The Heart of Making a Difference: Being of Service, Coaching Others, Enrolling Others, Speaking Up

Awakening heart,
spirit and joy in worklife

The Heart of Making a Difference: Being of Service, Coaching Others, Enrolling Others, Speaking Up

Dates: TBD
The Heart of Making a Difference – an appropriate title for this conversation, a course which takes participants into the very heart of making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. This rigorous, senior course stands on the foundation of The Heart of Leadership and catapults participants into distinguishing, and living from, their own edge in maximizing their contribution to others, forwarding others’ empowerment, performance, and well-being. The key distinctions which allow for this are 1) enrollment, (which includes creating a new space of possibility for others); 2) developing others through coaching, training, and mentoring; 3) speaking up, or transcending your fears, bringing your own voice out of hiding, all inside of Maximizing Being of Service to others. In The Heart of Leadership, you got freed up from many of your own constraints and discovered stand-taking as a source of power. You took stands for your life in that course. In this conversation, people get in touch with their own ability to free up others, give space for others to tap into their own power, brilliance, and wisdom. It is for people who intend to make a difference in life.

Why is Enrollment an essential ingredient? The opportunity to cause, or bring into being, a new possibility for others to embrace and live into, is groundwork for others to create new futures, new actions, for themselves. The Art of enrolling others (whether they be resistant, recalcitrant, or not interested, at the beginning), is at the heart of the matter of being able to make a difference with others.

Why is development essential? Without development, people’s futures are an extension of their past. In the presence of someone who is masterful in developing others, people get freed up; they enter into new territories of power for themselves, where their constraints and limitations can be seen and removed. They can tap into their ability to move from being a victim to being a creator. To be powerful in this area of opening new territory for another requires working beyond what one “knows” – it has to do with “living,” with “being.” Someone once said the course should be called “The Art of developing your SELF to develop others.” How accurate that statement was!

Why is Speaking Up essential? If your fears are stopping you from contributing, it’s “game over.” If you have no voice with which to move the world, end of story. Even something as simple as our fear of what others think of us can stop us from speaking. Because both enrolling and developing others require the courage to BE, and to speak, we have found that unless we can relate to our own fears in a way that they no longer stop us, if we are smaller than them, we cannot make the difference we intend to make. We are prevented from Being-Of-Service. Hence, this dimension of HOMD, which opens us to our own Courageous Speech, serves as a critical fulcrum for propelling us forward into powerful action.

All of this conversation lives inside of Being-of-Service, of bringing power and possibility to others, of making a meaningful difference in the world. It may well be the most critical work we have to do if we are truly to realize our intentions to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

Participant Comments following The Heart of Making a Difference 

“The work on identity and integrity in this course fused my inner and outer life in a way that makes speaking up, even in the most difficult circumstances, a constant, necessary reality of life. I know this commitment has been a tremendous breakthrough in my professional and personal effectiveness. It’s amazing how productive a meeting can be when everyone at the table is listening deeply and speaking courageously. 

Courageous speaking has particularly transformed my worklife. Through this course I experienced a transformative shift from pleasing to serving. It’s amazing how what I perceived to be “serving” had been distorted by my desire to get along. Doing what is of service is not always doing what people want—sometimes it’s disruptive and unpleasant— but I’ve found that it is the clearest pathway to really making a difference. There’s real freedom and power in true service as a compass.  

Really it was a series of shifts that led to the courageous speaking. It required: 

1. Awareness of what I feel and what my heart desires.

– Hearing my heart when it said to speak up or do something. A major part of this was a breakthrough in trusting my intuition, which has affected so much about the way I experience and view my life.

2. A deepened commitment to my own integrity.

– Recognizing that restraining my voice keeps me from being whole.

3. A recklessness that allows me to be unattached to the fixtures of my security.

– A committed willingness to speak up even if it costs me my job or something else that’s important to me. I realized I’m much better at my job when I’m not attached to it.

4. A focus on honest expression, and a trust that the words will come.

– Speaking from my heart as the norm rather than the exception has meant removing some layers from my social filter and just saying what I’m compelled to say. This has been so cool to watch as I notice the listening of others and the connections that are made. One cool revelation came the other night when I gave a talk at church that I thought would be controversial, but decided to speak my heart anyway without editing. I also thought that this different kind of preparation would mean that I might come across less polished, but ultimately might be more powerful. As it turns out I received some of the most generous comments about my voice and polished speaking style that I’ve ever received in my life. Hearing how effective this was really confirmed these ideas that I had been experimenting with: that if I can keep my eye on my heart and my listener, everything else fills in between us.

