Points of Leverage: 7th Edition

The intention of C-lever Points of Leverage is to support you in your own development and growth as a leader and a human by sharing my journey of the same.  I hope you find it useful.


What I’m excited about–

Camp Maverick – I didn’t go to camp as a kid.  It wasn’t in the consideration set. As a result, I generally don’t like to camp and find being around lots of people for longer than a few hours, more than a little challenging.  And when I learned that a couple of people I know and love had a camp for entrepreneurs, I decided to go as a STRETCH exercise and to show support.  That was two years and two camps ago and I’m stoked to be going again in a couple of weeks.

Camp Maverick is a fantastical fusion of entrepreneurs, outdoors, magical-meaningful experiences, and plain silliness.  It’s super fun, with phenomenal people, and educational take-aways.   Join me!!!

TED2020 – I’m stoked to be attending the TED conference (main stage in Vancouver) in 2020.   I’ve attended TEDGlobal in Rio and three or so TEDActive conferences (where they simulcast the mainstage), but this will be my first main stage TED conference.

After organizing three TEDx conferences and attending four TED related conferences and many TEDx conferences, I got TEDed-out a few years ago.  I decided to reenter the fold because I’ve found that I can get pretty tunnel-focused these days, tuning out virtually everything that isn’t absolutely necessary for me to make it to the next day.  I can easily lose track of what’s going on in the world.  And watching 100, 10-20 minute talks over four or so days is a great way to catch up!


What I’m reading –

Happiness is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a year among the oldest old – I have to admit, this book title kinda ticked me off.  Don’t we all want to be happy?!  If it was as easy as choosing it, wouldn’t we all be happy?!  And I read the book anyway and got the point.

The author, John Leland, spent a year with six New Yorkers aged 85 and over to learn about what it means to grow old.  All six people experienced a significant financial, family, health and/or home challenge during the year.   And yet all six of the “oldest old” oriented themselves around what they still could do, what was still available to them, what still held value and meaning in their lives.  In short, they found ways to be happy.  And if they can, can’t I?

My orientation toward life is one of my own making.  My relationship with myself, my life, my friends and family, my circumstances, is one I have created.  And yes, it feels overly simplistic to say happiness is a choice, because there are SO many steps before I can get there – (e.g. detaching from my trigger response, getting curious, stepping back, getting perspective, looking for the lesson, focusing on the good).  I’m coming to believe that if I/we’ve created the life I/we have (and I/we have), then I/we can create a happy one.  (Says easy, does hard).


What I’m enjoying –

Creative Birthdays – One of the amazing entrepreneurs in my circle of friends had his 50th birthday on Monday and invited me and a couple of others to his creatively designed birthday party.  He’s a big sailor/kayaker and his 50th birthday wish was to kayak with a few friends through the marshes of the Potomac and have dinner under the stars IN the Potomac.  So he negotiated access to a floating platform that is anchored in the Potomac (which we kayaked out to) and is equipped with a grill, chairs, a battery for running lights, towels and floaties.

After a lovely, sunny paddle through the Dyke Marsh, we drank margaritas, ate perfectly grilled corn, meat and peaches with melted peanut butter caramel ice cream.  We talked about life, love, passion, poetry and what makes us feel alive.   Time stood still.  Birthday Present.

After cleaning and packing up, we paddled back to shore with headlamps to light the pitch-black night.  I fell into bed with Ken just after midnight on a Monday thinking, “We all deserve a little bit of magic, friendship and love on our birthdays.”

Ritz Carlton – Half Moon Bay – Last month, I was granted an amazing opportunity to present at the annual offsite for investors at the PE firm, Warburg Pincus, held at the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay.  I’ve enjoyed a number of high-end hotels, and this one was a step above.

The staff was calm, helpful, warm and present.  The food and drinks were tasty, creative and carefully crafted.  The grounds were beautifully maintained and the view was stunning.  Go if you can!


What I’m creating –

On Demand Training Course – One of the projects that’s held my focus for the last few weeks has been an on-demand training course I’m creating for my company, Learning in Action.   It’s a series of short videos, reflection forms and exercises designed to complement and explain the results of our Relational Intelligence measurement instrument.

Due to a unique set of constraining circumstances, I had to shoot the 30ish short videos for the course in a little over 2 hours.   Which basically means, I had to nail almost all of them in one take.  And because I’m extraordinarily fortunate to be supported by partners like Yokoco, who make it all turnkey, I was able to make it all work.  Here’s a tiny sample of a less than 2 minute video where I had some fun introducing poetry into the mix.

Conflict Videos – The heart of what we do at Learning in Action is to shine the light of awareness on our relational blindspots. Part of how we do that is by inviting people into a common workplace interpersonal conflict and inquiring about their internal experience of the conflict.  Driven by the opportunity at Warburg Pincus, we decided to create new conflict videos to use in our presentations and trainings.

We worked with an amazing team of professionals at NXNW Digital Studio to select actors, create the setting and shoot relatable, evocative videos.   I feel great about the work we did together.  Here’s a sample conflict video we’ll use with leaders and teams.


Quote I’m pondering –

“Given the scale of life in the cosmos, one human life is no more than a tiny blip. Each one of us is just a visitor to this planet, a guest, who will only stay for a limited time. What greater folly could there be than to spend this short time alone, unhappy or in conflict with our companions? Far better, surely, to use our short time here in living a meaningful life, enriched by our sense of connection with others and being of service to them.” – Dalai Lama XIV



If you liked this (or not), let me know and feel free to forward it to someone who might benefit.   They can subscribe to C-lever POL here.  If you’d have a thought or comment, I’d love to hear it!

Take care,


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Author Bio

Alison Whitmire

CEO and Executive Leadership Coach, Advisor and Consultant, “Deeply Committed, Helping CEOs See Clearer, Do More”

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