Unleashing Your Voice Blog


I’ve got to stop judging movies before I see them.

I’d heard Nomadland was a little slow-moving, maybe a little bit of a downer.  That seemed like the last thing I wanted to spend time with during a pandemic.  In reality, it was one of the best things I could have seen.

After finally watching Nomadland yesterday, I totally get it. A film about overcoming restlessness won the Best Picture Oscar during a year when the whole world was literally fenced in. In a poetic, elegiac, heartbreaking and heart making way, this movie about the Explorer story type has something more profound to say about resilience than anything I’ve seen all year.

This is my sixth post in a 12-part series on resilience.  I wrote the first five posts last fall, in five consecutive weeks, and then I kind of. . .wandered off.  Like an Explorer.

Each of these posts has been about a different story type, and the highly individualized ways people can discover and leverage their natural resilience based on characters they relate to most.  I’ve also been writing about what each type looks like in a non-resilient state and how to shift that energy back to positive ground.

In the past few months, I’ve taken my own advice and spent time focused on what Creator types like me need to do that (which is imagine and invent/re-invent things).  Among other projects, I’ve designed and delivered a new online coaching program called Worklife Reset with my colleague Dana Theus.  It’s built on helping people find a meaning-based path to professional joy and contribution.  And that brings us right back to Explorer.

The most essential journey any Explorer takes is a search for meaning. That search can come in many shapes and sizes—and can play out quite consciously or very unconsciously.  However it unfolds, the Explorer’s best response to the non-resilient trigger of restriction is activating a growth mindset and moving toward something that matters.

We could all stand to take a lesson from the Explorer right now.  After a long year of restriction and the restlessness that comes along with it, many of us have a chance to make more purposeful and authentic choices for ourselves (and to have an adventure or two along the way!).  Whether we use that privilege and any new-found freedom to be impulsive or to follow a meaningful impulse is entirely up to us.

As one critic put it, Nomadland is about a group of vandwellers who follow the impulse “to leave society in the dust.”  The catalyst for that decision was economic for most of them, and there’s nothing romantic or uplifting about a choice-free descent into homelessness.  The nomads who decided to follow a “houseless” path are a different story, though.  After facing adversity, they chose a life on the road–finding resilience, beauty and freedom there; along with connection to nature, to others and to themselves.

Understanding the Explorer’s gift

Being an Explorer type doesn’t mean you’re going to set out for a life on the road. If this type is deeply core to who you are, you’re likely to be naturally independent, authentic and motivated to follow a unique path, though.  You may be energized by scouting for new opportunities, possibilities or approaches.  You’re probably excited by new experiences, and/or to seek growth and meaning in the things you do.

And that’s where the Explorer story type has a resilience gift for all of us, especially right now.  The most important journey any of us takes is the one where we find ourselves.  What better time has there been to find out who we really are and follow a growth-minded impulse towards more meaningful choices?  It’s the antidote to restriction and restlessness in anyone’s life.

I’ve always been inspired by this section of a poem by T.S. Eliot.

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.

—T.S. Eliot, from “Little Gidding,” Four Quartets (Gardners Books; Main edition, April 30, 2001). Originally published 1943.

The vandwellers in Nomadland learned to become still by being on the move, and to listen to the voices insides themselves.  Once you’re open to that kind of exploration, you can find your own unique path forward and recognize the resilience-building gift and focus you can best activate in the world.  Here’s what that looks like for the seven types these posts have explored so far:

Type Non-resilient state Resilience-building attribute or gift Resilience-building focus Related values
Ruler Insecurity Confidence Progress Responsibility, Role Modeling, Influence
Everyperson Voicelessness

 

Empathy Solidarity Community, Justice, Fairness
Caregiver Overwhelm Compassion Human potential Service, Kindness, Development
Innocent Disillusionment Optimism Hope Ideals, Faith, Values in Action
Hero Exhaustion Mastery Achievement Action, Drive, Making a Difference
Creator Lifelessness Imagination Re-invention Invention, Ideation, Expression
Explorer Restriction Growth mindset Meaning

 

Discovery, Individualism, Experience

 Activating the Explorer resilience quotient

Becoming a more resilient Explorer (or tapping in to that energy) involves a shift from feeling restricted to taking on a growth mindset and meaning-based focus—all of which can be fueled by having new experiences and making new discoveries.

