What would be possible for you if you had a physical presence that exuded confidence and accelerated movement to toward one of your most provocative propositions? What if you could create a body that reinforced your focus on what you care about and that could hold the inspired action to make it happen? The Ghandi quote, “be the change, you wish to see in the world” has even more meaning when we look at the body as a source in building our capacity for effecting personal and ultimately organizational change. The body is a container for the wealth of stories that shape our existence and the way we move in the world. Like the mind, the shape of our body can influence our listening, our action, and how others see us as a leadership presence. The shape we are can determine what we find, where we look, how we talk, and how we are in community with each other.
When we talk about Appreciative Inquiry, we often note that it is about a way of being in the world. Since we are in the world essentially as a physical being, it is important to consider the body in our inquiry around the best of what is and what could be. Over the past two years, I have had the pleasure of learning from a team of amazing people at the Strozzi Institute in Petaluma, California, which was founded by Richard Strozzi Heckler, author of Anatomy of Change: A Way to Work Through Life’s Transitions. Richard and his team of associates have developed the Leadership in Action programs for individuals and organizations. They are designed to help leaders at all levels to create a body that is fully present and connected to what they care about and a body that will take action toward it. The practices that I have learned through these masterful teachers have helped me “get in shape” for a future that is focused on what I care about – helping people develop the personal leadership needed to successfully collaborate with others. The learning is practical, pragmatic, and essential to my practice as an executive coach and consultant.