like life,


— AHA! (


A few weeks ago we encouraged you to shift from an attitude of certainty to an attitude of curiosity in order to increase your creativity and innovation. You responded with some wonderful insights about the ways that small shift in perspective had opened your eyes.

And then, when we were at the offices of AHA!*, an amazing creative agency that we have worked with for the past couple of years, Betsy Henning, the visionary CEO, had a book on her desk with a fascinating photo on it. The book was PRAXIS 2014 (go to the App Store and you can download the PRAXIS14 app for iPad—you won’t regret it!), which is their annual work of creativity and collaboration, and next to it was a card with the quote cited above. It was a work of genuine creativity. Betsy and her staff are some of the most curious people we have met. They stand in their curiosity and creativity on behalf of their clients and change their futures. They understand that creativity, like life, is emergent.

After that meeting, we got to thinking about the concept of emergence—which Wikipedia describes at some length but summarizes as: “Emergence concerns new properties produced as the system grows.” And while it is not a word we use with much regularity, it is exactly what we are supporting in each of you; the emergence of those new properties that are the best of you: your wisdom, passion, and your power. The insight to know who you are and what you stand for today. It’s about becoming a better you.

We discussed the concept of today’s post with a couple of other clients and one of them said—with some sorrow—that she didn’t feel like anything was emerging in her. Quite unexpectedly her colleague said to her, “Are you kidding? As you have done this work with Linda and Stephanie you have become a different leader. You are no longer commanding us to do work but engaging us in solving problems. You have become a leader who is influencing us and willing to be influenced. A true leader has emerged from a woman I thought was a military commander!” It was a poignant moment.

Spend some time this week thinking about your life and consider what is emerging in you. Think about whether you like what you are seeing and if not, begin to nurture the emergence of your creativity, your passion, and your leadership. Remember, you can shape aspects of what emerges by what you nurture, practice, and think about.

* Described on the AHA! website as, “A team of creative and strategic thinkers, writers, and designers who harness the power of stories to create enterprise-changing, award-winning communications and content.” They are not kidding. They are exceptionally talented.