Moving from “I” to “We”

Professor Bill George, in his book Finding Your True North, A Personal Guide, suggests that living authentically and with purpose requires a shift from an “I” to a “We” orientation.  Following is an exercise from his book that could easily be used by a forum at a regular meeting or retreat.

Looking at your life story, describe a time when you were leading from an “I” orientation?

Describe a time when you were leading from a “We” orientation?

In leading from a “We” orientation, what impact did I have on others and on the results I wanted to achieve?  How did this compare to the “I” orientation?

What percentage of my time is currently marked by leading from the “We” orientation?  What percentage of my time should this be?

Leading from “We”: At present ____%    In the future ____%

As Professor George says, in reality, there are times when you are “I” oriented, and other times when you are “We” oriented.  The important question is how much of your time as a leader is spend in one rather than the other, and whether you can lead from the orientation you need, when you need it.

This exercise can help all forum members learn where they are in shifting from an “I” to a “We” orientation.

If I was 10 times bolder…

Consider the following two-part activity for use at a future forum meeting.

Part I: At the beginning of the meeting, as an icebreaker exercise, ask each member to complete the following sentence:

If I was 10 times bolder than I am, I would…”

Part II: Before updates or before members are asked to add possible presentation topics to the parking lot, ask each member to complete this sentence:

If I was 10 times bolder than I am, I would share this update or explore this topic with the forum…

The Final Frontier: Starting a Conversation in Your Forum about Money

It’s sometimes said that money is the final frontier of forum.  When forums are willing to share deeply about a topic like this, they have reached a level of trust and vulnerability that leads to transformational value.

This does not mean that all members have to be ready to disclose income, net worth, and other key financial indicators.  Instead, consider these options:

  1. One (brave) member shares voluntarily their financial snapshot, and then describes how they think about their situation, options, and concerns. Others can then respond with their own experience, without feeling they need to disclose specific numbers.
  2. Here’s a list of a great list of conversation-starting questions (adapted from a recent Wall Street Journal article on this topic):
  • What is your most painful money memory?
  • What is your most joyful money memory?
  • How did these experiences shape your relationship with money?
  • What three things did your parents teach you about money?
  • Which of these lessons have you applied in your financial life?
  • Was your family rich, poor, or middle class growing up? How did you feel about that?
  • What were your family’s values around money?
  • What is your greatest financial fear?
  • What are your most important financial goals? Do you know how much is “enough” for you, this year and long term?
  • What are you willing to do differently around money?

I would love to hear how your forum approaches this topic.  We can all learn from each other.