It may seem like I am an optimist and the whole thrivability effort is full of utopian idealism. I am sure, for me, that is not the case. I am a pragmatist. While I love exploring, if the exploration doesn’t result in something that matters and gets tangibly completed, I feel like I wasted the time. And I abhor wasted time.

Back in September at SOCAP, I was speaking with Whitney of Culture Counts. She has a personality assessment tool, and pointed out that I was primarily someone driven to learn, share, and do what matters. This, of course, flattered me, so I decided it was accurate.

At The Agency, which we just launched, I talk about being bold, pragmatic, and inspired. I carefully chose these three things because I think each alone is a lost cause, but together they are an unstoppable force.

  • Inspiration – infused with spirit, from a refreshing perspective, forward-looking.
  • Bold – a real stretch or leap, requires courage and fearlessness, significance.
  • Pragmatism – getting it done, working with what is.

Pragmatism is about creating a feedback loop from practice to theory and back to practice again. Looking at whole sections of my life, I can see my drive for this. Like when I decided to leave academia because it wasn’t enough about practice in the world at large.

There is a figure eight, cutting back and forth between getting things done and reflecting on what is the right thing to get done based on what has worked.

I can only tolerate so much debate and minutiae before I have to ask: what are we doing? But then, I can only tolerate so much doing before I have to ask: is this the best approach? Is this thought through carefully? Are we using what is known to inform wiser action? I love process, but only process that leads to results and action. Being, and mindfulness feel very important to me. And yet, if being isn’t leading to doing, then it seems like a pretty narcissistic practice.

Dance. Hold the tension between. Watch for indicators of being too far in one direction or the other, then correct course.

Getting what matters done requires a solid focus on getting things done, and a wisdom to know what to do and how to best do it. And that is what The Agency is all about catalyzing.