Category Archives: Consulting

Leadership, Courage & The Small “t” truth

Group of Multiethnic Business People in Meeting

In a prior posting my business partner, Debra Bowles, expressed the courage it took to speak her small “t”  truth in front of her executive peers in response to a CEO’s inquiry.  I am often struck by the use of the word courage in business today and curious if the word is used in a way that encourages leadership in a positive manner or whether it is so loaded with mis-meaning that the actual experience of courage is impaired.

One reason that courage may not convey a felt sense is the dictionary’s definition reflects idealized social attributes or affected social attributes instead of human ones. Words such as pluck, nerve, valor, daring, and guts… are nice ideals, but all of us know from experience, that when courage is called for it is much more impactful and transcendent than the dictionary definitions.

So what gives?  When is leadership courageous and when is it not? read more

The Power of the small “t” truth

Truth

I was raised to respect authority, almost to a fault, and my Dad spoke most of the Truth in our family.   I was a senior executive in a large organization for 14 years and there was much Truth spoken with great belief and force.  I am intentionally using a capital T because to me it designates an opinion or belief that is spoken with strong conviction, yet is rarely open for other opinions, input or honest dialogue.   Capital “T” Truth can stifle innovation and collaboration with a single sentence.

In the Four-Fold Way, Angeles Arrien developed four principles to provide clarity for thriving in today’s complex world of constant change.1 Her third principle is: read more

What Is Your Leadership Built On?

 |  Consulting, Leadership

In his most recent article for Forbes, Dov Seidman poses the question, “What ideas are you building your company on?” Thanks, Dov, for always lobbing softballs!

It’s a great question. And, it sets up a couple others for leaders inside companies. What ideas are you building your team on? What ideas are you building your life on? But, I digress. Here is my answer to Dov’s original question.

“My colleagues and I at Ecstasis are growing a company founded on the notion that leadership enables positive transformation [of the organization and of the teams and people within them]. Our name, Ecstasis, refers to the act of radical transformation associated with poesis, which German philosopher Martin Heidegger refers to as a “bringing-forth, the blooming of the blossom, the coming-out of a butterfly from a cocoon, the plummeting of a waterfall when the snow begins to melt.” The last two analogies underline Heidegger’s example of a “threshold occasion”: a moment of ec-stasis when something moves away from its standing as one thing to become another, an experience of real and profound transformation.

We strive to support leadership in their work of enabling positive transformation by encouraging more reflection and through that the construction or discovery of the thresholds that lead to a better experience and result for the organizations we work with and the communities in which they operate.”

I’d love to hear your answers to Dov’s question or mine. Regardless, I hope your next threshold opens to amazing possibilities.

About Greg:

Dr. Greg Giuliano is a change leader, innovator, and trusted thinking partner in the area of change leadership. As Founder and Managing Principal at Ecstasis, LLC, a leadership and organizational development consultancy, Greg uses his experiences as a business leader and former psychotherapist to engage with clients all over the world to co-create change leadership strategies that enable success.

Greg’s multi-sector consulting career includes experience with Cisco, Apollo Group, CITI, Philips, AAA, QuickLogic, Goodwill Industries, Red Lion Hotels, and Oxfam GB among others. Greg became a leader in the fields of leadership and change with innovations to individual practices, group learning processes, and social technologies that facilitate individual and collective reflection, dialogue, and positive change.

Follow Greg on Twitter: https://twitter.com/greggiuliano

Attend, Imagine, Move

 |  Consulting, Leadership

Our watchwords at Ecstasis are “Attend, Imagine, Move.” These words challenge us to begin and sustain a process of inquiry that is vital for real change to occur.

If our tendency is download and to race quickly from here >> to here, then pausing to dialogue with self or others is a first step toward becoming more reflective, less impulsive, and more aligned with both our individual purpose and organizational expectations. By utilizing the A I M Model (as we call it) we develop and strengthen our capacity to enable positive transformation (the most important work of leaders) and to lead rather than react to change.

The A I M process moves an individual, a team, an organization through a ‘U” shaped process of reflection, dialogue, and action. In Theory U (Scharmer, 2007), Otto describes the five aspects of the ‘U’ movement as extensions of what happens in all learning processes: Seeing, Sensing, Presencing, Crystallizing, and Realizing. Spurred on by Brian Arthur’s perspective on Theory U, we’ve condensed Otto’s five steps into three.

Step One of the A I M Model – Attend – is an experience of Seeing and Sensing. We observe where we want to go and where we are. The process encourages us to be consciously phenomenological, inviting inquiry and suspension of pre-conceived notions. Step Two – Imagine – is an experience of Presencing, and again, the process invites intentional curiosity, the chief characteristic of the phenomenological mindset. With Step Three – Move – we experience Crystallizing and Realizing; the process enables us to act swiftly and with confidence that we have explored the situation as deeply as possible and chosen a course of action that arose from a powerful meeting in the “in-between” of our deepest selves and our individual and collective experience of the here and now and what may be.
The A I M Model follows the U in the respect it is a learning process. However, it is also a way of focusing and directing action. The action undertaken as one emerges from the ‘U’ is the result of a process of inquiry, reflection, and dialogue. The A I M Model supports the shift from impulsivity or analysis paralysis to deep thinking, generative dialogue, and purposeful action.