Consider these questions as prompts for your next steps:

  • What impulse would you most like to follow in your life or your work right now?
  • What do you need to leave for the time being (knowing as the vandwellers do that there are no final goodbyes)?
  • What “survival” skills do you need to learn?
  • What kind of adventures would you like to have?
  • Where could a growth mindset take you (one where development is always possible and options are easy to see)?

I’m personally not planning to leave society in the dust any time soon—but I do plan to following the most authentic impulses as I dive back in.  Hope you’ll join me!

Cindy Atlee is a Creator type who loves to help professionals, teams and organizations understand and express who they really are in the world.  She’s the co-author of the Professional Strengths, Values & Story Survey (take the free version here: https://www.storybranding.com/take-the-svss-survey/.  Learn more about the Worklife Reset program here: https://worklife-bliss.com/.

Which of these two movies does a better job of tapping into fundamental truths about professional success and fulfillment?
  • Is it Hidden Figures, where a trio of brainy scientists solve a huge scientific problem while fighting significant racial and gender bias?
  • Is it Soul, where a talented jazz pianist rediscovers his passion while restoring inspiration across the universe itself?
Okay, those are really big questions that we’ll get back to later.  For now, let’s just say that the films have a lot to share about the head and the heart; about science and art. I think my work in narrative intelligence and story typing does too.
When I first heard the term “narrative intelligence”—and found out that I’d pretty much devoted my life’s work to it—I was surprised.  The term seemed kind of wonky and cerebral; squarely located in the linear, left brained side of existence.

I learned that narrative intelligence was about recognizing and reading motivational patterns.  It’s entirely true that those patterns provide the structure and foundation for all the tales humans remember and tell.  Still, deconstructing something as sweeping in scope as a truly meaningful story into a cognitive pattern felt much more scientific and academic than the work I did helping build brands, cultures and leaders.

I liked the phrase “story typing” much better. Helping people and groups see who they were through the lens of a story type felt more creative, intuitive and vital to me. It seemed more about feeling one’s way into a character that could capture individual or organizational essence in a heart-felt, right brained way.  It was high concept in nature, and more like art.

I was completely missing the point.  And overlooking the real reasons why the frameworks and methods I love are so powerful.  

There’s no either/or here when it comes to narrative intelligence vs. story typing; only a both/and.  That’s because working with story and narrative is actually both right brained and left brained; concrete and conceptual; scientific and artistic.  And that’s exactly how people really show up and operate in the world, too!  Look at what actually happens in Hidden Figures and Soul:

  • The female scientists in Hidden Figures used their heads in working out how to safely launch astronaut Neil Armstrong into orbit—along with a lot of heart and courage to fight the considerable racial and gender bias that stood in their way. They were brilliant, but that wouldn’t have been enough to break down the barriers.
  • The jazz pianist in Soul was propelled by the passion and emotion of his artistry—and he would never have found that if he hadn’t developed his skill and capacity for playing in the first place. Great artists feel their music deeply and profoundly. They also practice it. A lot.

Most tools that coaches and consultants work with focus on one side of those equations or another, though.  There are instruments and methods to assess strengths and capacities; others to explore values and beliefs.  Very few address both, even though real people in the real world are shaped by the same dynamic combination of these that drive every beloved character in every story we remember and retell. 

The answer to meaning and motivation is yes.

Narrative intelligence and story typing help people see, understand and respond to what’s really going on inside and around them.  They both address two deeply meaningful questions.  Should we pay the most attention to our thoughts and perceptions? Or should we focus more on our emotions and feelings?  The answer to both those questions is yes.      

I should have learned this back in coaching school, where the training program’s core mantra was shared repeatedly:  Your clients are creative, resourceful and whole.  We may well have a preference for one side or the other—my Creator self certainly does—but we have to tap our heads and our hearts to be whole.  Developing ourselves (and our organizations) is about doing both.

The goal of coaching (and many types of consulting and facilitation) is fundamentally about helping our clients be whole.  Whole people and groups can know and leverage all of who they are; problem solve more effectively; see others in a truly clear-eyed and appreciative way; develop more resilient responses to their experiences; and much more! 

Take a look at the chart below and let me know if any professional (or person) you know should give up on one side of the pairs.  Together, they create a narrative structure that produces meaning, motivation and engagement.

