Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Living Powerfully in the New Age

Living Powerfully in the New Age

by Dexter Valles

We now live in radically different times than ever before.

Technology has transformed life as we have never known it to be. Barring the human being looking the same, there is nothing today that  looks like anything yesterday.

Every single aspect of life has changed. Much of it for the better. Yes it comes with its hazzards. Yes nostalgia is always an escape from the hazzards.

But lets face it. We cant really go back to where we came from without losing the tremendous advantages, ease of living, speed of living, upskilling of everyday human capability, massive explosion of knowledge.

Mind boggling leaps into creation supported by an incredible expansion of the mind to drive fearless participation in an ecosystem underpinned by volatility, uncertainty, chaos and ambiguity !!

Our challenge would be to adapt as quickly as we can to manage and master the monster of life before it devours us. Do we drag our feet objecting to the difficulty it poses, dig in our heels and resist the metamorphic demands of our times or do we learn to be nimble and agile ? And master this monster of life ?

Lets ask ourselves a few questions. Our answers will inform us how we are likely to negotiate and navigate the future. Which is already on our front porch. About to ring our bell !

What would happen

If we dont cope or manage technology at the everyday application - gadgets and devices to begin with.
If we dont vigourously seek and embrace alternate sources of energy to light our homes right through to drive our cars, fly our planes, explore space, clean up the choked environment our dying planet.
If we dont want progress because we cant finance the cost and find the price we pay overwhelming ?
If we dont quickly learn to make space to pause and clear the debris of the construction of our new world before we construct shining towers of life with rubble of the past choking every corridor. What would then become of the human being and human relationships which deliver our dreams
If in the speed of living we race to dying
If we insist on processes and habits of the past to manage the deliverables of future.
If we agree to growing older but not growing into the world being built.
What would happen if YOU dont care to answer these questions?

An Ode to Friendship !

An Ode to Friendship !

Friendship is Love's poor cousin,

Waiting in humble service,

By Love's ornate door;

Whilst in her boudoir Love clasps,

Passion, Strength and Courage

Close to her scented breast !
Court Love and ye shall have these too;

Seek just the bejewel'd hand of Friendship

And ye shall forever banish Love to weep,

In the empty nest of a faraway memory,

Of a forgotten time.....
For perchance you may find Friendship lends its charms,

To a lifetime and more, of true Love,

Whilst Loves' bright flame, burns not as fierce with Friendships' wick,

Then choose to rest thy worn spirit
In the comforting cradle of love's care,

And gently place thy weary head,

On the blessed bosom of true love.
For Love must steer Friendship, To the Shore of Trust,

Through mists of Doubt and Delirium,

Where treacherous reefs of shallow conscience,

Bare the jagged edges of careless promises,

That e'er so oft, rip the seams of Love's fragile dreams.......

Friday, October 12, 2018

An Ode to a Coach

An Ode to a Coach
by Dexter Valles 

Life is a journey and oft a rough ride

We need good counsel and a guide on the side

Someone who will help us achieve our goals

Through the tumult of times to play such a role.

Of mentor and coach, a teacher who's tough

Especially when the pathway is rocky and rough

To lift us high to our lofty dreams

Knowing we can fly once we burst the seams.
Of the chains that shackle us down to the ground

And keep us from reaching our dreams that abound

The exhiliarating playing field of life

Where lions are born from the hearts of mice.
Where the world snatches hope from the meek and the mild

But a coach shapes a conqueror from the mould of a child.

A sounding board, a firm force in the field,

A trusted friend who helps us reveal

The armour we wear, the sword and the shield !

LEADERSHIP : An Inspiring Way of Life

LEADERSHIP : An Inspiring Way of Life

By Dexter Valles
Are you a Leader ?
I wonder what your answer is, to this seemingly simple question. I hope ofcourse that you answered in the affirmative. However if you didn't, maybe you should reconsider what you need to do to be a leader.

Quite often many consider leadership to be a designation in an organisational hierarchy. It is certainly so. And much more than that. It goes beyond designation. Because designation defines a role and details what you need to do. While to be a Leader, you need to BE a Leader ! The landscape is much larger. A manager manages tasks and can also lead. A leader always leads. At times, from behind. That's because Leadership is an inspiring and influential way of life. Leadership is about leading, inspiring, influencing and launching people to the Vision and Purpose of the organisation or community.

Lets look at what comprise the characteristics of Leadership.

