masthead

OCTOBER 2010

         VOLUME TWO, ISSUE 10

Greetings!
3 Human Elements   It's 8:30 at night and I'm sitting on the deck at a friend's house out on a country road. Normally, there's little light pollution out this way and you can easily see the stars illuminated against a dark sky. But tonight there's a Harvest Moon - a full, glorious, "hanging low in the sky" moon, the fullest moon of the year, a moon that will give off light throughout the night. In fact, this year astronomers refer to it as a Super Harvest Moon because it rose at the same moment that the sun set. It's been two decades since we've seen a Super Harvest Moon in North America. Back in the day, farmers used to take advantage of a Harvest Moon and work all night to bring in the last of their crops. A Harvest Moon is the full moon that marks the autumnal equinox, the transition from a long hot summer into cooler days.
 
As I watch the Harvest Moon and think about moving from one season into another, I see a parallel in my life, as I transition from seeing my work in one context to seeing it in another, richer one. I wish I could say that I came to this transition on my own but the credit goes to Kris Campbell. She's been the visionary at Challenge It Now since she founded the company almost 20 years ago. And she's the one who started asking some very meaningful questions. How do we want to continue to work together?  What do we feel passionate about? How do we bring the best of who we are and what we do to our work? How do we make a difference?
 
Answering those questions brought new insights into and philosophy about how we humans engage in the act of work and how we can transform the places where we work by reframing the way we work. We're no longer content to simply challenge but to do. And so it seems as if the appellation Challenge It Now no longer serves. It no longer "fits". And so we are changing it.
 
BoldWork™ is our new brand. Over the next couple of months, we'll be transitioning our website, our newsletter and other collateral material to reflect this change as we launch our new logo and our new focus on how we do work. I've asked Kris to introduce you to BoldWork™ in this month's lead article. After you read it, think about your own life.
 
Are you doing BoldWork™?

Jennie Ayers
Senior Partner, Challenge It Now  

In This Issue
What Is BoldWork?
Are You a Workist?
A Big, Fat Squirrel in Every Organization
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links
 
 
 
collaboration cubes
 
The BoldWork Maxim



My BoldWork says:
"I am here
and through my work I contribute and make a

positive difference."


BoldWork

Transforming

our places of work
by re-framing
the way we work.



"What is BoldWork?" by Kris Campbell
                                           
(650 words - estimated reading time: less than 3 minutes)
  

laughing dog  
BoldWork™ is a way of thinking, a way of taking action and a way of making a difference. BoldWork™ is ALL work when that work is aligned through purpose, excellence and accountability. BoldWork™ helps us define how we engage in the act of work while going about the challenges of a lifetime.
 
In a world of over 6 billion people, every day millions engage in the activity we have come to call work. And when we are mindful and intentional about our work, it is Bold. However, when we go about our "jobs" aimlessly, when we experience our work as stressful, monotonous, energy draining and soul-sucking - it isn't Bold.
 
Unfortunately, few people receive a paycheck for doing BoldWork™. But everyone - from astronaut to cook, coal miner to Harvard professor, airline pilot to court clerk - can choose to do BoldWork™.  BoldWork™ isn't owned by the wealthy, the academically privileged, the lucky or the fortunate. There is no collar or class in doing BoldWork™.
 
BoldWork™ belongs to the exercise of human potential and to any individual or group's desire to make a constructive and positive difference in the world. There are people who live their life/work by the philosophy of BoldWork™ without being aware of it - they've carried the values within them for so long it's a natural part of...well...being at work. Sadly, I've known people who never find their BoldWork™ and live life with that gnawing sense that something is missing, something is unfulfilled. Other people stumble upon their BoldWork™ or seek it out later in life. Ultimately, what matters isn't the timing but the drive to fulfill purpose and do BoldWork™ that burns at the very core of being human. The drive to do purposeful BoldWork™ can smolder like a fire without flame - unfulfilled - or it can find a way to combust.  Once kindled, this inner motivation is fueled by the oxygen of knowing, with surety, that the work accomplished is aligned with inner purpose, is well done and shares in a worthwhile goal.
 

The Core of BoldWork
 
BoldWork™ has three core essentials:
 
        Purpose
People who do BoldWork™ know that their work has purpose, both for themselves and to the world. This purpose is driven by resolve and determination. No one gives them this sense of purpose; it's created and resides in the person doing the work. The person doing the work validates the work - there's no need for external affirmation. People doing BoldWork™ align their internal compass of purpose to reflect the broader intentions of what they accomplish. BoldWork™ becomes our rich, personal story that adds definition to our life.
 
        Excellence
People carry out BoldWork™ with distinction. The mediocre, the average, the boilerplate and the so-so have no place in BoldWork™. Every act of BoldWork™ is a signature of the person who creates it and a direct impression of their integrity and values. When we hold up a mirror to our BoldWork™...we see ourselves looking back.
 