Also think about whether you or a client needs to focus on one of the pairs (or one side of one of the pairs) to move forward.  The key to developing who you want to be or what you want to do is almost always to focus on something in one of those boxes.  It’s also the key to living your story and experiencing a whole-human existence–where you are more confident, resilience and adaptable, and where your performance power is aligned with a great truth of our shared story-based existence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also remember that while the framework remains the same, the shape of these patterns will ultimately be very different for every individual and group.  Okay, I’ll have to admit that I wouldn’t have had the mental prowess to get Neil Armstrong around the block (much less into outer space).  I would have had a much better shot at becoming a renowned jazz pianist.

I don’t share the same story types as those NASA scientists (they were Sages using their brain power and Everypersons fighting for justice).  I’m a lot more like Joe (a Creator fueled by his artistry and a Lover with a deep appreciation for his own aliveness).  We all have story-based, narrative intelligence-driven motivational patterns.  The difference in them is what makes us unique and compelling.  The common ground is what makes us human.

 

Like Johnny Lee in that old country favorite, I’ve been lookin’ for something in all the wrong places.

Not love, though! Here I am, writing a series of blog posts on resilience—and I’ve fallen into a kind of non-resilient trap. I’ve been looking for resilience in the wrong story type (emphasis on wrong for me; not for everyone).

There are no bad story types in the 12-archetype system I work with and write about—only poor ways of experiencing or expressing them.  There are lots of bad story type fits, though, when we unconsciously take on a story type that we haven’t developed in ourselves and doesn’t resonate in some essential way inside us. We’re most likely to do this when that story type represents a societal norm or collective tendency, which can make it seem like that’s just the way to be in a given situation.

So my response to this now six-month long pandemic has been to try acting  a lot like a Hero. That’s a highly admired, highly rewarded story type in most Western cultures—one that offers many gifts and contributions. I walked right into it, deciding it was time to get stuff done, do it now and not let things get in the way.  I didn’t really think much about it consciously.  I just. . . did it (like Nike says I should!).

So since March, I’ve converted all my existing trainings to online only; developed and marketed two new programs; written more chapters in my book; ramped up a coaching collective; completed two branding projects; remodeled multiple rooms in my house; re-organized pretty much everything I own and packed up a lot of it; volunteered for a voter education initiative—and committed to writing a blog post on resilience for 12 consecutive weeks.

But let’s face it.  That’ a lot of activity, and none of it is particularly heroic.  The real Heroes right now are essential workers, parents home-schooling their kids, ordinary folks turned social activists, people moving forward past lost jobs or businesses.  I’m privileged in a way many others aren’t to choose the things I’ve done this year.

I could have brought a different energy to them, though, especially since I’m a Creator by nature, not a Hero.  The “get more done, faster” approach isn’t a very high-level, fulfilling version of that story.  And, it left me teetering pretty close to the most typical non-resilient state for a Hero type—exhaustion—without having the energy-shifting gifts of mastery, achievement and feeling like I was really making a difference to shore me up for a rebound.  I didn’t necessarily need to do fewer things.  I needed to focus on how the doing of them inspired me and how my imagination could help me re-invent my contribution in the world.  That’s what resilience looks like for me.

Understanding the Creator’s Gift

I’m a Creator type (energized by inventiveness, imaginativeness and ideas) who unconsciously took on the determination, drive and action orientation of a Hero. Are those Hero qualities great things to have and worth awakening if you don’t? Definitely, and I have a variety of approaches to doing that. Should they be playing lead guitar in your existential band if you’re a Creator? Not if you want to feel as energized and inspired as you need to be.

This is the fifth post in my weekly series, and I’m shifting my approach to writing it.  I’m not driving to post it by Wednesday morning.  I’m not going to worry about making it 1,200 words long.  I’m not going to spend a lot of time researching great well-known examples of Creator types and how they demonstrated resilience.

Instead, I’m just going to share my personal experience of being a Creator when I’m most on fire and most resilient.  That happens when I’m leading with who I am—one of the three worklife “bliss” principles I’m integrating into a book, new training series and almost everything else I’m doing and being right now.  I guess we really do need to teach what we most need to learn!

The bliss principles I’ve been developing, along with colleague Dana Theus, are inspired by Joseph Campbell’s invitation to “follow your bliss.” Campbell never meant you should be pursuing your pleasure (a common misinterpretation).  His version of bliss was about being the person you were uniquely meant to be on a path that was purpose-built for you to follow.