I like to call them the 6 Cs of Leadership :

Competence :

To be counted on for your knowledge and expertise in the area you lead. Its not necessarily technical skill but certainly a high level of mastery of and immersion with the subject or market or industry.
A competent leader says " Ive got this "

Courage :

Stand up for your values and beliefs. Stand up for your people Have courage of your convictions. Draw the line and stand firmly yet not obstinately. Have the courage to admit your mistakes and to apologise.
A courageous leader says " You have me in your corner"


It is good to be tough and strong willed. Good to be determined and powerful. In all that, remember to be just and kind. Learn to lift people up not beat them down. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Practice living with abundance and gratitude.
A compassionate leader says " I understand you"


It's your lighthouse which must always illuminate the way in the darkest of nights. Your sense of right and wrong, just and unjust, fair and unfair, context and content. Your inner voice always rings your truths. Learn to listen. 
A conscientious leader says " You can count on me to do whats right"


Let your heart, mind and soul operate with clarity and coherence with what you do. Because that is who you are. No matter how or when or where you are observed or experienced, the stories told of you, must fall in place to form the picture of the world you strive to create.
A coherent leader says " All of me is fully and completely here and clear on how I can lead you with clarity to our shared vision"


One of the hallmarks of leadership is the consistency with which you demonstrate your leadership. The regularity and reliability of your performance, your engagement with the business, the people, the message you endorse, the vision you describe. People look for leaders they can count on to walk their talk, every time they experience them.
A consistent leader says " You will always find me here"

The 7th C ( Bonus ) is Coachability.

A leader must be willing to continually learn. A learning leader builds a learning organization or a community of learners. A leader must be open to feedback, to reflect on them and reach for support from others. To be coachable is to be aware of ones own shortcomings, the gaps between promise and performance in the pursuit of fulfiling purpose, to be humble to seek and engage support and guidance,  yet determined to own the journey.
A coachable leader says " I too must learn with you to rise up. Push out my limiting boundaries. To be more competent, courageous, compassionate, conscientious, coherent and consistent"

So what does a leader need to DO in order to BE a leader worth following ?

Here is what I believe every Leader needs to embrace as an agenda. An agenda of everyday engagement. In order to embody the ability to influence and inspire people. As a way of living the truths they proclaim.

Listen & Learn : The truth is in common sight outside. Pay close attention to what the returning message is saying. Is it close to the message you sent out ? What came back ?

Engage Emotions ( Hearts not just Hands)

People must feel valued and appreciated. Either that or they feel neglected. Hardly anyone can claim effectiveness and agility in performance when the heart is heavy. Neutrality is a myth. Emotions influence if not direct our actions. Emotions when engaged positively radiate into the environment connecting others to the vision.

Activate & Accelerate : Be the spark and the flame. Let knowledge and skill combine to create new standards of performance. Create competence and capacity. Build a groundswell of good practices and processes which will lift people to the performances they desire to deliver.

Develop (others) & Delegate:

Holding on to power or position does not define true leadership. Real leaders give away powers, making others powerful too. Leaders don't create followers. Leaders create more leaders. The King maker versus the King.
There is enough powerful positive available in the world to lift every single human being to their potential. Delegating wisely, and not dumping, help people develop and grow into their power. A powerful organization is a community of powerful positively engaged people performing to their potential.

Enlarge the Ecosystem :
As a leader we influence the ecosystem we operate in. We can either size it down and make it small, narrow, compartmentalized and confined so its easily manageable. Or we can choose to increase the challenge by opening the canvass to full spread. Reorient roles to break down the barriers of mindsets,  of parochial performances, of filtered vision, glass ceilings and partitions. Encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship. Lead people to the ocean, not wade in streams.

Redirect & Reshape :
Create a pulsating organisation. Be constantly aware of the journey and willing to redraw the map, redirect energies and reshape outcomes to serve the common vision of a dynamic metamorphic organisation in step with a constantly evolving living planet.

So in current conclusion, in the context of creating leaders worth following, it needs leadership character to be forged in the cauldron of an everyday way of life. It would demand that every leader must Learn while Leading, Engage Emotions of the people, Act Decisively with the 6Cs , Develop People's Potential not just performance,

Evolve Personally by pushing limiting boundaries and embrace Risk by learning to play outside the boundaries of Fear.

A Leader must leave forward a Legacy. One that inspires others. To continuously strive to create a worthy world.
What is the legacy you are creating

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

I Really Don't Have the Time !

I Really Don't Have the Time !

To be your friend, to do the right thing, to do my share of work, to do things I dont like especially for people I don't like, to keep fit, to study, to visit ailing relatives,  or anything I don't want to do....

Sigh !

Should we say what's true or blame it all on time, till people get the message ?

It's commonly known and admitted, we make time for things we like, people we like, want to do and decide to do despite the discomfort.

Our brain has a way of lobbying decisions. The emotional brain would tend to choose comfort, the cortical brain would usually choose whats logical and rational, the integrated brain would balance emotion with logic and find a way to do whats right. Because it also works with a moral compass.

But we do have ways of disconnecting our integrated brain, bypassing it with a flood of emotions which hardwire emotional preferences into our decision making. We then use creative ways to justify and support the decision, ironically, through emotionally funded logic and rationale !

And so, I really don't have the time, becomes an auto response and the matter dismissed thereafter. We shut down people because we dare not care. Its difficult to tell the truth. Its difficult to draw lines. Its difficult to negotiate. Its difficult to be authentic. Its difficult to practise integrity. Its difficult to make others' needs our priority.

