Thursday, July 31, 2008

Values, Vision and Engagement

The Power of Full Engagement includes a helpful template for an action plan near the end of the book. I began filling it out while on vacation last week, and this morning have solidified my focus for how to more consistently be fully engaged in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy spheres.

The foundation of this action plan for engagement is clarifying one's values. I had to really wrestle with this, striving to embrace brutal honesty in order to distinguish between what I say I value and what my behavior reveals as my true values. Hopefully I found that honest synthesis, and here's what I have listed:

Connection (intimacy with God, family, friends, colleagues)

Next, the plan calls for an examination of one's strengths. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, I turned to the terminology derived from my Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment, which I took nearly three years ago and have consistently integrated into my approach to work and my coaching of others:

Input (collecting and categorizing ideas and tools for future use)
Learner (constant desire to learn and understand more)
Connectedness (constantly connecting the dots and seeing the larger picture)
Ideation (creative brainstorming)
Intellection (consistently thinking things through)

The template asks readers to contemplate the "Three Most Important Life-End Lessons" they'll want to have learned and passed on to others. i wrote:

1. Most things are not worth worrying or stressing about
2. Follow your central passions from the start, for they open all the right doors
3. Authentic relationships are the key to sustainable peace and joy

Next is an imagined "tombstone inscription." Although a little morbid to consider in general, here's what I would like:

John was a creative and compassionate flame who burned brightly across his entire lifetime.

The next step in the action plan is to describe who I am when I am at my best. Not who I am every single moment or day, but when I am in the zone, when I thrive, what does it look like...and I said that in my strongest moments I am a "brainstorming, quick-witted, outgoing person who can energize, encourage and inspire those around him."

Next, a personal vision that incorporates my values:

I embrace a holistically-healthy approach to life, leveraging my key values to impact those I love and serve as an individual and a professional, respectively.

For my career/work vision, I listed the phrase I have been using for at least the past year:

Leveraging the power of words to help others thrive and discover timeless truths.

All of this preparation and insight leads to the commitment toward some key rituals designed to overcome certain work-related performance barriers that one has identified. I will save those for another entry...but in the meantime, READ THIS BOOK!!! :-)


At 6:05 AM , Anonymous Francine Ciaccia said...

John, this is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing not only this life-changing book, but also your thoughful and useful insight. I'm 3/4 of the way through it, and am devouring every word.


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