Are you kiddin’ me?

Executives pickin' up ideas in a poetry reading group? I don't think so!

  • Big 4 tax accountants at an offsite
  • Construction equipment designers in the conference room at lunch
  • Copywriters coming into the office on a string of Saturdays?
  • Careerists-of-faith in houses of worship and urban high-rises

Really, poetry? You think there’s a there there???

Maybe . . .

A Pinpoint Sampling, Take a Look:

Minimalist Exercises that Lead to Insights

By Citizen John


January 14, 2015

The exercises in this book lead to discussions that create insights. This is designed, I believe, for participation by top management of organizations - those with a lot of weight on their shoulders. Anybody who can facilitate a seminar, conference, or workshops wherein the participants have executive authority should be able to use the material. The reflections and exercises can take participants in any number of possible directions. I think participants will experience serendipity with a competent facilitator.

Somehow this short book prompted me to get into The CEO in You, another book by the same author. Presently I'm halfway through The CEO in You and have re-read some of the sections multiple times because for me it's a new way to think. The CEO book has the theory and the author's experiences working with top management of large organizations, whereas Change the Way You Face the Day has the actual exercises. Participants don't have to read The CEO in You to make the exercises work, but should probably check their electronic devices at the door.

The Door to a World We Never Visit

By Thomas M. Loarie


December 14, 2014

I was introduced to an outstanding book, "Questions of Character," by Joseph Badaracco Jr in 2009. The book was an outgrowth of a Saturday morning book-discussions Badaracco had with a small group of elite executives. He learned that the use of serious fiction in a group setting opened the door to a world rarely seen or shared by leaders ... one that helped them confront important and challenging personal questions. As they were drawn into the story, and into the shoes of the protagonist (or antagonist), they openly shared their perspective as fictional characters were tested, reshaped, strengthened, or weakened.

They shared and learned how they and others think, worry, hope, hesitate, commit, exult, regret, and retreat. Now Allan Cox in his "Change the Way You Face the Day" uses poetry to challenge us to explore and confront as Badaracco did through fiction. Cox questions how we embrace the gift of each day and whether or not we are making a difference in the world. Badaracco organized his book around eight critical questions, Cox around thirteen poems. Each in its own way causes us to reflect on life - how we have integrated values, career, and more broadly, our life's work.

Cox more specifically challenges us to reflect on the realities of life, order, and spontaneity. Are we focused? Do we have good intentions? Can we adapt our ambition and goals to the unforeseen events and messiness of life that lie ahead? How will we react and how will we be remembered? Cox believes we need to change how we frame the realitiesAre of our daily existence, to find integration, balance, and peace.

In "Change the Way You Face the Day," Cox provides a series of exercises that can be used in a group format to facilitate a reflective discussion of the deep issues he raises. He, like Badaracco, has found great value with group (five to nine people) discussion of the poems and exercises. They can be read alone but the interaction with a group yields the best and most satisfying result.

"Change the Way You Face the Day" can be a challenging, but satisfying, part of your personal development. It will open the door to a world rarely visited but one with profound rewards.

Postscript: Those like me who are not accustomed to reading poetry will find Cox's poetry relevant and emotionally provocative.

By Cyril Patrick Feerick


February 3, 2015

The title of the book says it all--Change the Way You Face the Day. Author and CEO Allan Cox, offers us a collection of poems that encourage us to inspire, to ponder and to share. Even for someone with a positive attitude this book is still a good read. It definitely opens the eyes of someone who sees the negative side of things or is always thinking negatively. It is an easy and quick read with poetry that is easy to understanding rather than dictating. I can't wait to begin using the information in this book to help my kids to appreciate poetry. Additionally, after reading this book I am anxious to begin my own personal journey into writing poetry :)