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Notes from the Nexus

The Turning of the Wheel

0 Comments / in Blog / by Doug Silsbee

There is ample evidence for the turning of the wheel

There is ample evidence for the turning of the wheel

There is ample evidence for the turning of the wheel.

I have two grandchildren. My father is 85, and counting. I’m in my 60’s. Walker and I have faced significant health challenges. We sold our retreat center last year. All these are indicators of bold new territory!

In this emerging chapter of our lives, there is plenty of evidence of decline, of wearing out. And, there’s increased lightness, freedom, less and less of a sense of having anything to prove, and little concern about building business. There is much more of a sense that everything counts.

What we do matters, there’s choice, and time is short.

In this turning, I sense two strong pulls in myself. One, the desire to engage the Presence-Based Coaching work more directly with the world’s pressing issues.

We have created a very strong body of work about developing humans, about holding authentic conversations, about catalyzing leadership through substantial challenges. Yet, for me, there’s a persistent question about how to best get this work out in the world to those who most need it. This invites questions of scaling, of what the bigger game is, of how to democratize the leading edge of human development. There is lots to do.

What we do matters, there’s choice, and time is short.

What we do matters, there’s choice, and time is short.

The second strong pull is towards simplicity. While my web of commitments is getting simpler, and I say “No, Thanks!” with increasing ease to opportunities that don’t feel like a fit, there’s an aching in me for greater freedom, less to carry through the world, less time spent on things that others can do better or things that don’t count for much and don’t provide joy.

These two tendencies seem to pull in opposite directions. Yet, there is truth in both.

I don’t know what this next chapter will look like, though I know that, in five years, my work life will be significantly different. I invite that, and trust that I will both choose, and be shaped by, the future as it emerges.

I also know that collaboration with creative others is nourishing and essential. I am participating in Otto Scharmer’s MOOC. The processes for profound social change that he is describing dovetail exquisitely with, and leverage, our Presence-Based leadership work. There is much more to explore here, and you can expect to hear more about the nexus of these two bodies of work.

Otto offered a lovely YouTube clip from the film Bagger Vance, in which Will Smith invites Matt Damon to sense the field, sense the one perfect shot that is calling him to it. While the specific shape of my one perfect future has yet to be revealed, it will be characterized by being both bigger, and simpler. It will be done with others. And, it will include, and transcend, the Presence-Based Coaching foundation that we have been building together for 15 years now.

This is what I’m up to at this turning of the wheel. I am sensing the future, and investing in conversations and learning that focus and accelerate this sensing. I will be experimenting and prototyping with this in the coming months and years. You are invited to the conversation.

collaboration with creative others is nourishing and essential

collaboration with creative others is nourishing and essential

For now, please weigh in with your thoughts:

  • How, in transitions, have you sensed future possibilities emerging?
  • How did you engage others in exploring or prototyping the territory?
  • What transition are you in now, and how are you resourcing yourself?
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