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Monday, November 24, 2008

Surf's Up, Dude

At the conclusion of a Forum retreat, the Moderator offered to give me a ride to the airport. It gave us a few minutes to casually debrief.

“You know,” he said, “you wear your laid back southern California surfer persona pretty well.”

Yikes! My surfer persona?!? Pray tell.

“It comes up when you feel pressured to perform, perhaps because we were a new group with you, or perhaps because you were afraid we were going somewhere you didn’t want to go. It’s a cool character.”

Now, I teach that mature leaders treasure feedback whenever and wherever they can get it, regardless of how it is delivered. But, this was a challenge. I guess I really am subject to the same stuff as everyone else! When I begin to feel afraid of something, my personas show up. I step into drama. I just hadn’t been introduced quite so clearly to my “surf dude.”

Thanks, I said. I appreciate you noticing that, and more than just noticing, I appreciate you sharing it with me. I began to wonder about what was really going on when surf dude shows up. And with that curiosity I began to step out of drama and into the maturity of simply being me.

Who is showing up on your stage?