Heart of a Leader

Leadership Matters

Ring or clunk?

_MG_3435-COPY 4I am blessed to have found a life partnership where I learn and feel supported and accepted every day without fail. My wife is a musician and one of her gifts is creating and working with sound and music to help people find in themselves their inner wisdom.

Some years ago, I was working with a group of leaders that included her. It was a time before we recognized that we were meant to be together. This day was set aside for the group to develop a new purpose for their organization. The interactions among the group had been energizing and very open. As we came to a time for taking a break for lunch, we asked a small group of the meeting’s participants to synthesize the sense of the morning and see if they could put it into a first draft for the group to work with in the afternoon.

As we were eating lunch, I would gaze over to the team that had accepted this undertaking. They were smiling and music or at least joyful sounds could be heard coming from their engagement. When we reconvened, my wife presented the fruits of their collaboration. As it poured forth, I was amazed at its clarity, simplicity and completeness. Not only that, there was a feeling to it of excitement and joy.

Music notes circleI asked how they had been able to create this wonderful masterpiece in such a short time. She smiled and talked about the process they followed. As words came forth in the group, she would ask if the phrase or word ringed or clunked. She explained that if we are quiet we can feel everything as a ringing like a clear bell that has just been stuck or as a out of tune note that just doesn’t fit.

This process did not require the strong hand of a leader. Instead it allowed all to feel what was right. The group was easily able to allow the creative process to flow and offer something that was itself like a wonderful song complete with lyrics and melody.

rememberingAs I sit this morning remembering that time, I also remember when I have used this approach in group’s of all types and from very diverse culture and have found that it always works. When we get out of our logical thinking and allow our gifts of intuition and collaboration rise up remarkable things happen.

By the way, you can also use this simple process of feeling the ring or clunk for any decision you are considering. Speak to yourself the decision and then in the silence that follows feel if it rings or clunks. If you are not sure, it is always best to wait until you can clearly feel the answer.

Until later,

Thomas

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4 thoughts on “Ring or clunk?

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  3. Adam Hunger on said:

    There is something profound and repeatable in your statement that “this process did not require the strong hand of a leader.” As a former oarsman and musician, I think I understand. There is a common goal which draws everyone together. There is subtle, shared, situational leadership feedng back to all the parts. An orchestra has a baton; a crew has a coxswain. These elements coordinate, assist with timing/pace, and eliminate distraction. In crew, when all eight oarsmen pull in unison in all aspects of the stroke, the boat is said to be in “swing.” You can actually feel the harmony as whole becomes far greater than the parts. You realize that most of the time we live in a state of “clunk.”

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