Category Archives: Leadership

At the center of the universe…

…there is a jazz trio: joy, generosity, and reciprocity. The music they make creates endless waves – each named ‘gift’ – upon which we can surf with our lives, relationships, and vocations.

At the center of our individual, small worlds, there is a scorecard and endless games that involve boundaries, rules, fouls, and the tallying of points as time expires.

Which center will you pledge your allegiance to?

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Ashton’s Weekend Read(s)

The art of letter writing is something I’ve noticed leaders do very well. I’ve read two letters to shareholders in the last couple of weeks….one short, one very long. Jeff Bezos ends his final letter as CEO at Amazon in the way only he can. And Jamie Dimon has the sharpest vision I’ve seen.

Godin on Investment and Expenses.

Love and Friendship from the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Red Bird Explains Himself by Mary Oliver.

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Creating Space

Watch any sport and you’ll find that the player or coach that creates space for himself or her teammates, is what we would call a valuable player and coach.

This trend continues the further we look into our lives, relationships, and businesses.

A nap, creates space to rejuvinate.

A walk around the block, creates space to release some negative energy and maybe just notice something beautiful.

A book creates space for a new idea, a new understanding.

A small investment, of any kind, creates space for tomorrow’s dividend to bloom.

A home can create space to grow as go.

A kind word just may create space for one to feel the warm rays of belief that can melt their loneliness.

Unfortunately, all too often, we choose to crowd these spaces we’ve been entrusted.

We crowd the soul, the heart, the family, the business, the calendar, the life.

Poor leadership crowds the psyche, the mind, the vision, and the places it has been entrusted.

What we need is space.

Be a space maker this week.

Good Word of the Day // Doing Without

“We are happy in direct proportion to the things we can do without.” Henry David Thoreau

Episode 182: Suzanne Stabile // The Journey Toward Wholeness: Enneagram Wisdom for Stress, Balance, and Transformation Good / True / & Beautiful | with Ashton Gustafson

In everything from health care and politics to technology and economics, we are experiencing feelings of loss, anger, and anxiety. In the Enneagram's wisdom, our number determines how we respond. We automatically move to another number when we're feeling stress and to yet another when we're feeling secure. Such moves may help us feel better temporarily but don't last. For those who want to dive deeper into Enneagram wisdom, expert teacher Suzanne Stabile opens the concept of three Centers of Intelligence: thinking, feeling, and doing. When we learn to manage these centers, each for its intended purpose, we open a path to reducing fear, improving relationships, growing spiritually, and finding wholeness. Drawing on the dynamic stability of the Enneagram, she explains each number's preferred and repressed Center of Intelligence and its role in helping us move toward internal balance. Using brief focused chapters, this book provides what we need to deal with the constant change and complexity of our world to achieve lasting transformation in our lives. 
  1. Episode 182: Suzanne Stabile // The Journey Toward Wholeness: Enneagram Wisdom for Stress, Balance, and Transformation
  2. Episode 181: AJ Sherrill // Being With God: The Absurdity, Necessity, and Neurology of Contemplative Prayer
  3. Episode 180: Staying Awake with Mark Nepo
  4. Episode 179: The Monastic Heart with Joan Chittister
  5. Episode 178: Naikan: Gratitude, Grace & the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection with Gregg Krech

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