Randy Siegel builds the people who build organizations.
Organizations hire Randy to transform high-potential employees into a new generation of leaders. Randy gives them the leadership and communications skills they need to rise through the organization.
CEOs hire Randy to help them become more charismatic leaders, spokespeople, and ambassadors for the organizations they serve.
Individuals retain Randy when they find themselves at a crossroads in their career or life. By connecting them with their power, passion, and purpose, Randy helps them rediscover their internal navigation system so that they know which path to take.
His work is based upon a proprietary process that facilitates self-discovery to clarify personal perspective, true purpose, and professional image.
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Do you have a role model? I just finished reading a new book written by mine.
Her name is Cheryl Richardson, and she is one of the most recognized life coaches in this country. Cheryl has published many books including two New York Times bestsellers: Take Time for Your Life: Life Makeovers and Stand Up for Your Life. Oprah featured Cheryl's "Lifestyle Makeover" series on her show and included Cheryl on her "Live Your Best Life" nationwide tour. Cheryl's work has been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning, America, and Good Housekeeping magazine, and she has created a large, active online community on her website, CherylRichardson.com. I can't help but admire her; Cheryl has reached almost all the goals on my ten-year plan.
In her new book, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace, Cheryl shares a problem that often comes from this kind of success—"busyness" that can cause us to lose our center. Our schedules can become so frantic that we neglect time to be still, be silent, and listen.
A friend of Cheryl's, Thomas, put it this way: "When what had been your ceiling now becomes your floor, your emotional self will need time to catch up with your physical reality." In order to be successful and remain effective and at peace, we must balance our outer work with our inner work. Like most things, that's a lot easier said than done. With client demands and family obligations time for inner work can feel like a luxury rather than a necessity.
Summer is over, and for many of us September is a time to get back to work. After a surprisingly slow summer, my calendar is suddenly full. While I welcome the business (and "busyness"), I want to stay attuned to my inner work. I want to take time to nurture my emotional and spiritual self because when I do, I am my best for my clients, friends and family, and myself.
This month we'll examine the power of living a gentle life.
Is there strength in leading a gentle life?
My friend's pointed observation hurt, as the truth often does. "Everything you have achieved in your life, Randy, you've achieved through sheer force of will." As much as I hated to hear it, he was right.
I have gritted my teeth, rolled up my sleeves, and trudged up the river if I had to. Little deterred me from reaching my goals. While I did achieve some success, I was clear that I didn't want to live that way anymore. I wanted to live a more gentle life.
That was part of my motivation for moving to Asheville close to ten years ago. But I found what they say is true: wherever you go, you still take "you" along. I could not change my way of being by simply changing locations.
New to town, I would catch myself tensing in the line at the Fresh Market. "Quit chatting and make the damn change!" I would silently scream to the friendly cashier. I then would catch myself and remember this is not the way I want to live my life.
Impatience is one of many red flags that alert me that I am not living a gentle life.
When I start getting into the "shouldas, wouldas, and couldas," I am not living a gentle life.
When I laser focus on a specific outcome and can't see the options, I am not living a gentle life.
When I forget to give gratitude for the natural beauty that surrounds me, I am not living a gentle life.
When my body tenses, when I don't breathe from my belly and I clench my teeth, I am not living a gentle life.
When I am not present to the source, smells, texture, temperature, and taste of what I eat, I am not living a gentle life.
When I place a high sense of urgency on everything and don't prioritize, I am not living a gentle life.
And when I don't take time to be alone, read, meditate, pray or simply be in silence, I am not living a gentle life.
When I live gently I:
Living gentle doesn't mean giving up my drive and ambition. I still get a lot done, but I get it done in a kinder way by being more present to each step in the process instead of focusing only on the end result.
I also stand up for myself. Being gentle doesn't mean being a doormat.
Being gentle doesn't mean losing my masculinity. I seek role models, and here in Asheville there are many. Men are men, and many are gentle men. My friend Bruce is one of them. Bruce is a man's man, but he's not afraid to show his gentle side.
I am reminded of a painting I once owned -- a wonderful flea-market portrait of a man in a World War II uniform. The uniform is commanding, but it's the sitter's face that captured my attention. It's a kind face, and in it I find strength, vulnerability, compassion, and caring.
It's the face of the gentle warrior, and I want to be that man.
Copyright Randy Siegel 2008. All rights reserved.