I’ve been dragging my feet all summer on setting up an advisory committee for the Leadership Nature Center (LNC). The purpose of the group is to guide me in the launch and ongoing programs of the LNC.
LNC was inspired in part by my volunteer work with Tree Stewards, where we’re teaching practical skills and also teaching leadership to program enrollees, and my Green Leader leadership development work with Waterford. The vision is outdoor learning experiences that build knowledge of nature and individual and team leadership skills. It’s environmental education + leadership development.
Leadership Nature Walk in San Diego. Beth with a Six Seconds colleague at the recent EQ CON at the San Diego Marina. She led two Leadership Nature Walks as part of the conference, with lessons from nature that connected to themes of leadership, along the Marina boardwalk (at right), complete with seals barking from the pier in the harbor during both walks.
And it seems to be a model that works well – for example, our Leadership Tree Walks and Leadership Nature Walks have gotten rave reviews from participants.
So why haven’t I been able to get off the dime and get my LNC advisory committee meeting set up?
I have the vision -- and as you can see below :)
What I’ve lacked is the plan to follow through – and I decided to use a combination of the work of Olympian Dr. Jeff Spencer (via Mindvalley) and the elements of focus, decisions, and drive from Six Seconds’s Brain Brief Profile to help me work through it.
The first continua on the Six Seconds Brain Brief Profile shows Focus – the kind of data we are naturally drawn to. See my most recent Brain Brief Profile report below.
Beth’s Brain Brief Profile. This report is a snapshot in time of the preferences Beth’s brain has for using various kinds of data. “My preferences can change over time based on what’s going on in my life and what skills and competencies I’m applying,” she said. (Read more about the difference between emotional intelligence, Myers-Briggs, and DiSC assessments.)
Rationally, I’m getting into gear and that feels great, because I’m pulled by my vision (my emotional side, and also my tendencies towards innovation and idealism). As part of my rational emphasis, I’ve learned about Spencer’s 10-step Goal Achievement Roadmap and am using it to set me up for success.
In light of that, I’ve worked on establishing a clarity around what Spencer calls the RIGHT goals for LNC – goals that are Relevant, Indicator-based, have Gravity, Hype (“a goal based on a certain degree of elevation and value”), and Time-based.
Spencer also talks about the concept of GOCUS as part of goal achievement, and why clarity is essential:
When we combine hyper focus to get the tasks in front of us in the least amount of time with the ability to see better options and remove ourselves from the risk of pending blindsides, then we have the best of all worlds. And that’s why this is always the champions first priority, this is called clarity. And the way we gain clarity in gocus is that the champions they really want the right goal and they aren’t really worried about the smart goal, but they are worried about the right goal.
Okay – I’m square with the rational side. Emotional is the other side of the Focus spectrum. How am I acknowledging – and working with – both the Rational and Emotional sides of my brain?
So. Yes. There are fears.
I made a list of those fears, and when I did that, there weren’t so many fears after all. Basically, they boiled down to two kinds:
What if I work on it and it fails?
What if I don’t have what it takes to make it a success?
When I acknowledged those fears, and made room for them, I realized I can handle them, and I can always ask for help. After all, that’s part of what an advisory committee is for.
And most of all, on the positive side, there is excitement and curiosity, plus courage.
The Decisions continuum of the Six Seconds model highlights the skills of Evaluation and Innovation.
It’s the difference between convergent thinking and divergent thinking, as Miriam Giguere explains in her Ted talk about ambiguity. Convergent thinking is about a specific, concrete answer, and divergent thinking is about many paths – paving the way for innovation.
I know I’m good at Innovation, and yet there are parts of carrying out my Goal Achievement Roadmap that will necessitate me using convergent thinking. There are specific answers when it comes to tasks like budgeting, or resources needed.
Part of the Goal Achievement Roadmap is making sure I’ve been explicit about the plan elements, including the time, energy, team, finances, and materials, for carrying it out. And calling on my Evaluative side to review that, and ask for help from the advisory committee when needed as well.
Over the years I’ve learned that one element I need help with is establishing and maintaining systems and structures to carry out my ideas. I’ve learned to bring people on the team who can do that or help me do that.
The Drive spectrum on the Brain Profile is about Practicality and Idealism. My ability to see possibilities is a great strength of mine, but without practical steps, I’m “all hat and no cattle,” as they say in Texas.
Spencer’s Goal Achievement Roadmap describes a process where there’s a planned course of action, as well as review and course corrections. There’s also an emphasis on further developing our craft, as Rob Bell describes it in the book How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living, and on grit – where “we believe we can do it,” Spencer says.
Finally, Spencer says there’s a breakout after working the plan – “We know it will happen…we can do it and we know it.”
Perhaps most importantly, I don’t want to lose my Idealism – it’s the “pull” that John Hagel, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison highlight in their book The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion (with a hat tip to John Craig).
It keeps me moving, and it's also something I enjoy talking about with Green Leaders.
Now that I’ve got a plan, I’m setting up the advisory committee meeting for later in September. It feels great to be starting, and I’m excited!
Look for an update in this space in the fall on how it’s going, and how you can be a part of shaping the LNC’s mission, vision, and programs.