There was a moment in time, not precisely defined, when I came to the awareness that the time I had been spending on Native American reservations, in ceremonies, time with elders, and with my adopted Navajo family was contributing to my business career in ways I could never have foreseen. I was discovering that these two seemingly disparate tracks in life were actually congruent in some ways and that the Indigenous ways were leading me to a place of greater ease, confidence, intuition, creativity, leadership, and vision.
At that point in time I was just about ten years into my journey with the Indigenous traditions and more than fifteen years in business. The early part of my business career was rocky and at times dysfunctional, both in terms of the companies and people I worked with, but also as a result of my own value system, self-concept, and worldview. As I deepened my involvement in Indigenous ceremonies and teachings I was feeling more and more at home, yet with each transverse from the Navajo reservation to the conference room my head would spin with the contrasts.
It took quite some time before I realized the contrasts were neither inherent nor necessary. I discovered that we in the business world have signed on to a mythology that says that how we do business is distinct from how we live our personal lives. Conversely, the Indigenous teachings were showing me that how we are with our families, friends, and communities is how we can be in the business world; that there is no separation.
In the working world I have had a diverse career with a few consistent threads, sales, sales coaching and business development being one thread, strategy being another, and large-scale event production. From investment sales, to an eleven-year stint at a big city newspaper, to several years in sustainability, and in the summer of 2011 the launch of Balanced Is, the majority of this time has been in parallel with my immersion in North American Indigenous culture and spirituality.
In 2010 I married Maria Rueda, a woman of Mexican and Apache decent, a mother of three teenagers, and a deeply spiritual woman of great respect and dignity. Maria is not only my life partner, she is also my business partner.
In the spring of 2012 I felt a certain nudge or guidance to begin writing about the congruency of Indigenous principles to the world of doing business. For the following year I wrote, discovered, wrote some more and birthed into being a complete system for culture change based on the teachings I had received and experiences of the past eighteen years. My first book, SHIFT: Indigenous Principles for Corporate Change, codifies thirteen principles from indigenous culture that collectively offer us a way of working and being in our lives in which we can find deep fulfillment from our work while intentionally shifting organizational culture.
My blog, Heart and Mind, is an ongoing story of how bridging the mind with heart brings us to a place of real and meaningful change.
Together with Maria we bring many decades of training and experiential learning to the task of assisting individuals and businesses in the creation of legacy. This is the work we feel called to do and the work that brings us great fulfillment. We reside in Western North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Metamorphosis is the process of transforming from an immature state to an adult form in two or more stages. We most commonly think of it as the process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. In so many ways, this has been the process of Balanced Is, begun in December...read more
Bless me father for I have sinned . . . it’s been more than four months since I’ve published a blog. When I coach my clients on blogging as a marketing strategy I always tell them to consider their blogs as gifts—that each blog should give some valuable information,...read more
We all have beliefs, and many of them. Some of us prefer to keep most of them to ourselves, and some enjoy espousing them at every opportunity. And yet, even when we say nothing of our beliefs we exhibit them in every word we say, every action or non-action, and by...read more
In times of plenty we rejoice in the knowing that we’re on the right track. In times of uncertainty we tend to look for the flaw in our strategy, the thing we missed or the stone unturned. In times of shortfall we tend to cave further into the abyss of, “What are we...read more
Winning isn’t easy when we endeavor to do intentional work. It’s not easy precisely because the notion of doing intentional work is that we do work that matters—work that is deeper and more meaningful than goals based on metrics such as revenue, market share, number...read more
In branding we talk a lot about tone¬—the tone of the words and visuals. We focus on tone because it’s the best way we have to reinforce the essence of what a brand stands for. While we can say all day long what we stand for in words, the words are not nearly as...read more