Yet we want just the opposite from other people.

What must we do to have the time ? To make time available ? And yet not be hijacked by other peoples agendas.

So do you really not have the time ? Or is it something else ? How are you working that out ?

Monday, October 1, 2018

Relating with Emotional Purpose.

Relating with Emotional Purpose

by Dexter Valles

Visible or invisible, conscious or sub conscious, acceptable or unacceptable, every relationship has a purpose.
When that is gone, so is the relationship.

Emotion is the equal partner of the purpose. Although quite often, emotion being more experienced in the mind and body, may actually obscure sighting the purpose itself. Interestingly, when the emotion runs dry, so does the relationship. If you are engaged more with the emotion than the purpose which produces or accompanies the emotion, well, it may just leave you stranded and adrift, when it runs out.

So Love, for example, and not Lust which is often confused with Love,  one of the biggest human emotions, is not the purpose of the relationship. But as an emotion, it's quite overwhelming.  Love is often called the seventh wave in a sea of emotions that floats the ship of purpose. Which could be the vision of life together, children, building a great future together, partnership, and so on. Love is the emotion that wraps the vision around the relationship. And holds it together.

So why would the emotional glue run dry ? And strangely, it quite often does, doesn't it ? Sometimes emotional glue is replaced with emotional dynamite !! That is enough to clue us into the insight that the original emotion has transferred out of the relationship, perhaps because either the vision has played out its course and the purpose fulfilled. Or, the vision has shifted or redirected elsewhere or even crumbled along the way. And the binding emotion has metamorphed into something else.

Like Love turning lukewarm, because of an anticipated shared future together with children, morphing into a future of two independent lives held together just by children or joint financial engagements or physical assets and investments; the relationship spiraling down to a necessary business partnership. Or terrible incompatibility with each others habits, wants, needs or desires at close range can erode the vision crafting the very purpose of the relationship, with the core emotions then shifting to ones less binding. Maybe even more loosening to allow for breaking or unraveling of the relationship.

Have you experienced this in your lives ? Has a relationship that enthralled and bound you now become less enchanting or even broken ? Or has it improved ? Did a mild emotion with loose ties turn into a burning flame ? Did you find purpose shifting from casual to imperative ? Or did a need that originally drove your purpose get fulfilled elsewhere ?

Whats the more powerful experience for you ? And what does it tell you about how you have engaged with your life's purpose or purposes with the people you've enrolled ?

  • We usually look for 5Rs in the performance of a relationship: Role, Relevance, Resonance & Reciprocity, Rigour and Results. We can call the fulfilment of these, evolved purpose.

Is there still enough evolved purpose to keep you in relationships which have served you well ?  Have you discovered or uncovered mistaken purpose along the way ? Did you not work with sufficient zeal and purpose towards your vision of the relationship?

Are you on the road to make, mend, amend or break ?

It hardly matters anymore in the present, what the past threw up. Although our egos are often in constant battle of what should have been. Who we are or not is then defined by our ego. So out of the window flies the original emotional purpose. And in comes Ego with explosive emotional baggage. The ghost of the past to haunt our future.

Being in the moment, is the most powerful way to exorcise the ghost of past perfidities. Let the past guide but not dictate the present. Look for past patterns that presently play out invisibly in crucial areas of your life .
Its probably good practise to pause and check for evidence of emotional purpose in your relationships. If you find that evidence and the emotional partnership, you could consciously stroke the responsiveness of that relationship. 

If you are struggling to find the evidence, maybe there is a tsunami of hidden emotions building in that sea !! Better get your relationships and partnerships to higher ground !! From there you can retrieve purpose or even redefine it.
Make up your mind and your heart about the energy you need to invest in the emotional purpose that drives each relationship. Release energies you have imprisoned in fatigued relationships to bring fresh perspective to fuel the true emotional purpose of your life.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Voice from the Womb

A Voice from the Womb.

By Dexter Valles
Birthdays are a great confluence of emotions. Its an emotional memory of when one emerged from within the calm womb to the surging energy of the world outside. It is the most profound disturbance presented to anyone ever.

The moment of birth is also the moment of death. Birth to what is the greatest trauma called Life. Death of tranquility and peace. Birth pulls the plug of Life support.
So birthdays come and go. Life transits from teething troubles through to traumas to transformation. And the cycle oft repeats.
Reminiscing on the passage of life at a birthday can be a fascinating experience. In the very churn of subconscious emotional memories that underpin birth, lie insights into the consciousness that drive life.

Amazingly these insights present themselves with shocking clarity. But just for a while. Whilst the emotional seas part down the middle to allow a brief passage of stark clarity and revelation.
Almost eerily like a voice from the womb. The original home of the Soul. And then it is gone. When the tide of life sweeps over like a tsunami.
If you can listen carefully you will hear your soul speak.

I have reason to believe that I have heard that voice from the womb. My soul has spoken. And now I can see.