|This essay, Fireside Chat, is the second in the eighth trilogy Questions For A Friend:||The first trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
|The second trilogy Questions For A Friend is:||The third trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
|The fourth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:||The fifth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
|The sixth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:||The seventh trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
|The ninth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:||The tenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
|The eleventh trilogy Questions For A Friend is:||The twelfth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
|The thirteenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:||The fourteenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
is also the ninth in a group of seventeen written in
I am indebted to Joseph "Joe" Kempin and to Reg Leonard who contributed material for this conversation.
Recently you shared
with us some of the projects you're working on. I'm eager and
to know the progress of these projects, and how close to completion
"Where are you at with the book on integrity, the paper you call The Mastery Talk, the paper called A New Paradigm Of Performance, the completion of The Leadership Course, and the article for In‑House Consulting company's magazine?"
is a triumph, a tour de force. Like everything you do, I
it and delivering it provides an opportunity for you to break
yourself open at yet another level, a level at which
for you is already within reach and starting to take shape.
"What will be the sequel to The Leadership Course?"
This thing, this time we call "now": we refer to it as if we're
facile with it. We talk about it somewhat glibly, as if we know
what it is. But it's easy to show upon closer examination that
whatever now is, is actually quite elusive.
"You speak about the 'theoretical now' as distinct from the 'episodic now'. The exact moment in time I call now is really an instant - so brief it's not real for me. Is this the theoretical now? What's real for me is a longer period in time I call now, an episode with a beginning and a middle and an end. Is this the episodic now? Am I in the ballpark?"
When I asked you recently
what keeps you going,
"Dancing with Life.".
I've waited for this opportunity to revisit your answer.
There's dancing with life the way many people do it ... and then there's dancing with life the way you do it. The difference between other people who dance with life and you, is they dance occasionally, sometimes with long breaks in between each dancing session, whereas you've been dancing with life literally without a break for fifty years straight ... and more.
"You're unimaginably busy. The enormous volume of your creative output is legend. What's the essence of creating powerfully we can learn from the sheer velocity with which you've worked non‑stop 24 / 7 / 365 for half a century?"
I've also been looking forward to this opportunity to ask you this
question. It's a question which is very on topic in
right now. It's about the relationship between
honoring my word)
and making promises /
keeping my word
making happen what I said
I would make happen).
More specifically, it's about the relationship between
and breaking promises ie it's about the relationship
keeping my word.
"When I listen you speak integrity, you speak about revoking a promise with integrity. This runs against what I learned growing up. I learned integrity was keeping my promises. Integrity wasn't included in revoking ie in 'breaking' promises. How can you break a promise with integrity?"
One thing I can say with 1000% certainty from talking with people
who know you, is your physical presence is greatly missed. While we
all know how your focus and concentration on your current projects
preclude you from being as public as you once were, we can only
wonder if it's more than just wishful thinking to envision you on a
public tour open to large audiences again soon.
"The presentation you gave with Michael Jensen on Creating Leaders at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in November was remarkable in that it was your first widely advertised open public event in the United States in many years. What prompted this welcome change? Will you be giving more?"
I've got a sense of what you refer to when you
about 'ontological constraints'. Are they ways I'm being (in other
who I am for myself) that I'm limited in some ways, and those ways
are 'just the way I am'? Seeing these ontological constraints is
hard, if not very difficult. And as for casting them off entirely,
that seems almost impossible.
"You distinguish the impact of ontological constraints on one's freedom to be and act. Please give us an example of ontological constraints. Can their impact ever be entirely mitigated?"
Where you operate from (at least in my
is the center, the vortex of a very powerful place, the fulcrum for
great leverage we all have (at least, like a possibility) which I
I've often wondered what could be accomplished ie what life on
would look like if this vision, this power were directly applied at
of the key institutions which run
"If you could enact one decree as Secretary General of the United Nations, what would it be? If you could enact one decree as President of the United States of America, what would it be?"
Many of the abstracts you distinguish are so unique and beyond the
scope of our
day to day conversations that they require an
just to follow and keep up with you. Yet in this oftentime arduous
process of keeping up with you, my
is challenged in ways which break up dullness and deadness, making
something new and wonderful available: real
honoring my word as
"In your presentation at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in November, you posed the question 'Where is your word when it comes time for you to keep your word?'. If I ante up with either 'In my promise / commitment to act' or 'In your listening / counting on me to act' or both, am I in the ballpark?"
I love you.
what you make available. I
what being around you makes available. In particular, I
who I am
when I'm around you. I'm clear
with you in
this work we do
is like climbing a mountain with no top. Yet even if we'll never
reach the top, there's a quality of life which I know you know this
kind of climbing makes available right here and right now.
"Being in integrity is obviously an act of workability because without integrity nothing works. And being in integrity, because it works, enhances the quality of our relationships. So would you consider being in integrity, in addition to being an act of workability, therefore also to be an act of love?"
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