Dear Leader: Do You Believe in Love?


The 21st Century belongs to the aware, focused, & loving leader.

Our workplace needs love. What we need is for the individuals who make up our organizations to step forward in love; eliminate judgment; embrace uniqueness; and, with care, create accountability while behaving with responsibility. Love defined for the leader is to lead others with confidence while leading others to their own confidence. −Wading the Stream of Awareness (Love Chapter)

It is impractical to consider providing encouragement to another if we do not hold the deep abundance of love inside; a self-love that appropriates the transformation into our brand of leadership love.

We want to build a story with you.

The collaboration in the telling of the story is animated as we love the flow, love the person, and love the story.

Aware: Love the Flow

It is imperative to learn to hold the tension in the middle stand that is your balanced awareness−where internal desire joins with external intent and finds you captured by the flow.

Narrowing in on my own brand of leadership love enriched my work and life as I became more consistently conscious of my voice of love. The intensity of my love strengthened my focus.

Love flows through your work only after doing its work in you.

Focused: Love the Person

Paul is an expert in Smart Design creating Positive Environments for freedom in living. He holds a particular passion for those battling the disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). He is not merely a construction expert. He partners in the care of the client.

During Karen’s Smart Design project, he would take along material samples so she could actually feel the differences while he explained the details. Paul told me that providing functional space for an individual like Karen is as empowering for him as it is for the client. These experiences are fulfilling his own purpose as the physical spaces he designs give freedom to the individuals who occupy them.

Story lives in your moments, folds into your potential, and unfolds in your love.

Loving: Love the Story

Only those who are totally secure in their love can live thus fully the present moment. −Thomas H. Green, When the Well Runs Dry

It is good to confidently peer into the vision of tomorrow. Embracing the outline−the structure−of your story frees love in the present; the only location where we truly live with any significant degree of influence.

There is no influence without love.

To take those you lead, influence, and serve beyond mere expectations, you must love them.

Love moves one through fear and limitation.

It takes the working love of a confident leader to build the confidence of others.

What do you need to fortify your self-love? What will free you to love those you lead more authentically? How can you increase team performance by creative an atmosphere where love thrives? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Jeff Brunson
Jeff Brunson is Owner of BasicApproach (Building Confident Leaders)
His passion is Building Confident Leaders
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Blog | Book | Skype: jeff.brunson3

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Purposeful Leadership: Inviting Others into the Story

Share Your Story

Your purpose is encoded deep within you.

And all efforts to grow must serve this purpose in order to be a truly effective leader.

The Simplicity of Purpose

Purpose finds life in the present. And it flows through your presence to others. This is important to understand because what lies in our purpose is the secret to our true influence. This concept can be helpful when leading teams, but only if it is refined and ready to radiate in a practical strategy.

The best strategies in business and leading others are those serving a focused and presently applied purpose. They are the ones that have been honed and made simple.

I cannot remember where I heard this quote, but I liked it:

Simple is a Strategy.

A Simple Story

Donnie values the personal engagement and camaraderie associated in playing golf with others. So one day we, we mixed business with pleasure and played golf while we discussed business strategies. We were working on the first of three strategies of balanced action to support his one goal of understanding and perfecting his purpose as a leader.

While we were approaching the 9th hole, I shared an observation with him; “Donnie, I bet when playing golf with someone less experienced, you cannot help but to coach with a few helpful tips.”

He responded, “Funny you should say that.”

Donny explained that just prior to our session, Donnie and his boss Steve had recently played golf with a client; a man who seemed a bit self-conscious of his quality of play.

In the days that followed, Steve recounted Donnie’s awareness with what was unfolding with this client, and how Donnie stopped, placed attention on the man, shared a few tips from focused intention, moved back, and watched as the client relaxed into the flow of the collective game.

Donnie was exercising care for his client and it really seemed to work to help him relax and better enjoy their time together. He showed that in the balance of attention and intention, others feel care in focused interaction. People tend to like the personal attention and helpfulness of others when it is packaged and presented in the right way, and at the right time.

His attentive care was an act of service with purpose.

Steve later encouraged Donnie after the round of golf  saying, “This is simply what you need to do with those you lead. This is how you influence people.”

As leaders, our impact in this world demands focused intention and present attentionLike Donnie, there is something about you as a leader that you simply cannot help but do.

Balance and Impact

 What is that for you?

Your answer is an indicator of your encoded purpose.

  • Focused intention is written in your inward purpose.
  • Present attention is about focus outwardly.
  • The flow is from the internal to the external.

It is in this order that we balance intention and attention toward impact.

This is where we perfect purpose in each interaction.

Purposeful impact comes into view only in the cooperative balance of attention and intention.

In this whirling 21st Century, there is entirely too much on which to focus our energy. The sustainability of leadership energy requires the simplicity of clarity and the balance of intention and attention.

The merger of simplicity and balance is about presence and clarity.

What keeps you from being fully present in the day-to-day of leadership?

The view is so much clearer at the heights of a specifically spoken purpose. So be clear when you speak your purpose.

See the Unfolding; Show it to Us

Personal growth can at times feel like a lonesome journey.

It is important to embrace growth as a journey, and as an unfolding process that (thankfully) never ends. It is only in such acceptance where we may begin to float in the flow that is simplicity and balance.

