Mary Oliver passed away last week. For those who loved poetry and nature, Mary Oliver was a muse, an inspiration and a lyrical writer.
Famously, and metaphorically, she wrote in her poem “The Summer Day”,
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.” “What will you do with your one delicious life?”
Mary Oliver made us think about our place in the world—and about living large. She invited us to live our Why-Be-Do®.
Here is a wonderful meditation, from her famous poem, “When Death Comes” – sit in a quiet place and reflect on this deeply inquisitive enquiry about the purpose of your life and how you wish to be present in the world:
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
How will these words affect your life going forward?
Thank you, Mary Oliver, for making us think about what is important in the world and how to live lives that are large and inspiring.
Mary Oliver passed away last week. For those who loved poetry and nature, Mary Oliver was a muse, an inspiration and a lyrical writer. Famously, and metaphorically, she wrote in her poem "The Summer Day", “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your...read more
Our understanding of the role of corporations has moved through a series of evolutions. It was generally accepted 50 years ago that the main purpose of a corporation was to increase shareholder wealth. Economist Milton Friedman cemented this thinking in our culture...read more
This is a longer blog than I usually write, but it is a topic that has come up frequently in my coaching and consulting work recently. What follows is an edited extract from my book, "The Spark, the Flame and the Torch". I live what, to some, might appear as...read more
A Love Story: An Intensely Personal Memoir, is the story of my soulmate Tricia's and my remarkable 30-year journey together, using poetry I had written privately to her over the years, woven through the narrative. I write about leadership, so this a big departure for...read more
There are angel cards, medicine cards, tarot cards, astrology cards, animal cards and an endless number of other cards that appeal to a wide array of interests. But in my work with leaders across the world, I noticed that no one had created a set of cards for business...read more
I wonder why we call the easy stuff—like technical skills, professional mastery and STEM subjects—the “hard skills” and the really difficult stuff—like inspiring other people and leadership—the “soft skills”. This seems upside down to me—the “soft skills” are the...read more
Business leaders are crying the blues about the so called, “shortage of talent”. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a Professor of Psychology at Columbia University, where he teaches MBA students. says that when he began teaching MBA students they all wanted to work for...read more
On October 4th, 2018, MacKay CEO Forums is holding a one-day conference at the Hilton Toronto. The theme is “Embracing Innovation and Technology”. Keynote speakers include Peter Diamandis and Amanda Lange (see the agenda here), and if you want to know about blockchain...read more
A client recently asked me to support them in enhancing their culture and raising the performance of their team. Following our discussion they told me that they wanted to focus on “more technical and practical things” first— like, improved writing skills, better time...read more
According to The World Health Organization: Today, there are around 600 million people aged 60 years and over worldwide. This number will double by 2025 and will reach two billion by 2050, with the vast majority of older people in the developing world. I...read more
In the early 2000’s I conducted research to find out what characteristics were common among great leaders, both living and deceased. I learned that first and foremost, great leaders have a powerful connection to a higher purpose—the reason they are here on Earth—what...read more
The Kindle version of my latest book, The Bellwether Effect, is on sale on all Amazon and Indigo websites for US$0.74 (CDN$0.99). This offer ends Sunday night June 30 after which the price will increase to $12.95 US. So please take advantage of the remaining few...read more