Still Speaking Up – and Out

I still do a lot of speaking, and sometimes I recycle words, phrases, and even sentences I’ve used before. So, in preparation for a private event, I was looking for a speech I gave a long time ago and found this instead. It seems timely for now and right here. 

It was taken from a story I told to a modern day group of game-changers, back when people still raged against the machine. There were the mystical-sounding ‘rules of engagement’ for these corporate warriors, and then my translations into what I thought they needed to know about applying them to the achievement of their vision.

The Rules of Engagement

Water moves over rocks and ground; it parts around boulders and carries the sand. The warrior is persistent, even in the face of ignorance, adversity and derision, and is flexible enough to overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

Recognizing the futility of separating logic from emotion, the wisest leader enters the mind with the heart and the heart with the mind. The warrior stalks the quarry in the most vulnerable places with the most effective tools. Where there are few warriors, they remind themselves all that they must be both warriors of the mind and warriors of the heart.

The elders have advised, act as though you have two faces on the same head, one to lead, one to follow; one to look forward, one to look back; one to listen and one to see. The warrior is not solely a leader or a follower, but embodies the best characteristics of both.

That which the farmer sows is not what the sorcerer reaps, nor does the brewer feel the intoxication. Each warrior brings a context for warriorhood: a lived life of circumstance.  The race is not to the swift… time and chance happen to all.

A corner brings together the three dimensions, yet itself has no volume. Such is the warrior a container for valued treasures; the size is unknowable, but humility and self-knowledge increase it. The warrior knows their own box well before attempting to think out of it.

I concluded by exhorting them to go forth, knowing their own minds and their own hearts, and then guide others in discovering that their hearts and their minds crave the vision as they do. I expect that a good many did and I hope they are celebrating today, together in the hope that we will all come out of our challenges, stronger and more flexible, as individuals, teams, nation, and global family.  As I hope for you.

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