Hope (and keep going)
Some months go quicker than others do for sure’. That was my immediate thought when the time rolled around to ponder and prepare our Journal for September. It still felt like August. My second thought was to shelve this month’s Journal.
My rationale for the second thought? Good question. The answer: While Juno operates in NSW, Qld, NZ and parts of Asia now, Melbourne is our home, it’s my home, and where the majority of our clients, partners, alumni, mentors and proteges call home too. And we know all too well at Juno how “Melbourne” is feeling right now. So the easy option for me was to park the September Journal and pretend that September wasn’t actually happening in the way that it is happening in my hometown. Maybe if I just close my eyes and just keep holding that light up pointed squarely at the end of October.
But no. No! JUST NO!!!
That’s not the Juno Institute way. We don’t hide from a challenge. We don’t take the easy route.
If one of our much loved Passport to Work Protege’s opts to take a course of action claiming that applying for that job opportunity is just too hard right now, we have some words of encouragement for them for sure. If one of our equally loved Mentors in our Adaptive Leaders Program is feeling a bit overwhelmed with the task at hand in defining and growing their leadership, we are there beside them in full support. If a client comes to us with a problem we will do everything possible to match it with a solution.
At Juno we teach and preach Adaptive and Authentic. We are all about building meaningful and lasting human connection, and transforming lives, one small step at a time. If our work was easy many others would be doing it. At the Juno Institute we don’t do ‘easy’, no, we do tangible and sustainable, we keep going no matter the circumstances.
So as challenging as September 2021 is my reading friends, here’s our humble monthly Journal. May you find something in it to inspire you, to give you hope, to help you keep going.
Here’s to the end of October, and well beyond.
– Paul Lacey, Director
Strengths and Meaning
In preparing a Strengths in Action workshop for a new Juno Institute client I have, figuratively not literally, spent a fair chunk of August and September with Dr Martin Seligman the American educator and psychologist.
Dr Seligman is the author of Flourish, Learned Optimism, Authentic Happiness and many other books and articles. He is one of the founders of the Positive Psychology movement. A movement wherein a bunch of scientists got together about 20 years ago with the aim of adding to their field a discourse on ‘what’s right with us humans’. In their view psychology had historically and traditionally been good at fixing what’s broken, but what about fostering human flourishing?
“But people want more than just to correct their weaknesses. They want lives imbued with meaning, and not just to fidget (through life) until they die.” (Authentic Happiness)
The client brief, heavily abridged of course, was this. ‘PG, I have a great team, it’s a senior team facing some big challenges over the next 12 to 24 months. I want to invest in them to help them be the best version of themselves they can be.’ Yes folks, leaders like this still exist in organisations, amazing right! But I digress.
The Strengths in Action Workshop and one-to-one Coaching sessions that will follow it step off a position of strength, rather than weakness or the need for development as many leadership interventions do. The content draws heavily from the ‘manual of the sanities’ (Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification) by Dr Seligman and Dr Peterson, and the team will immerse themselves in conversations about their unique and particular strengths, and the optimal use of their strengths, at work in particular.
I am attracted to using the ‘Strengths’ work by Seligman and others in Juno’s bespoke leadership development efforts for three prime reasons. One it moves well beyond the ‘self-help’ ‘think positively’ stuff that abounds these days. Two, it’s a science that has been tested and continues to grow and refine. Three, it’s multi-disciplinary. The original research that ultimately arrived at the 6 Virtues and 24 Strengths traversed philosophy, education, psychology, and theology, from the east and the west, spanning 2500 years.
The connection to meaning?
The theory rolls this way. Being aware of and applying your unique and signature ‘Strengths’ across any or all of the three big domains of life; work, play and love, fuels well-being, flourishing and meaning. In the work context, organised around your Strengths, a job becomes a career becomes a calling, no matter the actual tasks of the day.
– Peter Godfrey ‘PG’
In curating content for the Juno Journal I know that your time is precious and I know that the information superhighway is awash with content, and just a little hyper-reality. Selective and minimalist is the goal, aiming for stuff that is fresh (or refreshed), provokes a thought, causes you to pause and ponder, is interesting, and I’ll add something-completely-different now and again.
A META - September Theme
“Skills are temporary; meta-skills are permanent.”
I was on a research mission a few weeks ago, the details of that mission are moot for curative purposes here though, but I thought you might be interested in a few of the META snippets I accumulated.
Random (or perhaps not so random) ‘Quote’ of the Month
I stumbled across this quote by Ben Okri the Nigerian Poet and Novelist when preparing some material for an upcoming workshop.
Apt for our times in my view…
“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.”
90 Seconds of HOPE
A short video that kind of ties this month’s Juno Institute Journal together. Paul opened with Hope and Inspiration, my Muse was about Strengths and Meaning, the curated was META and future focussed. Watch this, and then act, now…
check it out
Thank you for reading Juno Institute’s Journal