When I imagine how the world would be if everyone did that—and the way people would re-invent themselves to make an essential contribution—I’m in Creator bliss.  When I imagine how my work helps other people do and be that, I’m feeling charged up and alive.  And that means I’ve insulated myself from the non-resilient state of lifelessness that’s most common for Creators.

So here’s the other great thing about developing worklife bliss and leading with who you are. Resilience builds in virtual lock-step with bliss. That works in reverse as well, though. The more you lead with something you’re not, the more likely you are to experience a double whammy of non-resilience (the one associated with the type you’re not and the one most common to your authentic self).  This is not a two-for-one deal you want to buy!

What you want is to build resilience by tapping directly into the energy and authenticity that finding the real and most animated “you” produces.  Then you need to activate it in ways that unleash the pure, unmitigated joy of knowing and being who you are; expressing it with boundless enthusiasm; and saying to the world “come and get it.” That’s how you become more resilient and more like your best, most resilient self (whether that’s a Creator a Hero or one of the 10 other story types that can shape your bliss).  Speaking of those types, here’s where we on building out the resilience-by-type chart:

 

Type Non-resilient state Resilience-building attribute or gift Resilience-building focus Related values
Ruler Insecurity Confidence Progress Responsibility, Role Modeling, Influence
Everyperson Voicelessness

 

Empathy Solidarity Community, Justice, Fairness
Caregiver Overwhelm Compassion Human potential Service, Kindness, Development
Innocent Disillusionment Optimism Hope Ideals, Faith, Values in Action
Hero Exhaustion Mastery Achievement Action, Drive, Making a Difference
Creator Lifelessness Imagination Re-invention Invention, Ideation, Expression

 Activating the Creator resilience quotient

Becoming a more resilient Creator involves an energetic shift from feelings of lifelessness and depletion into a different space filled with ideas, inventions and expressive approaches.  Consider these questions as prompts for your next steps:

  • What are you doing right now that doesn’t have much life for you—and how can you re-imagine it in a more meaningful way?
  • What needs to be re-invented or re-designed that would make a difference for you?
  • What do you most need to express in the world right now—and how can you do that?
  • Who or what inspires you most—and what message is waiting for you in that inspiration?
  • Who are you as a Creator? COMPLETE THIS STATEMENT:  I am a (insert multiple descriptive adjectives) Creator who (insert an intention, an idea, a purpose or a promise you want to make).

By the way, I wrote 1,202 words in this post—not 1,200.  Does that make me an over-achiever?

 

“Wakanda Forever!”

That iconic line from the equally iconic Black Panther corner of the Marvel superhero universe took on a truly poignant new heft last week. It’s meant to powerfully conjure a love of kingdom; a deep pride in identity and heritage; an honoring of origins and a vision of future impact. Now it also brings to mind (and heart) the man who played Wakanda’s king—who seems to have himself embodied the best of what the Ruler story type stands for in the world.

Chadwick Boseman died of colon cancer last week, at the age of 43, after a four-year battle with colon cancer. His actions during that time were almost astonishingly resilient. For four years, he made movies between surgeries and chemotherapy rounds. He crafted a body of work that he knew would matter even if he was gone. He shaped and shared an influential voice. He took serious responsibility for modeling the right things for his young fans. He portrayed real-life legends (Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, James Brown) in ways that extended their already considerable impact.

And he played the king in one of the most important and groundbreaking films of our time.

Does an actor have to be like the characters he plays to do them justice? Not necessarily. But Chadwick Boseman showed up with intensely king-like energy as he brought so many legends to life—and the ways he demonstrated resilience in his own battle were the ways of a high-level Ruler story type.

This is the fourth of 12 weekly posts I’m writing about resilience. I’m sharing thoughts and feelings about what each story type looks like in a non-resilient state, and how people who are like that type can use their unique gifts, perspective and values to shift back into a more resilient place. This week’s post is about the Ruler story type.

In a non-resilient state, Rulers have a tough time weathering the chaos that can emerge around them when things aren’t going well. Non-resilient Rulers can be overcome by insecurity as a result, forgetting what’s best for others and holding tighter to the reins of control.  The shift back to resilience involves feeling back into their personal confidence and focusing where progress can best be made instead of railing at things they can’t control (or shouldn’t).

