The first Tribal Leadership Intensive Two course was last week and I am completing week one! What do you do when homework creeps you out? You push through it and ignore the feeling! I have a bunch of various thoughts on the last week and if you want to know more, please read on!

The first class was last Tuesday night and as usual, it went by fast! My phone company messed up my phone line and I had to get credits at the last minute to dial-in through Skype. The quality was surprisingly good overall and I may do it again this week. We spoke of Leadership versus Management and it was a good discussion.

That conversation reminded me of various times in my career where people offered me management positions and I turned them down. I enjoy playing a strong leadership role and I also have the skills handle the management side, but I do not enjoy that as much. Instead, I prefer to leverage those skills by coaching managers so they can do their jobs better.

I have a new triad to play with in this course, James and Darrel are cool and I look forward to collaborating with them on our leadership project. We had our first triad call this week and I think we have good chemistry together. We started discussing our project but did not decide on it yet.

Writing an obituary for a designed life was brutal this week. Me and death have a true love-hate relationship going. My father passed away when I was twenty years old and dealing with death is something that brings back bad memories. I shared a story with my triad this week that I want to share here too. Over the years, to help me deal with death, I developed my theory of the first times.

Typically, the first year after someone dies is harder to deal with because of all the “first times”€ such as the first Christmas or first birthday. Once you get past the first year, the pain remains but somehow is not as strong. When you are young though, you will experience many other first times in your life that may bring back the pain of your loss. For example, I felt that pain after the birth of my two kids and when I bought my first car and my first house.

The view I share with people now is that when you lose a parent when you are older (forties or older), there is comfort in the knowledge your parent saw who you became in life. I admit, death is not easier to deal with, but I believe that knowledge helps cover many of those other “€œfirst times”€ and brings some peace.

To come back to the obituary, I found it difficult to write. I finished it and shared it with my triad members via e-mail but I will not post it here because that would cross a line I am not comfortable crossing. If you want to creep out your spouse, making jokes about writing your obituary is a great way to do that!

What did I learn from doing the exercise?  It was challenging to write because I realized that I am not chasing a specific dream in my life.  For example, if I organized a trip to Egypt to visit the pyramids with my wife that would probably make one of her life dreams come true.  I have nothing as specific, but the closest would be returning where I grew up in Africa, or going to see Switzerland.  Neither would give me the same thrill as her trip to Egypt.

To write the obituary, I started thinking about how I would like people to remember me after I am gone. I thought about my current career direction and expanded it to where I want it to go and I also incorporated information such as age, health and how I died. Finally, I tried to find my weaknesses on the family front and identify ways I could fix them over the years. This was difficult for me and I am happy with the result.

Looking back at Intensive One

One outcome of the Tribal Leadership Intensive One course was “people will seek you out”€. Talking with people on the call, I realized this is true for many people and I am one of them. I started talking with various companies in the last few weeks and I will have a new employer come August. Some opportunities, like writing a back cover quote for a book, just appeared out of the blue.

The last six weeks, I felt like I was living life in a different bubble. My focus was much more positive and I focused on things that fed me and gave me peace of mind.  The EARN boxes (now LEARNS) allowed me to identify some baselines for what I want in my life.  I am starting to consider changing some of my definitions to allow me to tweak my focus in areas where I want to reach something different or higher.

I started to wonder recently about what type of people get inspired with the videos we watched as homework. I wonder how many people watch them without getting anything out of them. I found many of them energized me and gave me the gentle nudge I needed to wake up. To circle back to the Making a Genius Tribe video, for a moment, I forgot all those great things I can do. When those memories finally came back, I decided to accept them and not let anyone take away my personal power anymore.

In the last few weeks, some people told me they found these blog entries inspiring and I respect that. Honestly though, from my perspective, I am just living life and I struggle through many parts of it just like everyone else. Come to think of it, maybe the people in those videos would probably tell me the same thing!