Clay Boykin is In Search of the New Compassionate Male. Since the fall of 2018, Clay has been on a quest to connect with men all over the world in the belief that a New Compassionate Male is emerging as the new archetype; and this quest has taken him across the U.S., Canada and into Africa.
Clay founded the Men’s Fellowship Network in 2012 which has grown into a global constellation of men and women. Clay’s podcast, In Search of the New Compassionate Male, has recently been ranked #4 out of over 300 podcasts related to men and men’s health.
Clay has over forty-years’ experience as a change agent transforming cultures within organizations. He is a former officer in the United States Marine Corps and, throughout his career, has been described as a servant leader.
In 2007, at age 53, a mystical experience and heart attack led Clay to leave the business world and begin pursuing his spiritual path towards inner healing.
Clay is the author of the book, Circles of Men: A Counter-Intuitive Approach to Creating Men’s Groups, published in August 2018. In addition to founding the Circles of Men Project, Clay is developing the global Men & Boys Initiative for Charter for Compassion. As well, Clay is working with International Peace Initiatives-Kenya and United Religions Initiative (URI) to bring his counter-intuitive approach to men’s circle-work to Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and elsewhere along the Nile River Basin.
He is also in close collaboration with Gender Equity & Reconciliation International in the area of deep healing between women and men which addresses many of the issues raised as a result of the #MeToo Movement.
Clay is an international speaker and conducts workshops on the topic of The New Compassionate Male, which is the subject of his next book. As well, he is a strategy consultant for organizations and mentors individuals applying a uniquely counterintuitive approach to finding clarity, direction and purpose.
“Where there’s a Will, there’s a way” may just be a cliché to some, but for Will Rucker, it’s a way of life. Whether it’s as the founder and lead pastor of The Intersection Spiritual Community, the host of Compassionate Las Vegas’ podcast, American Lung Association’s Western Division Health Promotions Director, or as a Board Member of The Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada, Community Partners for Better Health, and the Nevada Minority Health and Equity Coalition, Will is deeply committed to transforming culture through compassion.
Born in the home of Motown, Detroit, MI, and a graduate of the world-renown Interlochen Arts Academy, Will expected his career to be centered in the fine and performing arts. Time has revealed that his artistic training was the foundation for his life’s work which he sums up as being a conduit and communicator. The empathy, understanding of interconnectedness, and ability to think ahead while being fully in the moment gained as a performer is what Will has utilized to be effective in his current endeavors. Will’s educational background includes undergraduate work in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Ministry, and his master’s degree is in Executive Leadership.
Currently, Will is working on his third book and its accompanying affirmative meditation soundtrack. He enjoys hiking the trails of Mt. Charleston, spending time with his husband and partner of 17 years, his family (especially his three tiny dogs), and discussing the philosophical implications raised by the Marvel Universe. Above all, Will aims to be an inspiration to all people by embodying the mantra, “Be the change.”
I am grateful to each of my guests who joined us this first year of the Podcast. Together, with my Producer, Dennis Tardan, we published over 70 podcast episodes. Our guests joined us from: U.S., Kenya, Australia, Canada, Rwanda, Tasmania, Malawi, U.K., and Sardinia....
Back in the 1980’s, as I was beginning to find my stride inside Motorola, we were faced with many large changes on a corporate-wide basis. These were not product changes, although there were plenty of those as well. These were changes that sought to speak to the essence of the Motorola culture and the essence of leadership. For me, it was both an exciting as well as a confusing time. I passionately believed in the essence of servant leadership, and what I was hearing at the corporate level had the same key elements. As well, there were many programs and processes that were being implemented corporate-wide such as Six-Sigma, 10x Cycle Time Reduction, etc… and, quite frankly, it was confusing for even the best to piece together into day-to-day action.
I was inspired by the corporate messages speaking to our culture such as, “Constant respect for people and uncompromising integrity” so I set out to wrap my head around my personal leadership style, and put this into context with the wave of activity inside the company; this to provide focus and meaning to the organization for which I was the marketing director.
An eight month self-study began which crossed many disciplines and perspectives. I went back to what was instilled in me about leadership during my time in the Marine Corps. I pulled books from my shelf at home by Peter Drucker-Frontiers of Management, Tom Peters-Thriving on Chaos, The Armed Forces Officers Handbook, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner-The Leadership Challenge, Robert F. Allen-The Organization Unconscious, and of course Robert Greenleaf on Servant Leadership. There were many more but these stood out most to me. My goal was to bring together the essence of leadership as described by all of these authors, mix in what I learned day-to-day in the Corps, and find the common threads buried within the Corporate messages, and decide how I intended to lead.
Along the way I was reminded that one could not go wrong taking to heart what Peter Drucker had to say; and while I loved the passion of Tom Peters, I knew that I could not show up as a “mono-manic with a mission” as he put it. And the Armed Forces Officers Handbook, while pragmatic in its approach offered sound advice about leading and life in general.
The Leadership Challenge really spoke to me. Within it’s five principles I began to find the common thread that brought Drucker, Peters, Allen, Kouses and Posner together with what I had been taught in the Marine Corps. Things began to solidify for me and I became grounded in my beliefs on leadership. I was finding my voice, and The Leadership Challenge was the common thread that tied them all together with the Corporate mantras.
Kouses and Posner summarized it with five principles:
Creating an inspired vision
Modeling the way
Enabling others to act
Challenging the process
Encouraging the heart
All spoke loudly to me. The ones I will touch on here are: “creating and inspired vision” and “encouraging the heart.” We had the technology, we had talent, the resources to grow, and we had the brand name. We also had stress, tension, egos, and disagreements on technologies that would seem to cross into the esoteric. If you singled anyone out and gave them a truth serum one would invariably find an undercurrent of fear.
The popular book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall used fear as the underlying motivator: In the book he writes: “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
I remember hearing Born to Run quoted many times over the years. What was odd to me was that its premise was fear. Semantics, maybe, but it’s worth considering whether or not any of us would rather be led by fear, or led though inspiration and encouragement; and whether or not you want your team to be running away from failure or running towards a vision.
Creating an inspired vision, Modeling the way, Enabling others to act, Challenging the process, Encouraging the heart; The common I had found the common thread and I had found my voice.