Letter from John: Lip Service Kills the Future

He may not realize it, but community builder Peter Block is one of my mentors.

I spent two days with Peter in a small workshop on the Jerseyshore in 1997. That brief experience - and Block's writing - was a much-needed push for me to lead with my values and live out my passion at work and at home.

"What kills the future isn't opposition, it's lip service," Peter told me, and with those words he gave me permission to care - t o keep the cynicism, the detachment, the nonchalance at bay, and to invite relationship, curiosity and caring into my work. And into my life.

Deepening your self-awareness is, as Tom Epperson illuminates below, hard work. It takes attention to explore your fears and ego, to truly listen to the ways in which others experience you. And it takes effort to stay the course, and gradually become a more authentic version of yourself.

Much of the effort is spent remembering that change is a journey, not a destination. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Even as you feel yourself making progress - developing a deeper understanding, changing unproductive behaviors - your emotional shoelaces come untied. You trip, stumble, lose ground.

It's important to remember something else Peter told me - "Creating a new possibility takes time."

Self-awareness and personal growth are not passive acts. Nor is possibility, which is a declaration, full of power.

Helping individuals - at work, on our teams, in our communities - discover their possibility, and to declare it, is the most important leadership task there is.

Two years ago, Peter asked me, "What are you the possibility of?"

I am - Floricane is - the possibility that honest dialogue, curiosity and planning lie at the heart of growth, change and transformation for individuals, organizations and communities.

What are you the possibility of?