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Great post for leaders from Seth Godin

The easiest way to thrive as an outlier

…is to avoid being one. At least among your most treasured peers.

Surround yourself with people in at least as much of a hurry, at least as inquisitive, at least as focused as you are. Surround yourself by people who encourage and experience productive failure, and who are driven to make a difference.

What’s contagious: standards, ethics, culture, expectations and most of all, the bar for achievement.

The crowd has more influence on us than we have on the crowd. It’s not an accident that breakthroughs in music, architecture, software, athletics, fashion and cuisine come in bunches, often geographic. If you need to move, move. At least change how and where you exchange your electrons and your ideas.

We all need leaders who challenge the tribe. We benefit even more when our leaders have peers who push them to be even better.

Project shipped, litterally!


Back in January, we were proposed the idea of having ‘something shipped’ by the last meeting time for the Pilot Project of Transformation Leader.  Well, this project was already in the hopper but the ship date is officially here!  What an awesome experience.  The learning and challenges haven’t let up and it would be false to say this journey is far from over.  The project may have the shipped date of Wednesday, August 29th – but the truth is, this is a life long journey.

So, I’ve also finally written on our blog – and started our own!  Thank you for being a part of this, the love and support have been tremendous!


The Razor’s Edge of Leadership

The Razor’s Edge of Leadership

Russ Hardesty, PhD



One aspect of the Razor’s edge that makes a phenomenal leader is Clarity.  Clarity operates on several levels, giving definition to the tribe of the leader.  It creates the opportunity for a collective unconscious for the tribe to operate as a single living organism with its many complex subsystems to function seamlessly.  The various members of the organism or organization each find their purpose and meaning in their various and unique contributions.


Clarity allows the intuition and creativity of the members of the organization to be aware of the many opportunities available for the taking in abundance.  Abundance isn’t “things” but an experience for the organization or individual.  Jesus spoke of this in the Sermon on the Mount, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”[1]

Confusion, mixed messages, or neurotic behaviors create an environment of distrust and a fear driven culture.  Clarity allows the heart and soul of an organization, trust and respect, to prosper and proliferate which becomes the filter for greater clarity and abundance.

[1] Matthew 7:7-8


calling, convergence or unified field theory

I feel as if I have never been quite as excited and jazzed as I have this week. I have been reading a book titled Synchronicity by Joseph Jaworski and as I have been reading the book, I am seeing a convergence of themes that have been brewing in my life.

I am not so sure I can yet put words to the convergence, but for as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by Einstein’s quest for the unified theory. I feel that there is a unified theory in psychology, business, theology and now believe it or not physics.

In the book mentioned above, Joe talks about being in a flow where people come together and things happen out of relationship, out of connection to one’s purpose, out of a group of people becoming one. And when in “the flow” it seems miracles and coincidences occur to make the result seem easy.

I have experienced this flow in my company. We have created a place where the recession did not hit. Our competitors are failing, and we are not. In fact, we have been growing. We have created what we dreamed of having. A place where people can grow and prosper.

One of Einstein’s peers was a man named Bohm. Dr. Bohm a physicist, in his later years devoted his thinking towards all of creation being connected with all of creation. He made the statement that our language with nouns and verbs, lends itself to us looking at creation as independently separate pieces. If you go to the story of the tower of Babel you see how God used language to bring separation among people. A theory proven in 1964 actually shows that matter is connected to each other even when separated by far distances. This interconnection is an actual reality and humans have the capacity to effect reality as we connect deeply to one another. In Colossians, we find that Jesus is in everything and holds all things together. In a simple way, Jesus is the unified field theory.

These deep connections are through empathy and emotion. Einstein has a quote in which he says intuition is a gift and the rational mind a great servant, but our culture has viewed the rational mind the gift and forgotten intuition. We have decided if we can’t measure it, then it does not exist. Yet reality may actually be something that cannot be measured. Do you think you can measure God?

So as I ramble here are the pieces that to me are converging in a manner where God will reveal great power to affect all of creation.

The words that I feel are connected are: Jesus, shame, sin, faith, love, create, relationship, communities, trust.

The concepts that I feel are connected are:

Faith that God, loves us and likes us and is for us.

Reality is only as it exists in each moment as God sustains it and it is created new in each and every moment. This actually lines up with physics that says that matter is always changing, from mass, to energy to waves, to nothing and then back to matter. So we might perceive the rock to be unchanging and fixed, but in fact it is new every moment. Believing that reality is changeable can lead us to a new place of hope and adventure where we can create a new reality in the new moment before us.
As we trust in God and what Jesus came and did for us, and embrace our imperfectness, we find strength to believe that we can create our dreams, we find strength to believe we have not disqualified ourselves. We can learn new things. New ways to relate to one another. And in our embracing our imperfectness, we can actually stay in the flow of God’s blessing, and stay in faith, trusting God.