        Accountability
BoldWork™ is called to account for how it participates in this world. We bring purpose and excellence to our work - now, to go Bold, we must be accountable to self, to others and, ultimately, to the world upon which all systems depend. We claim BoldWorkis Forward Work because, in the doing of BoldWork™, we all advance. No matter how small in scope, how personal in endeavor or how modest in complexity, our shared BoldWork™ carries us ALL forward.
 
In a cooperative dance of commitment, BoldWork™ participates in a world that is at work in every moment. Just stop and look around. Every living thing on this planet is at work. By choice, we join the dance in a special way through our BoldWork™ - and we never dance alone.
 
The work of our team, our new vision, mission and plan, is to help others discover, create and sustain BoldWork™ in their lives.
 


"Who Does BoldWork?" by Jennie Ayers
 
(699 words - estimated reading time: less than 3 minutes)
 
Early in my writing career, I was based at the CBS Television City studios in Los Angeles, at the corner of Third and Fairfax. It was exciting to be at the studio...but the real highlight was being adjacent to the Los Angeles Farmer's Market. The Market dates back to 1934 when a group of farmers pulled their trucks onto some vacant property to engage in a little open air commerce. From those humble beginnings, the Farmer's Market is now one of the busiest tourist attractions in the LA area.
 
dupars farmers marketWhile I was at CBS, I'd pop over to the Market almost every day. If there was time, we'd grab lunch at one of the outdoor stalls or take a table at Du-pars. At the time, Du-pars was still an old time coffee shop with vinyl booths and more than 20 kinds of fresh pie. Founded in 1938 by James Dunn (Du) and Edward Parsons (par), the place started out as a 9 seat stall. It eventually became LA's most famous coffee shop.
 
What I remember most about Du-pars is a waitress named Inez. You know the story about how Lana Turner was discovered in Schwabs on Sunset Blvd. (Not true, by the way.) Hopefuls flock to LA and take jobs in bars and restaurants, sure they'll be next. Ask any waitress or waiter there - odds are s/he's an actor/model looking for that big break. Inez was different. She hailed from New York and the first time I met her, I asked what brought her to LA. She laughed, big and said, "The weather, sugar." Maybe she hadn't understood - I clarified. Was she a would-be actress? Model?  Writer? "I'm a soup jockey, honey. And I love it."
 
She did, too. I never saw her in a bad mood and if you brought one in with you, Inez would make short work of it. Regulars would bypass an open table and wait to get a seat in her station. She sincerely delighted in hearing a customer's good news and empathized sincerely with the bad - there was nothing phony about Inez.  I saw her buy more than one piece of pie for a down-and-outer, serving it up with a few kind words. If Inez waited on you, you walked out of Du-pars feeling better than when you walked in. She made a difference in every life she touched.
 
Inez was a Workist...doing BoldWork™. There's something very special about being in the presence of a Workist. They are the people who genuinely love and honor the work that they do. And you know they love their work by the way they talk about it and the way in which they respect their work by always doing it to a standard that is all their own. You wouldn't ever have to tell Inez to be good at what she did!
 
I always felt a jolt of positive energy from Inez and when I had to take my leave and go back to my own work, I felt rejuvenated. In that one brief hour, Inez became accountable to me. In a pragmatic way, I needed food...but I also needed a positive interaction. I needed to know that I "counted". That hour for lunch often helped me navigate difficult days and made it possible for me to do my own work in a Bold way. Looking back, I'm pretty sure that Inez knew all of this intuitively. I doubt anyone had ever talked to her about being a Workist or "how" to do her BoldWork™ --- she just did it.

Inez came to Du Pars Coffee Shop every workday with a purpose and she accomplished her work of "waitressing" with pride and excellence. Connecting with raw honesty and realness for that brief hour, she knitted her work into the work lives of everyone who sat in one of the vinyl booths in her station. Purpose, excellence and accountability; Inez had it all. As good as or better than any Executive I've ever met.
 
Workists understand that every day we all participate in an improvisational dance of working and making a difference. Inez...the waitress at Du Pars? She definitely knew how to dance with others.
 
Do you?  

"A Big, Fat Sacred Squirrel" by Rebecca Ripley

We wanted to use this issue of emusings to introduce you to BoldWork. We haven't forgotten about sacred squirrels - one of the biggest, fattest, sacred squirrels in any organization is the Performance Review. Next month, we'll take a look at Performance Reviews - do the people who receive them find them of value? Do they help people do BoldWork?

 
3 Human Elements
 
Challenge It Now focuses its energies on a common goal - through consultation, coaching and facilitation, we help professionals in business organizations create and sustain a workplace climate where the positive experience of work is optimized, engagement is enriched and performance potential is maximized.
 
Please take a moment and visit our website at www.challengeitnow.com to find out more about us and what we have to offer. Or contact us for additional information at: 818.585.9553 or 818.429.0077 or 443.838.4327.