Understanding the Ruler’s gift

Here’s where we are on the resilience chart at four weeks into the series.  Take a look at how the Ruler story type shows up in a non-resilient state, and what gift, focus and values can create a resilience boost:

Type Non-resilient state Resilience-building attribute or gift Resilience-building focus Related values
Ruler Insecurity Confidence Progress Responsibility, Role Modeling, Influence
Everyperson Voicelessness

 

Empathy Solidarity Community, Justice, Fairness
Caregiver Overwhelm Compassion Human potential Service, Kindness, Development
Innocent Disillusionment Optimism Hope Ideals, Faith, Values in Action

 

The very best Rulers are those who take social responsibility for the good of a whole (a kingdom, an organization, an affinity group, an initiative). They usually have a kind of personal power or presence that generates influence and builds followership. They see themselves as role models.  Whether they’re running an enterprise or managing a project, they know how to make things move forward more smoothly.

Doing this requires a great deal of personal investment and energy. When chaos and disorder rock the boat, it’s no surprise that responsibility can start morphing into insecurity, or that way showing can start to look like micro-managing. If you’re a Ruler, the way back is remembering what makes you confident in yourself and applying it where progress is either most possible or most sorely needed. It’s very much about discerning what’s right and doing it.

The journey of T’Challah in Black Panther is one of committing to do the right thing. His is not the generic Hero story; not ever really about saving the day by defeating a foe.  He becomes the man his kingdom—and the world—needs.

The journey of Chadwick Boseman is similar. He didn’t vanquish cancer.  Instead, he shaped a legacy.  He left powerful portraits of people who made enduring marks in their fields, who stood for something larger than themselves—in ways and in times that were never easy for those who looked like him.

He paid attention to whether things were being done the right way. He took on the mantle of role model.  He said things that needed to be said, and used his personal presence to be heard.

Chadwick Boseman was a leader.  His Black Panther co-star Danai Gurira said “he was perfectly equipped to take on the responsibility of leading the franchise that changed everything for Black Representation.”

Chadwick Boseman asked others to take responsibility themselves, too. In the final tweet posted before his death, he congratulated Kamala Harris—and reminded everyone to do their civic duty and vote. Securing that right for so many people took tremendous resilience on the part of those who led the fights. Chadwick Boseman knew that.  Let’s remember that ourselves as we remember him.

Activating the Ruler resilience quotient

Consider the following questions if you want to fuel up your Ruler resilience quotient:

  • What are you micro-managing or holding too tightly right now—and where can you shift your attention?
  • What qualities do you have that contribute to your self confidence—and how can you rely on those more now?
  • Where can you make important progress at work, in your community or in the world?
  • What will you choose to be responsible for right now, and what will that look like?
  • What’s your right thing to do, right now?

In Black Panther, Nakia tells T’Challah that “you get to decide what kind of king you are going to be.” We all do, wherever and however our sphere of influence is felt. Let’s make it matter, like Chadwick did.  

Cindy Atlee is a Creator type who loves to help professionals, teams and organizations understand and express who they really are in the world.  She’s the principal of The Storybranding Group and Founder of the Narrative Intelligence Collective.  She’s also co-author of the Professional Strengths, Values & Story Survey (take the free version here)

Chadwick Boseman photo by Gage Skidmore.

How resilient would you feel right now if you had 107 kids?  (Yes, parents, think about managing a virtual learning experience like that!).

It seems that Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, grew up with that many siblings.  I’m not sure how that worked—there were certainly a lot of adoptions and fostering relationships along the way.  What’s very clear is that Claire grew up witnessing the effects of poverty and hunger on those young lives. And she formed a lasting sense of solidarity with people experiencing the deeply damaging impact of food insecurity.  That affinity shapes her very resilient response to what’s going on in the world around her right now.

This is the third of 12 weekly posts I’m presenting on resilience.  Each one will look at a different story type and the unique way resilience can be tapped and leveraged for people who relate to that character.  I’ll also be writing about the non-resilient state most common to that story type—and how to shift it energetically and motivationally using a related resilience gift and focus.

You’re probably an Everyperson if you care deeply about the groups that you’re part of and relate strongly to the plight of those around you. You may be skilled at community building and helping others feel like they belong, too.  You likely believe in justice, fairness and equality.  When those values are repeatedly challenged and you don’t feel empowered to respond, your non-resilient state can feel a lot like voicelessness. The shift back to resilience involves feeling directly into the empathy you have for others and using that sense of solidarity to shape how you either hear them and/or want to speak up.