For me this was a critical follow-up to Heart of Leadership as it anchored that work into a series of ongoing practices, and gave me the tools to bring this conversation into every conversation. Awareness and intuition are so important in business and in life, and yet they are among the first things drowned out by the busyness of the day. In this course I feel like I found an amplifier for those two things, heightening awareness and making my intuition impossible to ignore.”

Ryan Joy
Senior Manager, DW Green Company, Inc. 


The primary three sustaining effects (from this course) have been:

– My taking responsibility for “getting in touch with my heart” each day – and understanding the cost and benefit, to myself and the world, of opening my heart every day through deliberate practices that I have implemented.

– A new opening and pathway for enrollment. Primarily, I find myself not over-analyzing the process and, more importantly, not getting attached to the outcome. This has been a big deal for me.

– Revitalized my respect for the importance of rigor and precision when using language. And, along with that, restarted my practice of designing important conversations and reminded me of the power that conversation has to change the world. The Heart of Making a Difference produced immediate results in my business: giving me access to new clients and their referrals. My company was also able to redefine what we mean by customer service, which produced results within weeks. At home, I was able to repair long-standing communication issues with my wife, dispel misunderstood expectations that produced anxiety, transforming those expectations into commitments to my family that inspire us and are joyful to satisfy. More-so than in previous courses, I was able to adopt regular practices in my daily and weekly routine that continually renew the openings that The Heart of Making a Difference provided to me.

Eric Cress
Owner, Urban Development Partners


I got so much out of Heart of Making a Difference. I was opened to the power and importance of enrollment, of inquiries and of language. I am committed to heart listening. I believe my human experience is about the journey toward wholeness. And the light of my wholeness brightened from the richness of content and through my listening. I know more of what I didn’t know I didn’t know!

My opening was to be of service. To be of service; to myself, to my family, to my friends, to my employees, to my community and to all living things in the world, is to make a difference in the lives of others and to make a difference in the world of which I am apart. And if my being of service opens being of service to others for others it will contribute to the transformation of consciousness on the planet! Understanding the distinction between fixing, helping and serving was critical for me to begin my journey, my discovery of being of service. For me being of service is about touching the heart, the soul, the consciousness of another person with a genuine, authentic, deep appreciation and attentiveness to their uniqueness, their gifts and their wholeness.

The Heart of Making a Difference is the ultimate sequel to Heart of Leadership. There is a powerful, and rich connectedness that makes the total experience incredibly beneficial.

DW Green
Owner, DW Green Company, Inc.


I have a greater trust in myself. Before The Heart of Making a Difference, I experienced courage, faith and self-confidence fleetingly. Now, they feel renewable and ever-present. I know that I am bigger and stronger than the circumstances that surround me. I feel like I have a greater sense of ownership of my life, and a stronger commitment to myself to nourish and celebrate all of the things that make me who I am.

The readings were phenomenal, and the freer-flowing evening conversations were extraordinary. It was an incredible feeling to be in a room where true conversations and real listening were happening. It was an amazing thing to experience. The discussions about courageous speech and the conversations about being open to new horizons, surprises, and living on the cliff edge also made a huge impact on me.

Amba, the way you let the conversation flow organically, while still keeping us ever mindful of the intentions you had for us in this conversation, was incredible.

My sincere appreciation and thanks for having the privilege to engage in such a powerful conversation with you and the other participants, who astounded and inspired me with their courage and insights.

Erica Hutchinson
Sr. Manager, DW Green Company, Inc.


The first breakthrough for me was to enroll myself into a committed belief that I can make a difference. By stepping into that belief, it made a difference in me personally. This class IS appropriately named.

I found it much easier to grab onto the distinction of “making a difference” vs. “developing others”. “Making a difference” feels more rooted in service than “developing others”. I know it is a subtle distinction, but it was significant for me and allowed more access to the work.

This course was one of the BEST!

Greg Johnson
Sr. Manager, Town & Country Markets


Prior to HOMD, self-doubt and fear had me stopped in all areas of my life. I covered much ground dealing with grief and loss, and shedding old skin, prior to the course. I made courageous leaps by starting my own business and ending a long term relationship. As exciting as that can be FEAR came along with all of it!

