Offer your work as if it might actually change someone’s life – because it might.
– David Robinson (The Ground Truth)
Over the past two weeks I’ve had the privilege of sharing the stage with Otto Scharmer for the “Essence of Leadership” event in The Netherlands sponsored by Het Eerste Huis, and then leading the Transformational Presence Leadership and Coach Training program (TPLC) at CoachWalk Academy in Sweden. It was great to meet Otto and to share our work with each other and with the 300 people who joined us for the day. We found many parallels between his Theory U and Transformational Presence. The contrasts between “transformational” and “transactional” work became ever more apparent. And the need for stretching way beyond our current leadership paradigms was reinforced at every turn.
Going straight from that day into the TPLC training in Sweden inspired a deeper focus on who we are and what we have to offer to the world around us. Throughout the week, my colleague David Robinson’s words kept coming back to me: “Offer your work as if it might actually change someone’s life – because it might.”
To me this statement is not so much about what you do, but rather about how you show up to do it. It’s about sensing what is needed or being asked for, and then tailoring what you have to offer so that it is in alignment with a greater potential waiting to unfold. It’s about the attitude and energy from which you approach whatever it is that you do.
What if your first response to any situation or circumstance was to tune into what is going on at a deeper level and ask what it wants from you?
Not what do you want to do, but rather what wants to happen, and what does that potential need from you? What would be different if your first response to a situation was to focus on the greater potential wanting to unfold, and then commit to serving that potential?
Let’s stretch even farther. What is this current chapter of your life or leadership asking from you? Is this what you currently bring? If not, what might be different if you choose to focus on aligning what you offer with what the moment needs?
Transformational Presence goes beyond just knowing what is yours to do and then doing it. It means taking into account the context of the moment and the greater potential waiting to emerge, and then offering your gifts in service of that potential. This is the highest meaning of service – aligning what is yours to do with what wants to happen. As more people show up to life and leadership in this way, we create a world that works.
P.S. If you would like to know more about aligning what is yours to do with what wants to happen, read Chapter 17, “The Potential-Based Approach,” in my latest book, Create A World That Works. It is available in bookstores everywhere, on amazon.com, or through our website store.
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