“The 21st Century leader is modeling for us a new confidence; a presence that is both selfless and powerful. Focusing [your] leadership in the present … ensures that we put our attention to the right priorities; thus building fulfillment in our present work and assuring the rewards of tomorrow.”Wading the Stream of Awareness

Opening Up

There comes a time for each of us where we are given the opportunity to unlearn. Many turn down this contemplative occasion because of presuppositions, our unwillingness to let go, and our prideful selfishness.

Courageously entering introspection opens you to the process of tearing down and building up that is necessary for your transformation.

You are transformed as you learn anew and find purposeful form for sharing.

As leaders, we are transformed into our purpose−it is the source for sustainable impact in this world, this arduous journey. Purpose must draw you out of the fray−while you paradoxically remain in the fray−in order for you to become the individual you were intended to be.

Being Free to Live

Those who follow you as a leader need you to be free in your story as you lead them in a larger, unfolding experience. Thanks to your leadership, we are inspired by our own purpose in an unfolding narrative.

We are not led from a larger story as much as we are led to the story.

In the larger story, what is it of value that you need to facilitate? How might you begin to do this? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here!
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Jeff Brunson
Jeff Brunson is Owner of BasicApproach (Building Confident Leaders)
He passion is Building Confident Leaders
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Blog | Book | Skype: jeff.brunson3

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Strategic Story and The Storytelling Leader


Because of my 10-years of involvement with Storytelling, I have had great opportunities to learn more about the engaging concepts of story, how to construct them, and how to deliver them.

I have also shared this passion with my wife who is the Program Administrator at the International Storytelling Center. We all tell stories. We tell stories in our personal lives and we tell them in our professional lives.

In thinking of this, a big question began to stick in my mind.

It was this:

“What if we crafted and told stories more consciously, and skillfully?”

Conscious Application

This question burned in me for an answer. In 2004, I had the opportunity to work with the International Storytelling Center on a project with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA.

We were helping  scientists, engineers, and PR people further the message of JPL with the power of story. I had the privilege to learn directly from the two Storytellers on the project, Syd Lieberman and Doug Lipman.

Since that time, I have more consciously used story and storytelling in various ways in my leadership coaching programs. As what I was learning and more consciously applying began to evolve in my work, I wanted to take it all to another level for the organization.

I began to experiment with story in my work with groups.

What evolved was an approach to strategic planning that I call “Strategic Story.”

Strategic Story

Discover, Design, Deliver

Typically, it seems that strategic planning consists of a gathering where we get down to the business of planning our actions. I believe this to be the wrong way of going about things. I think that this approach is an out-of-balance focus on the “how.”

Strategic Story less about the how and is more about creating balance and order as we flow through the sequence of why, what, and how.

When trusted and followed, the methodology of this flow helps make all strategic effort more effective.

Trusting the Flow

In trusting the flow, we ensure yet another order; that of Clarity to Engagement to Connection.

  • We must first come together in the story we are trying to tell; this is the clarity of the why.

Once discovered we move to the what.

  • We now engage in design as we determine what I call the Strategic Balance; identifying what we must give our attention to in order to know we are telling our story.

Only then should we launch into the how.

  • How we will act strategically−how we will all connect with the unfolding story− is now guided by a clear storyline as we deliver.

The Storytelling Leader

A good story makes a connection, setting the stage for trust and believability. As a storytelling leader, people want to know something about who you are and why they should believe you.

Stephen Denning, renowned in his work on using storytelling in leadership, says organizations benefit especially by using stories to inspire people to action, to share information, knowledge and values, to counteract bad news, to assist them in working together, and to lead them into the future.

Knowing the Why

It is not enough for people to understand what you want them to do; they need to be shown why. A good story can make that point real for them. People need to be led to the ‘belief space.’

This is where they connect with actions that answer this question:

“What does it look like for me to do something today to move closer to the goals?”

Storytelling is not a difficult topic to understand because we all tell stories. As a leader, I want you to be more conscious of why you should tell and when to tell. To do that, I offer three basic guides for using story as a leader:

3 Steps for Using Story as a Leader

The Story is told for another.

  •  It is not told for you. It is told for the hearer. When we make things about us—“Look at me, I’m great”—we miss the point. The spirit of a story first makes itself known to us by its small, quiet way of speaking and saying, “Tell me.” Simply trust this spirit and tell.

The Story is told in search of a truth.

  • There is something in the story for the hearer to glean. At this point, it is not necessary that you, as the teller, know what needs to be gleaned. For some reason, you know the particular story has been impressed upon you and may have some meaning for your hearer.

The Story is told because you care for the hearer.

  • Don’t fail to realize that your trust to tell the story is wrapped in the fact that you care. The spirit of story will not let you be. Storyteller Gayle Ross said to me, “Once you are telling your stories, other stories you didn’t intend to tell begin to surface. And you know you have to tell them too.”

Painting the Perfect Picture

Your stories tell people who you really are, what you really care about, and why you care. The why is felt in their own, unique interpretation of the story.

You tell it not to paint from your palette, but from theirs.

In telling your story, the story impacts you. Engaging us in a collective story, you allow us to find purpose in the work we do. This is a level of connection desired by each one of us.

Go and tell.


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here!
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Jeff Brunson
Jeff Brunson is Owner of BasicApproach (Building Confident Leaders)
He passion is Building Confident Leaders
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Blog | Book | Skype: jeff.brunson3 

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