This course was an awakening experience for me. I came into this course being at stake for accepting FEAR for what it is, having my powerful voice be heard always, and to live each day with strong intentionality in behalf of making a difference in the lives of others and my own life.

The title of the course, The Heart of Making a Difference, is dead on. Through the conversations I reconnected with who I am, my Heart, and my soul’s purpose. I would have to say that the courageous speech conversation and enrollment conversations were very powerful for me.

During and since the course, I have formed new and exciting partnerships with people that I would not have imagined partnering with, in behalf of forwarding our businesses, rekindling relationships, and being of service to others. I am so grateful for those partnerships and the difference it has made in my life.

To me, the HOMD was a barometer for where I am in my own development. I found myself constantly checking myself (catching and correcting) as though it was automatic. I am still in that mode. I think HOMD is distinct from AODL because a lot of time is spent on enrollment and courageous speaking conversations. The readings and evening sessions were deep and enlightening. The distinction drawn between help vs. service was the biggest nugget of them all for me. Once I got that, it was easy for me embrace enrollment as an expression of contributing my true authentic self to others in my business and my personal life. This was my wake up and come out of hiding moment!

LaDonna Duhon
Duhon Financial Management


I started in this conversation with a question in my mind. My inquiry was this: how much of “contribution to others” is self serving? I thought that, in order for me to be in service to others, this act must be completely unselfish and not out of any self driven agendas. By the end of the course, what opened up for me was, that in order for me to serve others, I must serve myself and that is by no means a selfish act. When I serve others I am serving myself.

I think that the AODL/ AODO was a perfect spark for this conversation and it was through HOMD that I had the chance to deepen my commitment towards developing others and for being a contribution to others.

My recommendation is, for those who are in the same quandary as I was, to consider this course to discover their own level of commitment to this idea of being in service to others.

Mo Aliabadi
Owner, South Tacoma Auto


This course is a deeper dive into some of the same areas that make up the different courses coupled with new cuts into uncharted territory. This course peels back the layers that we wear and opens up our true self to the world. For some people they were able to find direction for themselves while others worked on critical relationships they have. This course is for people who are ready to contribute to the world around them in a way that is both powerful and meaningful.

For me, the course opened up a few things for me. It gave me time to construct some very important conversations that are coming up for me in the future and it allowed me to open up my true voice for the sake of the company. Journaling was an unbelievable blessing for me. It gave me a chance to seed thoughts and turn ideas into reality. I have continued to use it as a form of reflection, inspiration, organizing thoughts, and declaring my voice.

Joel Larway
Store Director, Shoreline Central Market Town & Country Markets


I have so much love for you and the work you provide for us. This was the most powerful environment I have been blessed to be part of. I have a shift in who I am and the way I do things that is deeply life changing. I am blessed and I am grateful.

Virginia Bobrow
Human Resources, Town and Country Markets


The class “H.O.M.D.” contributed to me at a different level than previous courses I have taken from you. The ease with which we got into each other’s worlds (be of service to each other) was much more accessible at this level…It is critical for me to stay connected and practice what I have learned from previous courses with folks who have the same or similar desire to carry on in development.

I found that we, and you, have recognized that there are different levels of work that require different attention and different involvement from those attending. The opportunity to experience the wealth of growth and work that people in this group put into their own development is essential to my own development. These folks taught me. They helped me to listen. They helped me to speak. They helped me to teach. I felt totally accepted and loved by this group, therefore I was able to clear the way sooner to share who I am.

What has opened up for me is a simple, pure concept that I used to practice but have put on the back burner the past 18 years. The concept is being of service.

I am inspired.

Chris King
Seafood Specialist, Town and Country Markets


We all long for making a difference, to truly contribute to others. And many of us feel that we are well prepared to do just that. But until you understand the importance of getting your own house in order, to live a life fully at stake and in alignment, you discover that your ability to truly make a difference grows exponentially. The Heart of Making a Difference takes you on such a journey, with such depth, that it becomes life changing.

There are two themes that keep coming up for me when I think of this course. The first, paying “profound attention” to yourself. And second, “living courageously”. Obviously these were my openings but I think they are central to making a difference in others.

When I first took The Art of Developing Others, another participant proposed a new name: The Art of Developing Oneself to Develop Others. I think The Heart of Making a Difference did a much deeper take on truly developing yourself. Or at least discovering where you are in your development and what is essential to get in order so you truly can make a difference in others.

Bill Weymer
CEO, Town and Country Markets