BEing All of Me

January 28, 2013

Who are you?

David Taylor (white shirt) is a blend of Belief & Energy.

Last Thursday an executive I work with asked three LinkedIn customers/members this question.  The members of the panel answered, “I’m a producer”, “I’m a veteran of the humanitarian industry”, I’m a recently hired professional”.

This morning at Glide church (  the minister asked us the same simple yet difficult question,  “Who are you?”  The things that came to mind for me were:  I’m compassionate, I’m a husband and father, I’m an enabler of enablers, I’m an agent of transformation, I’m a nature lover and trail runner…

After a thirty minute message about this question the minister asking the question summarized his perspective by stating, “Were are not what we do.  We are not what others say.  We are not what we have.  We are…loved.”  Now that I’ve had a few hours to contemplate and feel his message I would answer the question differently.  I would have answered the question, I am All.  In other words, I allow myself to integrate my:

  • inward self (Belief self or purpose) AND my outward self (Energy self or thoughts/actions).  

I am an integration of All the things that came to mind and much much more.  I appreciate knowing that I am loved, but I can’t operate with my inward self alone and survive in this outward self-obsessed world.  I don’t feel nor think it’s a binary thing.  I don’t think it can be simply stated, I’m OK if driven by intangible feelings like love —or—I’m NOT OK  if driven by tangible things like recognition, rewards or the mission I pursue.  

I’m most OK if driven and guided by both.  I work to integrate All aspects of my life:  Transformation of my Health and Action AND transformation of Soul and Tribe. 

I also work to integrate within these four living aspects.  All four of them are woven into every aspect of my home and work life.  I bring integrated Belief Energy to All my challenges, celebrations and the challenges I celebrate.

Two examples:

@ home-  Every time a challenging situation or hard decision comes along at home I allow, earn and sustain an integrated approach to addressing it.  I integrate All feelings (Belief) and thoughts or actions (Energy) to inform my path forward.  I also practice compassion and integrate my feelings and thoughts with those of my wife and daughter AND our blended feelings and thoughts.  My wife and I call this our integration of he, she and we.  This approach always brings he, she and we through the challenging situation or hard decision in the most optimal way.

@ work-   Every time I embark on a new endeavor or mission I allow, earn and sustain an integrated approach to it.  I bring All of me to it.  I allow my sense of felt purpose (Belief) AND best thinking and actions (Energy) to merge and inform my path forward.  My Belief Energy approach plays out on three levels.  I often ask myself, how can I stay present and transform:

  • myself and other individuals in the tribes I connect with?
  • the tribes I choose to collaborate with and enable?
  • the broader world?
My 1900 peers at LinkedIn.

My main job at LinkedIn, an organization that grasps the All integration well, is to help nonprofits use LinkedIn to engage what they need to succeed.  I started the mission for LinkedIn in May of 2011.  I was floored and deeply touched last week when a senior executive that over 2000 of us work for and  admire, Mike Gamson, recognized me in front of my peers at our global meeting as BEing LinkedIn’s embodiment of transformation for the world.

Mike Gamson, a great BEing.

According to Mike, my work  has had a transformational impact on people, organizations and the world.  He mentioned that I always bring passion to my work and that I’m always present when I speak with people.  Can you see how grateful I am that my employer recognized and honored me for BEing All of myself at work.  

I chose to join LinkedIn because they respect and reward compassion and transformation.  In other words, our versions of Belief and Energy align.  I would never have received Mike’s public recognition or exceeded my aggressive financial business plan if I’d been selfish or brought only part of me to LinkedIn Nonprofit Solutions every day.   

LinkedIn also brings the All integration to it’s culture, staff and members.  The three client/member speakers that joined our meeting last week didn’t spend their 5-7 minutes on stage discussing only the tangible benefits they get from using LinkedIn.  They referenced how LinkedIn gives them a vehicle to execute their life’s work.  They referenced the things we do to bring their passions, purpose and missions to life and help them transform.  Members on the panel spoke of how LinkedIn is helping them fight mystery diseases, serve the poorest populations of the world and support their families.  This is All stuff… not just love stuff and not just reward stuff… it’s All stuff.

I admire LinkedIn for:

  • Knowing that business people aren’t just coin-operated robots motivated by ego and fear.
  • Folding compassion into their definition of leadership and internal or external business planning.
  • Building its culture, mission and broader vision on transformation at multiple levels (self, company, world).
  • Leading an industry by offering Belief & Energy to its massive network of client/members.

Here’s something I’ll read often as I face challenges and celebrations @ home and  @ work this year.  It’s a self-reminder for my version of BEing All:

Belief (Soul & Tribe)

  • Optimal if– compassionate, collaborative
  • Not optimal if– selfish and inauthentic

Energy (Health & Action)

  • Optimal if–  curious, balanced, focused action
  • Not optimal if– arrogant, unfit, disorganized
Answer this:  Who are you?  Spend a day feeling and thinking your way through an answer to this important question.   I hope my thoughts help.  :)




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