Unleash Your Inner Artist - Full Team Ahead, By Susan LePlae Miller

Every person is an artist awaiting his or her muse.
Awaiting his or her community.
Awaiting his or her own sense of acceptance and belonging.

For some, this feeling and sense of being never comes to fruition. The blocks and walls created by trauma have been too high to scale alone. A sense of peace and purpose has never been realized in a way to set the artist free to explore their individual gifts in a way that reflects their own personal value and values.

Life comes at us with or without our permission. Our sense of community, or team, can only be perceived and received through the grace of acceptance within ourselves first. We seek companionship, while at the same time we block our own self as unworthy of inclusion in the institution of humanity.

Teamwork cannot be the endgame when each participant and recipient of the team is not realized in their individual potential. Voices unheard. Faces unseen. Value of some diminished, while others are placed on pedestals as though irrefutable in their offerings.

Artistic Drawing of Acceptance by Gerda Smith from George, Western Cape, South Africa

Collective agreement? Not when the collective is not realized. We seek and strive in our communities, companies, families, and friends to be more. To be the best. To scale the unscalable, to endure the unendurable, to achieve the unachievable.

So where does this leave us? Are we left with the mundane and average musings of amusing a perceived leader or clique? Or do we proceed in a new way?

Do we return to the inner artist of our childhood? The one who made mud pies and who saw possibility in the clouds and stars; the one who created music while walking towards a friend’s house; the one who created stories and a unique universe with the stuffed animals in their bedroom. Do we return to the sense of belonging and being we had before the world told us to think otherwise?

Each of us is unique and gifted with talents, abilities, and experiences. These are our Pieces of I. Pieces of who we are. Our impact on the world is as unique as we are. Often we want to achieve something, but we don’t know how. When we combine our talents with others, we are capable of anything. Together we can achieve more.

Possibility begins in a community of care, compassionate care. Care for the mission, vision and values of the team and the individual. A recognition of how we can have both and achieve even more. The collective of compassionate care begins and we move “Full Team Ahead”.

Have you experienced the feeling of a Full Team Ahead? For me, a few instances come to mind.

One instance at work was years ago when I worked as part of the Linear Power Amplifier factory at Motorola. Initially I was the Supply Chain cog of the wheel until I walked out on the factory floor to learn more about who, what, how and why they were. Until I learned about their concerns. Until I shared information about why we wanted to change our production plan, asked their opinion about the impacts, and embraced their ideas for how to achieve the ever-changing goals of our customer and market demands. Together, with the factory and the industrial engineering team, we achieved the seemingly impossible by responding to our customer needs with zero delinquencies while enduring ever-changing technology and market pressures.

But our team didn’t end there. As the Supply Chain side of the business, my team extended to work with upper management, sales, finance, and the Japanese program teams to ensure the $3.5 billion contract was met with impeccable respect for the needs of the customer. An ongoing negotiation at times to understand what was needed vs. desired. To understand the difference, and to respond in a way that would minimize expenses while maximizing the bottom line for all parties considered. It was essential to understand the culture and values of the customer, and to respond in a way that honored both.

Perhaps there is no coincidence our part of the product offering was a linear power amplifier, as amplification is part of my own personal process. Simplify, humanize, amplify, and evangelize. Get to the root of the challenge and simplify its components. Bring in values to listen first and then humanize the response with a greater context of understanding and compassion. Then, move to amplify the offering in a way where all parties feel seen, heard, and understood. The shift from amplification to evangelization becomes a natural shift as the team expands to the customer itself. The customer becomes as much a part of the team as you are with the same core acceptance and understanding of their unique contributions and needs.

Acceptance of self and others
Tearing off the mask of expectation and assumption
Belonging to, and with,
Who you are
As you are

So where is the inner artist in this whole experience? The inner artist appears again as they are seen, heard, understood and brought into a sense of belonging missing from other experiences. When a mission, vision and values are pushed onto a team, they can be difficult to embrace. But when a mission, vision and values are explained and given space for retrospection and inclusion in the process the door opens to more. The door opens to uplift the voices of the team by embracing and accepting their own concerns and creativity. No longer is it simply one mission, vision, and values, but rather a collective of interests weaving together with a common purpose. The threads expand into a tapestry of possibility, and the integration broadens possibility beyond the initial vision of one.

Possibility becomes more than a dream. Diversity, equity, and intergenerational inclusion can become an inherent part of the solution to whatever challenges you might face as a company or family. The inner artist is unleashed as each person is valued for who they actually are in the process of being part of something more. The collective creativity lifts the energy to move beyond an idea or vision to an endless array of potential impacts. Individually sparked, but collectively inspired. Are you ready to move Full Team Ahead?

About the Author:

Susan LePlae Miller is a social impact consultant, speaker, storyteller and poet who helps you realize your vision by recognizing and releasing the potential of your team. She partners with a global community to deliver compassionate care and values throughout her process of transformation.

Susan’s Website: https://www.piecesofi.com/

Susan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-leplae-miller/

Pieces of I, LLC on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/64989017/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/piecesofi

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/piecesofillc/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PiecesofI