FocusOn, Fall 2017 – Zen Leadership
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FocusOn, Fall 2017

“There is no illusion greater than fear.”  – Lao Tsu

Tensions reach a fever pitch around North Korea. A terrorist bomb explodes in a

“If you are ready to release old patterns that get in the way of leading yourself and others, and want to build a discipline to anchor a more embodied sense of leadership, make Zen Leadership a priority.”
Lee Ann Del Carpio, President, Inner Power International

London subway.  Millions of people dig out from the devastation of two whopping hurricanes. Pick any week and you could name events that trigger widespread fear. Pick any week and you

could name events that trigger fear in you. What do we do with this fear? Some people get paranoid and catastrophize. Others disengage and ignore. But sometimes we’re called to act or lead in fear-triggering situations, and the extremes of over- and under-reaction only make matters worse. How can we lead fearlessly and bring the best out of others? That’s the work that a powerful cohort came together earlier this month to explore in Zen Leader 2. The answer, in brief, is we have to learn how to unwind the fear triggers in us, and get so close to our fears that they get no hold on us. The more we dissipate the illusion of separateness – which Zen training does – the fewer places fear has to hide. Its insubstantial nature is revealed, and our power to act unfolds before us. My thanks to this incredible group whose courage was contagious, and whose mutual support shows me what’s possible when you create and connect fearless leaders.

We’ll do Zen Leader 2 again Feb 22-25, 2018 and the lowest-price spots for registration are available now.  If you’ve been to Zen Leader1 (or have equivalent experience), join us.  And if you haven’t been to Zen Leader 1 (i.e., The Zen Leader), your chance happens again April 19-22, 2018. This is where the journey that so many have found to be radically empowering begins. If you’re among the early registrants, you’ll receive the most discounted price.

At last!  Anthony, Emily and I are pleased to announce the publication of a FEBI research paper that’s been a long time coming: A practical model for embodied coaching. It consolidates more than a decade of our research, including validation of the FEBI instrument and a pattern movement study conducted a few years ago at the University of Maryland. It also shows how the pattern framework fits with other research that has likely studied one pattern at a time (e.g., Amy Cuddy’s work with high power postures likely induced the Driver pattern and, sure enough, people felt more confident). But perhaps most practically, it shows how this model supports making shifts happen in coaching. Once you make something physical, you make it trainable, and FEBI points to the physical underpinnings to virtually any behavioral shift one might want to coach around.  If you’d like a copy of the paper (and don’t have access to this journal), we have a limited number of e-prints to share; contact if you’d like one. Visit if you’d like to learn more about FEBI or getting certified. And if you’re already certified and would like to dig into the research and applications with us, make sure the Oct 3rd FEBI coach call is on your calendar, or contact Emily to get added. Many thanks (too old to say “shout outs” ) to Mark Kiefaber for co-developing FEBI, Paul Connelly for supporting many rounds of data analysis, and Betsy Wetzig for teaching me the patterns and getting this whole party started.

“Zen leadership masterfully combines practical teachings with the embodied experience of leading. Not only did I learn a lot of useful strategies for managing my team, but my perspective on leading has totally shifted.”
Kim Corneille, FosterEd Project Lead, Multiversity participant

It’s a Big Multiverse Out There. A stunning campus has sprung from the earth near Santa Cruz, the vision of Scott and Joanie Kriens of 1440 Foundation, protected by towering redwoods, one more than 1000 years old. Alex Greene and I were pleased to join a couple dozen other faculty and a couple hundred leaders of non-profits during 1440 Multiversity Service Week where we taught a 2-day Zen Leadership program. In this inspired setting, we had a chance to teach ways to use energy, flip challenges to opportunities and help these leaders, as Scott Kriens said in his opening, “Do good better.” I was struck by the sincerity of the people who came, and the wonderful connections that emerged both in and around our program. I was also struck by how quickly Alex got people working deeply with their bodies, enabling the blanket stillness of Samadhi among a group that was new to meditating together. A deep bow of gratitude to Dinabandhu Sarley for bringing us to Service Week, and to the whole 1440 Multiversity team for doing such a fine job in pulling it off.   



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