The Edge of the Real is a boundary, a border, a threshold, a decision, action and change.
It is discovered as individuals take initiative to act upon their own discernment. It is found as people decide to no longer passively adopt what is trending as their concern. It is realized in individual decisions to act passionately on those things that matter to them.
The edge is a place where values move from being abstractions of absolvement of responsibility to actions of change that make a difference that transforms situations, organizations and people's lives.
Each time a person takes initiative to do something whose impetus has risen up from within the person, that person is exerting leadership. They are leading, not as a positional leader within an institutional structure, but rather as a individual human person.
This call to lead comes from within us, and stimulated by our engagement with various settings of our life and work. The call to lead through one's own initiative is born in three desires that define us as individuals.
The desire for personal meaning roots us in values that define and guide us in life.
The desire for happy, healthy relationships provide a social environment where we find not only affirmation and love, but also the challenge and encouragement to reach beyond the edge of social conformity.
The desire to make a difference that matters leads to become agents of positive change.
These desires constitute a call upon our lives. They beckon us to cross over the threshold from hanging back, going along with the crowd to stepping forward to leadership.
This is not a call from someone else, or some group asking for us to take a responsible leadership in their organization.Though it may align well with the opportunities that others present to us. It is in knowing what our desires are, and especially, the difference we want to make with our lives that begs us to walk out the door of the room or the house that confines us within an already preset conception of who we are and what we can achieve.
As I write this, I'm in the middle of conversations with a variety of people about the creation of a new business. The form of this business as it has been presented to me aligns well with my own three desires. At a time, when many people my age are contemplating retirement, I'm looking at what I'm going to acheive over the last third fo my life.
Initiative is born in our own desire to cross over from feelings and notions of what is important to actions that validate and confirm the importance of our values, our relationships, and the desire we have for a better world.
This is why all leadership begins with personal initiative, and why leadership in this sense is open to every human being.
In order to embrace our desires, and, move towards taking initiative, we must confront reality as it exists right in front of us. The hyper-reality presented to us in all forms of media is an alternative reality that is many situations is meant to divert us from seeing the real world as it is.
If we are serious about making a difference, we must develop a healthy skepticism of all those who identify themselves as advocates for one position or ideology or another. To lead requires us to abandon narrow special interests in favor of looking at the larger realities that affect us.
To move in this direction requires self-confidence and a network of relationships which provides us support and honest critique so that we maintain a healthy balance of thought and action.
The Edge of the Real is the next action we take based on our own convictions that something must be done. Whatever that something is, do it whole-heartedly with passion and commitment to the process of discovery and development that leadership requires.
To stay on track regularly ask the Five Questions.
Ask them in real time. Ask them regularly. Keep a journal if you need to track progress.
1. How am I in transition right now from where I was a week ago, a month ago? What has changed about my ideas, relationships and life-work situation?
2. What is the impact I'm having right now? What difference do my ideas, relationships and my impact upon my life and work situations make that matter?
3. Who is being most significantly impacted by me and what I am doing right now?
4. Are there opportunities opening up for me that I need to take initiative on, right now?
5. If problems do I need to address right now? What obstacles do I need to remove or work around?
Asking these questions brings clarity and direction to our acts of initiative. Do so and you'll begin to see that The Edge of Real is an awareness of what is possible right now.
Take the initiative that this picture suggests and you'll begin to see things that were hidden before. Be open to what is possible. Take care to maintain balance, especially as it relates to the financial resources that you need and are required for new ventures. Take a step at a time, and each subsequent step will become more evident sooner and more definitively.
This is what I've learned about living at The Edge of Real, and continue to learn as I begin to plan the creation of a new business. As always, if you need help, or, just a conversation, get in touch. For after all, my desire and purpose is to Inspire Leadership Initiative.