It would seem that I have lived a thousand different lives this lifetime. And though often in the past I wished I had lived a more simple, less complex life, the one I have lived has served me well. If nothing else, it has given me perspective.
I have owned and operated a café/bookstore, a clothing line, a branding company, a coaching business, and a consulting firm. I was the Director of Business Development and helped a publishing house grow from 3 million to 100 million dollars a year in sales. I studied to be a rabbi and left one day before I was to be ordained. And I lived for 10 years as a monk in a monastery. The list goes on and on.
I have dined with the richest of the rich and sat on a street corner and shared my meal with the poorest of the poor. I have had quite a few successes and also my share of failures. I have worked for large companies and been an entrepreneur. So when people ask me what I do, I sometimes have a hard time answering.
But looking back now, even as I write these words and introduce myself to you, I see that word “perspective.” Ah yes, perspective.
What I see is how things connect. And perhaps, what I am more than anything else is a connector. In fact, I wrote a book called The Mosaic. Which could be a perfect metaphor for what I do. I put broken pieces together that others have discarded, and I see connections (or missing connections) that other do not see.
It is the perfect allegory when I work with individuals, couples, businesses, and government agencies. For what we connect to or disconnect from determines our reality. I look at the choices a business makes, and I immediately see who they are. I look at what they want to achieve, the connection points they have chosen and, over time, I see if it will propel them forward or keep them away from what they seek.
I look not only at what they connect to, but how connected they are to it. If a company and its employees are not engaged in the connections they make, it cannot help but affect motivation, innovation, and productivity. What most fail to see is that, on a deeper level, everything is connected to everything else. So when we try to solve a situation by fixing only one piece, it often does not work. It is essential to look at the connection of each piece of The Mosaic and how it serves the whole. I look at a team’s connection to themselves and to each other, to their purpose and how aligned it is with their core values, and to their community, and the world they serve. Each piece is important, for it has the potential to affect the outcome of the entire Mosaic. When one connection is off, the whole suffers.
By seeing how a team connects, I also see where they do not connect. In this lies the sweet space of change. To launch a product, grow a division, innovate new strategies, or thrive inwardly and outwardly, a company must be willing to look at their connection points and ask themselves if they empower their initiative or deplete it.
Do you know what empowers and depletes your company? What becomes possible by simply making a different connection?