The images of the stone sculptures I build and photograph on my Vermont farm are, more than anything else, symbols of my work in the world. Symbols of friendship, you might say. I help others take whatever life presents and create beauty, health and meaning––for themselves and their organizations.
The same can be said for my essays, My Two Cents. They are offerings to us odd socks who are willing to entertain the possibility that everything is a gift. That willingness can transform our every preference, opinion and choice. Imagine the power of moving beyond, if only for a moment now and again, the great human craziness of believing that people and circumstances outside ourselves are responsible for our happiness. That belief, which we all struggle with, may be the single biggest cause of human misery––and thus the biggest obstacle to effective leadership.
Why mention this?There are no incidental moments. Every way we express ourselves is a symbol of our intention to fulfill some purpose: who we are committed to being in service to others––customers, colleagues, loved ones and indeed all fellow travelers on the journey of life.
I help others define their intentions for themselves and their institutions. I also help them identify the essential actions those intentions require––actions beginning within them, then extending outward. And while I’m not an advertising agency or design firm, I support leaders in understanding the requirements of communicating their intentions in a manner that is emotionally penetrating, meaningful and memorable—reflecting deep regard for one’s audience and oneself.
Among the names I’ve been called in polite company are corporate shrink, mentor, strategist, creative director, writer, speaker and man who views the world from Pluto. And while I answer to these IDs, life’s too short to take them seriously. Everything I do worldly-wise serves a single intention: to help myself and others answer life’s two most important questions: What’s going on, and what’s the healthiest choice I can make in this moment?
Our answers shape every symbol of friendship we offer one another.