The Global Co-Active Summit was almost a month ago, and I find myself just now being able to articulate into words how life-changing that event was for me. I was honored to be the emcee and on the Summit design team with CTI co-founders Henry and Karen Kimsey-House.
The Summit was held at the gorgeous Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, CA and the overall theme was that we are all leaders. Karen and Henry did a masterful job of guiding us along the path of “Me to We,” all in an effort to make our world a better place. There were thought-provoking keynotes, breakout sessions, a scavenger hunt, and lots of time for fun and networking with folks I’ve met throughout my career from around the globe.
As the emcee, I had a particular job to do, which in my mind meant that I really wouldn’t be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the Summit as a regular participant. And that was okay with me. I was excited for this opportunity.
In reflecting back, I keep surprising myself with what I call personal “Ah-Ha” moments. The Summit really had an impact on me personally, and that was something I really didn’t think would happen. And, knowing CTI as I do, of course it would. CTI is masterful in creating learning around every bend and corner!
My Personal “Ah-Ha” Moments
The Summit Really Grew Me as a Leader
As a leader of CTI’s Leadership program, I teach others the concepts of being at full permission and being responsible for your impact. I’ve taught these concepts for years, and it was perhaps not until the Summit that I fully grasped them myself.
Standing in front of 670 people on a theatre-in-the-round stage is certainly not in my daily routine. This was the perfect setting to keep me on my toes! Talk about leadership from within, behind, beside, in front…
I experienced full permission and boy did I feel responsible for my impact. This made me feel alive and full of freedom, and to be honest more fun than I’ve had in a very long time!
This makes me think that personal growth tends to occur in situations that don’t happen regularly in life. For me, it was the theatre-in-the-round stage in front of 670 people. What might this look like for you in your world?
Living Organically is Fun!
Each time I went on stage I had a plan. Sometimes it worked. And sometimes it didn’t.
I was so aware of when things worked and when they didn’t – and what I loved most is that instead of getting caught in my normal shame-based “what I am doing wrong now” place, I stayed fully out and present and created something even more fun (at least to me!) when something did not go as planned.
There is a fine line between having a plan and letting it go when something new and in the moment wants to happen. This is the difference between living organically and living strategically. I so prefer living organically!
The opening sketch had a loose plan, yet it unfolded in a much more engaging and fun way when I asked folks from the audience to come on stage and help. This added a whole new level of co-activity with the audience that I had no idea was going to happen. They behaved brilliantly – there is no way we could have scripted that!
This is how I want to live my life way more – leaning into the creativity of others as we all co-create new ways that are far better than the original plan. I think Karen & Henry might be on to something with this whole “Me to We” thing!
It Takes Courage and a Village
And there is dark side that I must share too! In the evenings my inner self-critique would get so loud it was just amazing. I would go over everything that happened and analyze to death how it went. Did I offend anyone? Did I get all the announcements delivered? Was it fun? Boring?
As I fully expressed myself and put “it” all out on a stage for the world to see, the louder my own saboteur became. In the CTI Fulfillment workshop we train that when we fully honor our values (and in this case I was so fully honoring my value called Ellen, as in Ellen DeGeneres), the louder our own inner voice can become that says something like “you will die out there if you show up fully.” This was happening to me!
Brene Brown talks about how shame shows up on the heals of being fully exposed and vulnerable. Well, she is accurate. Fortunately I had people who I leaned into to give me straight feedback. My own inner voice distorted it to the point of destruction almost. At times I missed the joy and fun of being the emcee! Now this did not happen every night, but I can say I now have such empathy for folks who fully put themselves out there. It takes courage and it takes a village! Thank you to my personal beloved village.
It’s Time to Come Out Already!
It is time to come OUT everyone! I made a choice to be fully out on that stage. And I knew it would be risky. Let me tell you about the freedom I experienced… OMG… I want that for everyone.
We each have our own version of “coming out.” Perhaps it’s something you believe in that you think the world around you will not approve of, or something that matters to you deeply that it is so time to share.
Whatever it is, it’s time to come out about it. Whether to a large group or your intimate friends, it does not matter. What matters is that you must share it. Think about that. When you finally let it out – whatever it is – it no longer has you, and the creative freedom that comes out is just amazing. So have at it, and please come out already!
I would love to hear what you learned at the Summit, or any thoughts about what I’ve written here.