“He’s only mostly dead”

As Billy Crystal’s character Miracle Max said in “The Princess Bride”, “there’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead…Mostly dead is slightly alive.” Like the “slightly alive” farm boy Westley, this site has been mostly dead for awhile. So what happened?

It seems my day job of strategy leadership with the Jesus Film Project had me “mostly dead” from writing… about anything. I started out with great intentions to share in real time what I was experiencing. But a year ago, I took a sabbatical, and simultaneously stepped down from my leadership role at JFP. This past year I’ve been rebooting professionally – focusing now on leadership coaching and consulting. As that has now ramped up, I’m going to share insights of over 4 decades of leading. And I think it will apply to anyone, not just leaders with a title or recognized position. Because great leadership is ultimately about influence, not roles or titles.

My current thinking has been along the line of resilience. The word has a lot of traffic over the last couple of decades. Do a Google search, and “resilience” usage doubled from 1985 – 2000 over its historical flat line usage. Then it tripled again from 2000 – 2019. I’m guessing it has at least doubled again in the past 4 years because I can’t read an article on leadership or mental health or dealing with change without seeing “resilience”.

The constant use of the word corresponds to the unprecedented frequency and intensity of change in our world, and the effect on us. Technology changes like AI, political and cultural crises, and anxieties of all kinds national and global, like that little global pandemic that we all experienced. And for most people, it’s just been confusing and exhausting.

So, you try to express what it takes to endure, to keep moving forward, to keep caring for people and to stay focused on your priorities when you just wonder how in the world?… and you come up with resilience as that word. I’ll be writing more about this in the days and weeks ahead. There are some things I’ve experienced and studied on the topic that I plan to pass along. As well as some other great resources to share that are amazing.

And honestly, it causing me a bit of a pause and a deep breath as I finish writing here at my kitchen counter, before hitting “publish.” It’s calling out my own level of resilience, because I’ve started and stopped so much on this blob/website over the years – kind of like a diet plan or workout plan. Well, a pause is not failure, and even failure doesn’t have to be fatal or final. So, here’s to being resilient and starting again. I’m right with everyone else you who needs it. I hope you come back and invite others in to a community that is characterized by resilience in the big and little challenges of life.

Remember: even if it feels like you are “mostly dead”, that means you are slightly alive. So let’s just start from there.

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