Waking up to the next level
published by Luc Galoppin, on 27/02/2015
In this blogpost I share my notes on a workshop I recently participated in. It is titled ‘Raising Your Game’ and it was conducted by Change Management guru (and friend) Daryl Conner.
The workshop didn’t promise to bring any answers on the level of expertise. To the contrary, what we got out of it were more questions. The purpose of the workshop is to walk out with a clearer understanding of our character (who we are) and presence (how we show up); and somehow it seems that questions are better suited for that purpose than answers. A weird approach at first sight, right?
Weird indeed. And also unique because there are not that many opportunities for change practitioners to reflect on the alignment between how we show up and who we are. Yet, getting clarity on this alignment is essential to find meaning.
It turns out to be about waking up to my work and looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes.
For instance, what if we took our profession as seriously as a physician or a musician does? Would we come to work with the same level of preparedness as we currently do? Go ahead and ponder over that question for a bit, and you will find yourself talking to the reflection in the mirror saying “What is going on here?”, “What am I doing here?”, and “Is this leading anywhere?”.
Those are healthy signs of waking up. But then what?
This question immediately propels us into the essence of mastery. If the thing we promote/protect is not reflecting our true nature, there is still a long way to go to mastery.
The way we deploy our toolkit and bring it to the client situation makes a difference. Or not. We can either adapt to what others want to hear, or play according to ‘who we are’.
There is a choice; but it takes time to unveil and see what we are uniquely good at and love to do. The next step is to bring that – exactly that – to the client.
How many times do I adapt to a client situation in order to fit in? How long am I prepared to continue that way? When will I open my eyes to the fact that this ‘fitting in’ is what is holding me back from achieving mastery?
Oh – and by the way – there are a lot of good reasons to fit in and play safe, but for once – just this time – let’s not go there and focus on the path to mastery instead. If I were to take a snapshot of the hurdles on the path to my mastery, I could easily sum them up:
You can see my hurdles depicted in the snapshot below – and for completeness sake I have added the pitfall next to each hurdle that comes at the expense of taking the exit instead.
Walking on the Edge…It’s only a matter of time
In my work, there are two invoices:
So when will I finally start moving along that path to mastery? Answer: the moment that the total amount of the second invoice is getting higher than the total amount of the first. The price I pay for being inauthentic increases as I get older – it is a straight line to burnout. The irony of it all is that I have been there before.
How do I recognize clients who appreciate my music? Well, it turns out to function like the basic mechanics of a radar. Radars don’t catch any signal unless they send out a signal in the first place. If I am not clear about the kind of practitioner I truly am in the first place it’s kind of hard to find customers that bounce back their footprint on my dimensions. This is why I have put ‘Discovery’ as the first hurdle on my path to mastery.
It’s funny how we always tell our clients to embrace the unknown and to boldly step out of their comfort zone. As Ze Frank describes it in the video that I included above, I find myself stuck in the place between 0 and 1. This workshop has gotten me on the edge of my comfort zone. As a seasoned organizational change practitioner I have a confession to make: sitting on the edge of my comfort zone I am staring into a canyon. No way back and no idea on how to move forward.
It’s time to get in touch with who I am when I am not trying to please someone. Then, it is up to ME to start creating from that position.
More on character and presence on the blog of Daryl Conner.