Monday, February 4, 2013

Finding Calm During the Storm

(Photo credit: Like a Butterfly blog)
"If you do not pay attention to what has your attention, you will give it more attention than it deserves." ~ David Allen
I recently went through a health crisis. I had been through the same scare three times before, but this one seemed more dire. With each test the tensions built, the crisis became deeper. However, amidst the chaos, I had the opportunity to find a profound peace like none before. In "The Art of Stress-Free Productivity," David Allen
speaks about how crisis evokes serenity--a point where you are fully present and at peace in the midst of a crisis.

Choosing "Leading with Courage" as the theme for the inaugural Wildland Fire Leadership Campaign was purposeful. Days of crisis are ahead. Fire leaders will be placed in tough positions and asked to carry their organizations through the rough waters ahead. It may be quite some time before the crisis subsides, so what tools can we give our leaders to develop the "art of stress-free productivity"?

Video Highlights:
  • "Crisis can produce a kind of calm that is rare to find sometimes. Why? It demands it!"
  • All other issues are put on the back burner, allowing for the individual to be fully present.
  • Getting something done is about appropriate engagement.
  • Crisis forces us to be appropriately engaged.
  • Get comfortable with paradoxes:
    • Paradox #1: In order to manage all the complexities and stuff of your life, you need three core principles that you understand and apply:
    • Paradox #2: The initial moves and behaviors and best practice of this may very likely feel awkward, unnatural, or unnecessary.
    • Paradox #3: Some very specific but seemingly mundane behaviors when applied produce the capacity for you to exist in a kind of sophisticated spontaneity.
  •  Things to consider and what to do:
    • Time is not the issue.
      • Increase your psychic bandwith--space to think--so that your creative energies can emerge.
    • Mess is cool.
      • However, if you're already in a creative mess, you have no freedom to make one.
    • Lessons from nature:
      • Lesson #1: Flexibility trumps perfection.
      • Lesson #2: You need the ability to be able to shift your focus rapidly in, out, up, and down quickly and present with each shift.
      • Lesson #3: Be able to put your focus exactly where you need it and the way you need it: focused attention
    • Keys to success:
      • Key #1: Capture your thinking, then notice what you'll notice.
      • Key #2: Make outcome/action decisions, then notice what you'll notice.
      • Key #3: Use the right maps, then notice what you'll notice.
Check out "Deep Psychology: The Quiet Way to Wisdom" by Ted Putnam, U.S. Forest Service (retired) and winner of the Paul Gleason Lead by Example award.

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