It seems to me that leading like a sinner, allows a person to share with integrity our experience which brings forth great connection with others. From that connection, as God has made each one unique, a greater whole is created which brings newness to thinking, new ideas, new creations. It is difficult to lead with our sin, the things we feel shame about, but the gospel gives us strength, hope, and joy where the shame brought isolation.

I am excited about the adventures God has before me. The communities of businesses that will create new realities. The company I am a part of now has created a reality where there has not been a recession. I believe business can create communities where things work differently and better than ever before. I believe business leaders can make their own businesses places of health and love and provision for those they touch.


Listen to your …

Listen to your Three Year Old!


Are you stuck in a routine that makes you gloomy and hopeless?  Is the heat getting to you and sucking all of your energy?  You need to make some time to listen to your three year old!  Oh, perhaps you are not as fortunate as I.  There are five three year olds easily accessible to me.  Grandkids and great grands!  When I find myself with a negative outlook on things, I know it is time to spend a day or even an hour with one of them!

What’s so magic about a three year old?  Oh, they are amazing, intoxicating little people!  They are high energy, creative…they laugh and dance spontaneously.  They can have fun with anything, anywhere!  They are wide eyed and full of wonder and wisdom!  But most of all, to sum it all up, they are about play every minute from sun up to sun down!!!  They love to play!

Three year olds are dreamers!  They can be anything they want to be!  And they know for sure what they like and what they don’t like.  They don’t worry about hurting others feelings.  They just say what they are thinking!

Oh, so you don’t have any kids or grandkids that you can listen to!?!  I have wonderful news for you!  You still have access to a three year old!  Actually, you have access that no one else has.  You see, there is a three year old that resides inside of you!  You have known this three year old since you were…well,  three years old!!! This amazing little person is available to you 24/7!  And ready to spend time with you!

This three year old is the one that “comes out to play” with your kids and grandkids.  It’s who gets your feet to dancing when you hear that favorite song!  This three year old is the one that laughs out loud and “likes pink”!  This three year old is the one who guards your tender heart, your creative mind and your hopes and dreams.  This three year old is the one that breathes life into  your being each day!

If you dared to listen to your three year old you would probably start having fun….all of the time!  You would make play out of work, and you would zip around filling your day with as much fun as you could imagine!  Three year olds are like that!

Here is the agenda for a normal three year old:




Kiss people on the Mouth!  HA!



LISTEN TO YOUR THREE YEAR OLD!  Take him or her on a play date!  And if you can find another three year old to play with, WOW!  What a life we can live! 

Living my dream is hard

Here’s what I’ve learned since our Transformation Leader seminar. Living my dream is hard. Lots of things get in the way and I just tend to give up. Maybe you are feeling the same way.

I published the first of what I thought would be a monthly magaine back in May and I immediately did not like the look and feel of the site and wasn’t sure what to do about it. I got good response, lots of page views. I was surprised actually that there were somewhere over 300 page views. This in itself is a minor miracle.

I should have been rejoicing. Instead I was trying to figure out how to fix the site and since I couldn’t get my brain around it, I just did nothing. Oh, I wrote down next step actions but then I’d get stuck on one of the steps. I tried to get help with the site but those willing to help had to have me tell them what I wanted which was really to learn how I could do it myself so I could see what I really wanted. But I didn’t know what I wanted. See the circular, endless pattern I was in?

Last Friday at the Freedom Night Out, Scott made a simple observatiion and asked a simple questions . He said, “So let me get this straight you were posting regularly on your old site last year and now you have your new site and you’ve stopped. What is it you really want to do and where are you stuck?” We didn’t talk long but it was long enough for me to realize that if I am a writer, I need to be writing and posting and sharing and working on my website instead of sitting and pondering and doing nothing.

That awful monster of resistance called perfection reared its ugly head and won for a few months. I took some peppermint essential oil for alertness and spent Saturday and a lot of Sunday tweaking my site, figuring out unfirgurable things and guess what? I posted again today.

I still have things I want to do. I want to make some of the longer articles into downloadable and printable pdfs. That will be coming soon. I have also decided to tell my own story in an ebook format. It will be the continuing saga of healthy living that I feel I have been on most of my life. It will include various stages of being stuck and getting unstuck. I might even share a few recipes, etc.

Anyway I’d love for you to go to my site and give me HONEST feedback. I value that from this group. Here’s the link.;

Please leave a comment on the post on my site. It really helps the search engine rankings to have comments from others. Also, feel free to share the post. The Shareaholic buttons are at the end of the post. Just click on the facebook, twitter, pinterest, email or whatever you’d like and share away.

