent.
While the debate continues to rage as to the cause, the reality of the experiences becomes more dramatic, traumatic, and for some, apocalyptic. Last Fall we hosted a global leaders conference called, Be. Choose. Cause. with a theme to Lead Well, Do Good, and Drive Change. Over 50 speakers came to share their worldview, wisdom, and ways of working to address the social challenges of our time: racial equity, human trafficking, healthy communities, and our climate crises. I want to showcase one of those courageous and magnificent leaders, Josie McLean, and will let her words speak about a way forward for every person to contribute. Only together, not just the country leaders, will we drive the necessary transformational change. This is what she shared one year later.
“Personally, I feel my confidence and personal power growing. I am consciously bringing my work into the sphere of sustainability and climate change workers - seeking to find ways to help them learn more about transformational change and how to nurture the conditions for it. Additionally supporting them in their important leadership. As I do so, I feel my own leadership expressing itself more fully. I am bolder and more courageous about advocating for what I believe in. The times are calling us all forth.
At the Climate Coaching Alliance, our numbers continue to grow - nearly 1300 exceptionally gifted professional coaches from all over the world coming together to inspire and learn more about systemic coaching together. The first of our Transforming Our Impact series with Halla Tomasdottir, CEO of The B team, was an outstanding dialogue. We are looking forward to more. In regard to professional coach training, we are delighted to notice several small ICF coach accredited organisations and programs addressing the issue of climate coaching. And the number of global professional coaching bodies that have signed the Global Statement on Climate Change has increased to eleven - an umbrella for over 65,000 coaches globally. Our work is not yet done, but it is in flow and we invite anyone who ay curious or an expert to join us in our quest.”
My friend and colleague, and another Be. Choose. Cause. contributor, Neil Scotton, shared a thought with me this week, “I am a searcher, not a researcher.” His remarkable innovation for coaches called, Neil’s Wheel, transforms coaching partnerships toward a more holistic and deeply interior examination of a client’s values principles, and profound choice of relationship to being alive and part of a global community. We had a shared chuckle with his declaration, and as I reflected on that moment more deeply, I realized how profound a declaration this phrase is for me. I’ve spent a lifetime searching and suspect this is true for many.
I am never satisfied that I’ve found what I am searching for and when something does show up that aligns with my imagination, I am inspired to see what’s next. Listening to an interview this morning with Norman Lear, 99 years young and the creator of more than 120 television programs including the iconic American situational comedy, “All In The Family”, he said his secret to longevity was two simple words, “over” and “next” and added, and time for the hammock in between them. Norman Lear broke all the rules of civil society, tackling many of the social norms that civil society ignored: racism, sexism, privilege, discrimination, exclusion and so many more. The term civility has a negative connotation for many, and he made fun of the practice of polite tolerance by being direct and transparent about bias and the negative consequences for the hurtful mindset of so many people.
These two experiences one day apart really fired me up, and I hope it does you as well!
Being a searcher expands my worldview, challenges me to shift my mindset to meet what shows up in front of me, fuels my courage to risk experimenting with a new approach and reaching beyond my comfortable sense of self to one that enthusiastically embraces my opportunity and responsibility to contribute to a thriving society. Our society has a violence of forgetting, which in my mind, is an egregious act of self-betrayal. What’s the antidote? Self-civility. Connection interiorly with the essence of yourself, remember the “I” you are shall never be again, just in this one incarnation. How do you choose to manifest your “I” within the “we” of society and allow the “we” of society to live through your “I”?
Here’s one more illuminating leader from the conference who echoes this message beautifully, Cathy Mott. I offered her reflections on what she has manifested in the year that has passed since the conference. Her words capture the power in being deliberate about resilience, a state only attainable from the inside-out and through our choices and actions to accept that self-care is a responsibility for the privilege of being human.
“Intentionality: I am very intentional about the life I lead. Who I spend time with and how I spend that time. I really focus on being fully present in the moment so as not to miss the purpose of our time together.
Generosity: Beyond the tangible. Always looking to give a look of acceptance and/or appreciation. Showing others how much they matter through a look, a touch, a smile, a hug. These things are priceless.
Vulnerability: This has proven to be a gift to so many. When I open my heart, I give others permission to be vulnerable and this has led to conversations of connection and healing.”
My heart fills with gratitude remembering the power of co-creation and witnessing the tremendous ripple effect that comes from convening open hearts and minds to invite and drive change for a thriving society. Our organization chooses each day to shape a world where people love their life’s work. With the season of holidays marking what is over and what is next, may you and your loved ones be safe, healthy, and reflective upon what’s working, good, and true that you bring to what is not.
Spoken in the African philosophy of Ubuntu, I cannot be fully me if you cannot be fully you. From my heart to yours, unconditionally.
Another speaker who is part of the Climate Coaches Alliance and has pioneered methods for coaches to incorporate exploration with clients is Charley Cox. To experience Charley and learn more about her approach, listen to her session presented on 9/11/2020, Where now world? How coaches can change our trajectory as we rebuild our world?
To learn more about Neil’s Wheel and meet him up close and personal, listen to his session with me presented on 9/10/2020, Conversations That Drive Change for a Better World.
To learn more about Cathy Mott’s work, and meet her up close and personal, listen to her session presented on 9/10/2020, Emotional Intelligence Leads to Resilience During Change.
Joint Global Statement on Climate Change: A unique collaboration, 11 leading coaching, coaching psychology, mentoring, and supervision professional bodies committing ourselves to a collective voice and collaborative action on the climate and ecological crisis.
For more on this topic, check out my podcast episode with Nina Sunday
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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