guest blog :: marilyn o'hearne

Courage and Love at Work and in Life

Marilyn O'Hearne MSW, MCC, LLC; Master Certified Coach, International Coach Federation

It takes courage:

To fight for your beliefs and values, for freedom
(we celebrate Independence Day in the US, July 4)

To say goodbye, whether through a move, death, divorce, career change, etc.

To say hello to new opportunities, relationships

To love (Yes, including professionally!)

Books like Jack Mitchell’s Hug Your Customer; Hug Your People; Benefiel’s Soul at Work;The Soul of a Leader; Parker Palmer’s A Hidden Wholeness; and Stanley Herman’s The Tao at Work point to the benefits of putting love into action in the workplace. “’Hugging’ is Jack’s metaphor for bringing humanity back into the workplace… by getting to know, pay attention to and being curious about those we do business with by taking the time to learn what matters to them.” And, I add, to act based on what you learn matters to them. Benefits include decreased turnover and increased engagement of staff and customers.

The wedding ceremony I attended a week ago celebrated the couple’s courage to begin a committed love life together. The ceremony included the commitment of caring for each other in sickness and in health; of loving the other (“learning what matters to them” and acting on that) even when it is inconvenient, and not always knowing what to expect. That takes courage!

Later in the week I witnessed that love and courage in action at a celebration of life for a friend who is in the last phase of their earthly journey, with their spouse at their side. All of this while saying goodbye to my friends and family, home, and my customary way of life, to set out on a three month Asia Pacific journey, not fully knowing what to expect. An emotional week!

This photo is of my daughter Amelia and I in front of a statue of a lion, a symbol of courage, at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Our native Kansas is globally known for the Wizard of Oz. The Lion in that story sets off on the yellow brick road with his companions and discovers the courage within him, as he seeks to lovingly protect his companions on their journey. (notice the love images in the photo as well!)

Courage is not the absence of fear, which the lion first believes, but acting in the face of fear. In coaching we see the greatest obstacle to progress is fear. We choose whether to be frozen by fear or courageously move forward. Partnering with a loving coach makes moving past the fear easier! (Coaching calls it “unconditional positive regard”)

My intention for this three month Asia Pacific journey: to step out in faith with courage and love, including in my speaking engagements.

How are you choosing to live a life of love and courage-in the workplace and in life?


If you missed the backstory of this untethering journey in the previous blogs or want to apply the lessons I learned on my journey and beyond, I invite you to read more at:

Posted on January 28, 2016 .