One last thing: I love this group. At times in the last few months I’ve felt I was going backwards and wondered if I should even think about dreaming new dreams at age 58. Dreaming is really easy. It’s living my dream that is hard. But if I don’t, there’s no reason to dream.

Love you guys. How are you living your dream?

Real God Real People Shipped

Real God Real People shipped on Sunday, May 13, 2012! To take a look, go to

This was a learning experience and continues to be one. I will definitely change things next time. For instance, I don’t think I will send multiple stories at once. There were six in this issue.

Story one has had a great page view rate and time spent on page reveals it is read to the end.

Major Story two a lesser page view but same time spent showing people who got to that story read it. And Major story three less view and still good time spent on page.

That says to me once they saw story one they didn’t go on to the next major story. So I probably will release one story at a time. I probably will have the site open to the major story.

In addition, I want to add advertisements. I did incorporate links to businesses and organizations in the story. I’m not sure I have a way of tracking those who clicked on the links.

My subscription follow button is going to be the better way of signing people up to the site as the other form I have is a cost item to me. The follow button is just a place for emails to be added and then notifications will be sent via RSS feed, a much easier way for people to follow.

My next action step is meeting with a young man I’ve known since he was a little boy. He has a business called Clairus Interactive that helps businesses build websites. I’m going to pick his brain and see what we can come up with.

Thanks for your support. Go to the website. Read the stories under magazine tab. Click the brown follow button in the bottom right corner and put in your email to be added to my system.

It feels good to have launched this. Why did I wait? Godin is so right that now as not as good as later. By launching I learned more about what I want and don’t want.

I have had over 1,201 page views on the site. Some came while it was not quite ready. Since May 13, I’ve had 225 page views on the first story!

It has been shared numerous times on facebook. I’ve had some comments. I feel it has been a success. Now to keep it going!

Transforming Birth Retreat #2 is scheduled for July 14th

Transforming Birth Retreat #2 July 14th


TODAY  we committed to the next steps of Transforming Birth in Missouri by scheduling retreat # 2 on July 14th, and #3 on September 15th at the Healing Stone Retreat Center in Hermann Mo.   Let’s spread the word so folks can save the date.

TODAY We clarified our MISSION:  to promote the birth center model of care across Missouri.

TODAY we clarified what we DO:

1.  We organize events that network natural birth advocates (gather the tribe).

2.  We build bridges between physicians, midwives, and childbearing families. (empower the tribe)

3.  We start movements, make it public, and open birth centers. (make a difference)

TODAY we reaffirmed our CORE VALUES:

1.  Choice and autonomy for childbearing women.

2.  Integrative Wellness of mind body and spirit, for women.

3.  Building bridges with mutual respect among birth advocates.

TOMORROW is a new day.  We need you to join us, here on this blog and at the next retreat.   Spread the word that we are, with your help…

Transforming Birth In Missouri Retreat has shipped!

The Transforming Birth In Missouri retreat was officially launched today with 15 people attending from around the state, from the fields of consumers, midwives, nurses, physicians and birth center founders.  We reached consensus on 3 core values:  

#1 We support choices and autonomy for women

#2  We promote integrative wellness for women (mind, body, and spirit).

#3  We are committed to creating bridges based on mutual respect.

What we do is #1  Networking birth advocates, and #2  break down barriers to improve outcomes for childbearing families.  

Stay tuned for more details of the events of the day. 

Thank you tribe for your inspiration and thank you Russ for planting the seeds, and nurturing their growth.  

It was a WOW for me!!  Laurel 

Is it finished?

The Pilot Project for Transformation Leader, the first phase was completed on Friday evening, April 20.  The sharing of manifestos by the group was a profound experience.  The Pilot Project isn’t completed, but just beginning.  Each Transformation Leader is continuing to grow, learn, and lead.

The applause and thanks is something extra.  Each creation is the work of art.  A unique and valuable contribution to a tribe of people waiting to be led.  The acknowledgement for the work is not an end, but encouragement that your work is significant.  In the words of a recent blog, “to play a beautiful song for two people or a thousand is the same song, and the amount of thanks you receive isn’t part of the song.” (Godin)

Each Transformation Leader will continue to do their work!  There will be a gathering on the second Wednesday’s 12:00 -1:00 p.m.  at Willie’s Roller Rink.  The first meeting is May 9.  This will be a time for connection, accountability, learning and growth.

Announcements for the next phase for Transformation Leader work will be coming soon!  Plan on attending our reunion in Joplin in September; Nolene is hosting that meeting.

Thank you for your trust, commitment and energy!  Russ