Fortunately, you’ll find yourself in very good company these days if you’re able to do that.  There’s a lot of Everyperson energy in the world right now—and it’s being felt almost everywhere you look.  Even if Everyperson isn’t one of your strongest story types, the failure to develop it may well come at your peril (especially if you want to succeed in a leadership role or move forward professionally). 

Understanding the Everyperson’s gift

Every story type has a non-resilient state that gets activated under stress, and both a gift and focus point that can help create a shift back towards greater resilience.  Here’s what that looks for an Everyperson (and the other two types we’ve already covered):

Type Non-resilient state Resilience-building attribute or gift Resilience-building focus Related values
Everyperson Voicelessness Empathy Solidarity Community, justice, fairness
Caregiver Overwhelm Compassion Human potential Service, Kindness, Development
Innocent Disillusionment Optimism Hope Ideals, Faith, Values in Action

Something has blown the lid of voicelessness in the United States and much of the world in recent years and months.  We have the Black Lives Matter movement, the Me Too movement and multiple others designed to shine a light on individuals and groups harmed by injustice.  We have people speaking up in ways they haven’t done before, such as athletes publicly calling out coaches and school administrators.  We also have people sharing their voices, often loudly, about the impact of toxic organizational cultures.

Organizational leaders need to pay attention to every one of these Everyperson-motivated movements and work very hard to both understand and respond to them if they want to build cultures where people are engaged and committed.  Command-and-control styles of leadership are making a hasty retreat in most places. Resilience now mandates an adaptive and human-focused response.  That means really taking in what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes; honestly examining your own biases; and learning how to really listen (and not just react to what you’re hearing).

Certainly, all of those things come more easily to people who are natural born Everyperson types. They’re usually perceived as empathetic and fair to begin with.  Sometimes, though, a catalytic event activates an even deeper level of solidarity for them. After a bout with cancer, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot left an executive leadership position at Walmart to join Feeding of America (the nation’s second largest charity).  She made that move when she needed resilience most—and she did it by acting on her solidarity with people whose need she understood and felt at the deepest of levels.

She’ll certainly need that resilience as Feeding of America responds to a dire situation. The organization has seen at least a 60 percent increase in the number of people needing their help—and a daunting gap between need and available supply. That scenario could leave anyone feeling crushed by the weight.  Claire relies on her solidarity with the people she serves to keep her energized and committed.

“Most of my siblings who joined my family throughout the course of my childhood came into our family having been malnourished,” she recently told the New York Times.  “I witnessed firsthand the devastating implication of a lack of access to a nutritious mix of food on a child.  I also witnessed the restorative powers of food on their bodies and their spirits as well.  So I bring all of that into the moment that I’m in right now.”

Solidarity is one of the most powerful forces in the world.  So is empathy. If you’re an Everyperson, remind yourself about where your deepest affinity lies and consider what might need to be said or done to support that group. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to speak out yourself.  Listening to the stories of others is a powerful form of empathy itself, allowing them to find their own voices. It provides the gift of affinity and community back to you in return.

Getting involved in a social justice movement is richly rewarding for many, and far from the only thing you can do. Your affinity group could be lonely senior citizens, a spiritual community, your co-workers, hobbyists who share a passion.  You’ll feel more resilient and figuratively if not literally “voiced” when you build and support those ties.

Activating the Everyperson resilience quotient

Here are some reflection questions to consider if you want to build your Everyperson resilience quotient:

  • Where can you join up or join forces with others?
  • Who needs a more empathetic ear—and how can you really listen to what others are saying to you from a curious, interested place?
  • How do your own biases (and privilege) get in the way of empathy and fairness—and what do you need to do about that?
  • Who are you willing to stand up for, and what would that look like?

And here’s a really big inquiry for you: Are you in the right place to find your voice? After her bout with cancer, she told the New York Times that she asked herself if she really wanted her last professional act to be something she did at Walmart.  She decided it wasn’t.  Nothing against Walmart, but it’s a question we might all want to be asking ourselves right now.

Cindy Atlee is a Creator type who loves to help professionals, teams and organizations understand and express who they really are in the world.  She’s the principal of The Storybranding Group and Founder of the Narrative Intelligence Collective.  She’s also co-author of the Professional Strengths, Values & Story Survey (take the free version here).