Traveling to Santa Cruz, California, you make your way to a beautiful property in the mountains. As you settle in and start getting to know the other men, you realize that they’re warm-hearted, purpose-driven, and just as excited as you are to be there. You’re feeling nervous and excited to meet a group of men you've never met before…
In essence, leadership is how you are being, behaving, relating, and creating in the world.
Given our expansive definition of leadership, everyone is a leader.
And yet, while every human being has massive leadership potential, few people consciously take on the mantle of leadership and commit themselves the growth and development necessary to become an extraordinary leader…
What I'm about to write is an experiment in being extremely bold, direct, and presumptive. Hell, how would I know what you're going through as a man? How could I know what's best for you or what you should do?
Truth is, I don't. But I've consistently seen our Intensive transform men's lives, and I’m taking a stand for the incredible work we're doing in the Brotherhood Community.
Narrative is everything. Without a compelling narrative for our lives, we're wandering in the dark, lost and confused.
Watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi tapped me back into a narrative that has a lot of juice for me – the story of the light triumphing over the dark against all odds because of love, determination, a sliver of hope…
The background context to the #metoo movement is no doubt complex and multifaceted. However I want to dissect it, even if rudimentarily, because we need to progress, we need to do better, we need to learn and grow.
There are two sides to the movement -- the role of women, and the role of men.
In this post, I’m only going to address the role of men. Because I am a man. This is the side I can relate to, and this is the area where my work is calling me.
I believe the average American man is DEEPLY closed off from his own sexuality.
Emotions drive us. They determine every choice we make in our lives, relationships, and businesses.
Without a soft and tender heart we oftentimes end up running just for the sake of running. We become inflexible, closed off to outside influence, and unavailable to the resources and support of the world around us.
True grief is a very messy process. The snotting and sobbing are not pretty and they are certainly not typically considered to be “powerful”. Many of us carry deep shame or fear around letting ourselves be seen as “weak”.
All of us men have been taught – either explicitly or by example – to be invulnerable.
We receive the message countless times each day that “real men” are rough, rational, independent, and always having their shit together. We’re supposed to be providers. We’re not allowed to be “weak” or “soft.” We could go on…
This patriarchal belief system is like a suit of armor that we can’t take off. We may get accustomed to living with armor on, but when we get honest with ourselves, the cost (to ourselves, not to mention others) is immense.
As a man committed to supporting men living the most satisfying and empowered lives possible, these principles have become a center of gravity in the Men’s Work I am involved in.
The questions every man who does men’s work with me needs to answer every time we meet are these: What is the state of your Integrity? What are you Committed to? How are you Accountable?
These Masculine principles are foundational to healthy relationships and a safe community. A great deal of the suffering we are seeing in the world has to do with powerful men who lack integrity and are not being accountable for their actions.
功夫 - gōng fu - skill; art; merit. In its original meaning, gong fu can refer to any skill achieved through hard work and practice, not necessarily martial arts.(Wikipedia)
How is your gōng fu... of communication? What is the state of your practice? When the chips are down and someone is upset, when there is either explicit or subtle conflict, when there's a "block" in connection or you are just not getting what you want, are you happy with the ways you typically respond?
Many otherwise high functioning people would admit that we are not. Of course this is so! We inherited our communication patterns from our family of origin!
Some of us have spent considerable energy rewiring those patterns and still fall short. Most of us have not spent much at all.
So many men focus on the state of their sex lives as a pain point, but what many of us don’t get is that the quality of our sex is just an indicator for something deeper. Although the physical act of sex is something we definitely yearn for, after talking to hundreds of men and women about their sex lives the deepest recurring desire is for deep emotional intimacy. Sex is just the canary in the coal mine.