Purpose Moment

Purpose Moment

#PurposefulLeadership #Purpose #Leadership #Convening #ArtofConvening #Engagement

2018 Center for Purposeful LeadershipThe Art of Convening

Great Meetings - The Recipe: Part 2

PHoto Credit: Daniel Scotton

PHoto Credit: Daniel Scotton

Any convened meeting, gathering or even a conversation has at its core practical ingredients or “principles” that are essential to the creation of a safe and generative engagement leading to powerful outcomes that engage everyone.

As the convener, you have the unique role of creating the recipe then to lead or facilitate people through the engagement AND to introduce the essential ingredients that will inform and assist in achieving the desired outcomes.


Any great meeting like a recipe only uses the best ingredients:

Starting with positive intent, the convener approaches each engagement as an opportunity to create possibilities. Suspending certainty allows for what we don't know to come alive.  We then listen for the wisdom in each voice and understand that slowing down the conversation will allow the spaces for creativity and innovation to occur. By hearing all the voices and perspectives we invite diversity and inclusion into the conversation. Then by looking for new ways of thinking and being, we are open to surprises and to new possibilities.

Purpose Moment

#PurposefulLeadership #Purpose #Leadership #Convening #ArtofConvening #Engagement

2018 Center for Purposeful LeadershipThe Art of Convening

Transformational Leader Updates: Where is Richard Leider now?

photo credit: craig neal

photo credit: craig neal

In October 2016, Heartland/CPL celebrated its 20th anniversary with Uber Master Coach Richard Leider. Richard, a longtime friend of CPL and best-selling author of The Power of Purpose, spoke to the top 3 lessons of the meaning of purpose:

  1. Purpose is a Choice
  2. Purpose is an aim outside yourself
  3. Purpose is a practice

Richard’s definition of Purpose: "Your aim or goal. Your reason for being. Your reason for getting up in the morning." In leading others to their true purpose, Richard poses these 3 questions to ask yourself for self-discovery:

  1. What do I stand for?
  2. What won’t I stand for? What are my values, boundaries?
  3. Who do I stand with?

Since we last saw Richard at our conference, he continues to coach and speak on finding and leading a purposeful life. At a leadership breakfast in February, Richard spoke about the power of purpose and how to activate your purpose daily. Richard also spoke at St. Cloud’s Well-Being Summit, addressing the importance of “Working on Purpose. Living on Purpose. Leading on Purpose." Later in February Richard led a Webinar on Repacking On Purpose focusing on life transitions.

cpl is fortunate to have a friend as visionary, influential and inspirational as Richard. Check out Richard's foreword to our book The Art of Convening. If you or your organization are interested in convening with more purpose, call us today at 612.920.3039 to begin your journey. For more updates on CPL and other leaders in the community, connect with us on our LinkedIn page.

I have to Shine!

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Yesterday I awoke to take this breathtaking image of the sun rising through our front door over Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. May it and poem below inspire your day today!


On a gray day, when the sun

has been abducted, and it’s chill

end-of-the-world weather,

I must be the sun.

I must be the one

to encourage the young

sidetracked physicist

working his father’s cash register

to come up with a law of nature

that says brain waves can change

the dismal sky.  I must be the one

to remind the ginger plant

not to rest on the reputation

of its pungent roots, but to unveil

those buttery tendrils from the other world.

When the sky is an iron lid

I must be the one to simmer

in the piquant juices of possibility,

though the ingredients are unknown

and the day begins with a yawn.

I must issue forth a warmth

without discrimination, and any guarantee

it will come back to me.

On a dark day I must be willing

to keep my disposition light,

I have to be at the very least

on stray intact ray

of local energy, one small

but critical fraction

of illumination.  Even on a day

that doesn’t look gray

but still lacks comfort or sense,

I have to be the sun,

I have to shine as if

sorry life itself depended on it.

I have to make all the difference.

~ Thomas Centolella ~

(Views from along the Middle Way)

The Art of Opening the Circle to be in Essential Conversation

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Continuing the journey around the Convening Wheel, we find ourselves at the 7th Aspect, Essential Conversation, which allows for meaningful exchange in an atmosphere of trust and lays the groundwork for the 8th Aspect, Creation, to be possible.

We are now ready for something new to emerge from the authentic engagement of the group.

  • Margaret Wheatley says, “Conversation is how humans think together.” "Opening the circle," by allowing for reflections and comments from anyone in the group who feels compelled to speak, we can process what we have heard and allow something that is more than the sum of the parts to emerge.  Conversation is most powerful when personal story telling and deep listening are present.  It is also about surfacing all that arises out of the listening and sharing process in a mindful and respectful way:

- We can sense the “questions that lie beneath the questions” to let emerge what is essential.

- We can become aligned with what is at the Heart of the Matter as a collectivegroup – expressing shared core values and vision. 

  • In Opening the Circle we are continually evoking a WISDOM that comes through our collective consciousness.
  • We are also in a practice of mirroring back what it is that has touched us deeply in what was shared.
  • This is also a time for participants to feel heard, to learn how their words have “landed” for another and to have thoughts reflected back to them from a different perspective (or several different perspectives).
  • It is also in this type of respectful conversation that the creative process blossoms and takes flight.  We build on each other’s word offerings and something magicalhappens.

Guidelines for Essential Conversation:

#1: When someone wishes to speak have them introduce themselves beginning with, “I am... (insert their name here)”

#2: When the person speaking is done speaking have them notify the group by saying, "I am complete" or "I have spoken."

#3: Interruptions are not allowed in this form.

#4: Ask for deep listening so the group can hold the space for differences. This is the primary function of this type of conversation.

#5: Be attentive to the pace of the conversation, allowing for silence and pauses between speakers. Silence can seem uncomfortable to many, but the absence of noise also has the potential to be an incredibly generative space for new ideas to take shape.

This structure reinforces our sense of safety, and gives us the freedom toexplore new ways of thinking and being together and ultimately allows for creation to occur.

Turning to One Another

PHoto credit: Craig Neal

PHoto credit: Craig Neal

"Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world."

Turning to One Another

There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.

Ask “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?”  Keep asking.

Notice what you care about.
Assume that many others share your dreams.

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.

  •         Talk to people you know.
  •         Talk to people you don’t know.
  •         Talk to people you never talk to.

Be intrigued by the differences you hear.

  •          Expect to be surprised.
  •          Treasure curiosity more than certainty.

Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.

  •         Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.
  •         Know that creative solutions come from new connections.

Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.
Real listening always brings people closer together.

Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.

Rely on human goodness.  Stay together.

Margaret j Wheatley
Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future
Additional writings include: Leadership and the New Science

The Berkana Institute