Arthur in Action
My April began with a Saturday matinee at Disney Hall enjoying our great conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, leading the L.A. Philharmonic in Stravinsky’s “Firebird” and Debussy’s “La Mer” with no score – fully memorized, fully embodied – an astonishing tour de force by this remarkable 32-year-old artistic wunderkind. While the sonic experience was truly rhapsodic, it is Dudamel’s commitment to excellence that I find most exhilarating.
I also attended Opening Day with the Los Angeles Dodgers. I have been a fan since they were in Brooklyn and even attended games when I was a child at the L.A. Coliseum before Dodger Stadium was built. What has kept me tethered to the Dodgers even when I attend games at the ball park is my 60+ years of listening to Vin Scully describe the games. So as I watched the Dodgers play on April 1, I had my portable radio to my ear listening to Vin Scully on a bright spring day just as I did as a child. This year baseball legend, Sandy Koufax, threw the ceremonial first pitch. The joke in the moment was that he came in to replace, my old student Earvin Magic Johnson, one of the new Dodger owners. Also acknowledged was Hall of Fame Manager, Tommy Lasorda. My point is as with Vocal Awareness – tradition, legacy, connection. We’re here to make a difference, do the Work and bring value to others. Sandy Koufax is now 77 years old; Earvin Johnson hasn’t played basketball in some time and Tommy Lasorda is 86 and still inspiring. They continue to contribute, even if only in this moment to my poignant memories.
Why do I link these experiences? One of my favorite quotations is from the early 20th century psychologist, William James, who said: “The great use of a life is to spend it for something that outlasts it.” Like Dudamel, Scully, Koufax, Johnson and Lasorda, we are truly here to make a difference not merely in what we do but also in how we do it and by who we are.
Last month I sent the final draft of my new book Vocal Leadership: 7 Minutes a Day to Communication Mastery (with a foreword from Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League) to my publisher. The time and attention required in this endeavor was an opportunity for me to live by James’ quote. My editor at McGraw-Hill is thrilled with the quality of the Work and I look forward to announcing its release date soon. I truly hope it will bring value to you as it has brought significant value to me in the writing of it. (My previous book, Vocal Power Harnessing the Power Within will also be revised and re-released this year by McGraw-Hill.)
Recently, a football champion who is in the Hall of Fame and who has been a client of mine for more than 12 years, recounted the details of a severe injury during the 2nd season of his career, 20+ years ago, that took him two years of rehabilitation. It was the deepest depression of his life, he told me, and the scariest. I shared with him: “That was a period of your life when it was about what you do. Now you are in the season of your life when it is about who you are.”
I also am doing a lot. Vocal Awareness, however, is a being Work, but we have to do to Be. Wherever I go, whatever I do, wherever I teach, wherever I am, the same person shows up. I ask you to take time to acknowledge where you are and who you are, always remembering the 7th Ritual of Vocal Awareness: Be My Self.
Vocal Awareness Goal
Developing the Voice of a Leader
One of the tools in Vocal Awareness is an acrostic on “Leadership” that Arthur created some years ago. An acrostic (from the Greek: ákros “top” and stíchos “verse”) is a form of writing in which the first letter, syllable or word of each line, paragraph or other recurring feature in the text spells out a word or a message. In this way, not only can it be seen as a form of poetry, but the fact of the first letter spelling a word means it can also be used as a mnemonic device to aid memory retrieval.
In the Vocal Awareness “Leadership” acrostic, The “L” stands for “Leading By Example.” To do this, we have to “hold the space” for our Selves. In other words we need to create what Arthur calls a “Safe Harbor” within ourselves for contemplation, compassion and integrity. This is where Arthur suggests we go and where he goes internally during his daily time for solitude. When we embody the best of who we are, we raise the bar for our Selves and create the opportunity to ennoble (one of the key components of Leadership in Vocal Awareness – ennobling) others. In this way, we demonstrate a new brand of leadership based on mind/body/spirit and true mastery – leadership that propels us to a new understanding and demonstration of excellence.
In Vocal Awareness, a Leader is Consciously Aware of BEING who they are, never presenting – a process of discovery supported by the Vocal Awareness Persona, Mission and Vision Statements. This courage to BE authentic, to embody not just the message but “the messenger” is required of great leaders. In other words, don’t just “give a speech,” instead, consciously embody who you are and tell a Story. Whether in business or in life – to find and claim “The Voice of a Leader” – you have to find and claim your Self.
The Vocal Awareness Leadership Acrostic
Leading By Example.
Please note: Throughout Vocal Awareness literature, you’ll see the appearance of words separated by a slash. This is Arthur’s way of letting you know that he thinks of those words as integrally connected – allowing them to attain a kind of collective meaning. So, taken together, the words bring you to a deeper understanding of the concept Arthur is communicating.
Use Vocal Awareness and this Leadership Acrostic to energize, embolden and support you in being your best. As with all elements of Vocal Awareness this acrostic is integral and synergistic – remembering a letter’s meaning at a particular moment will bring you back to your Vocal Awareness Practice, such as your Empowerment Statements, Stature and the Seven Rituals. Most importantly, please remember we are speaking about excellence and not about “perfection,” which inhibits risk-taking and exploration. Honor your Self today and always by striving to live in mind/body/spirit consciousness, claiming all of who you are and Leading by Example.
As an orthopedic surgeon, mother, wife, and community leader Melanie’s life is a full one. And the tendency of someone in her position might be to compartmentalize herself and her approach to the world – a different self or approach for each context she engages in. But while living that way, Melanie realized that she wasn’t answering the singular question, “Who is Melanie Kinchen and what does she want?”
As a person who is no stranger to achieving hard-won goals – not everyone graduates from Harvard and Johns Hopkins, not everyone becomes a spine surgeon – she has a Champion’s mindset; she realized that this central question was the only one she needed to answer. And although the answer evolves as Melanie’s life progresses, she now answers it from one viewpoint – her Conscious Self. Read Melanie’s story.
VIP Cub Module Overciew
The Art of Surrender
This year in our VIP Club we will be exploring the foundational elements of Vocal Awareness. Each module is rich in content and so to help you immerse yourself we encourage you to explore the modules in order with Arthur as he goes through them with you on our monthly webinars. We follow up last month’s exploration of Ritual One: “Thank You to My Source with Ritual Two: “Love and Let Go.”
Joining Arthur in this video is Cecilia Bohorquez, a long-time student and friend who is an accomplished singer, performer and teacher in her own right. Together, Arthur and Cecilia practice and discuss Ritual Two, including how it differs from simple relaxation, creates a state of safety and security and helps us deal with challenges that arise from fear and self-doubt.
Come with us on this yearlong journey into the foundational elements of Vocal Awareness by joining our Voice Is Power (VIP) Club today.