Seeing Differently: Taking the First Step

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

–Martin Luther King Jr

Since March 2019, each week I have looked forward to jumping on our Humans First calls to engage in meaningful, interesting conversations on topics relevant to bringing greater humanity to our workplaces, communities, families, and relationships. I have been blessed to meet so many amazing, like-hearted human beings from all over the world. I continue to learn so much with and from these wonderful conversations that consistently enrich and expand my perspective. I consistently attend these calls every week and look forward to them with joyful anticipation. Yet, I have found myself wanting more.


How might I (we) move from insight to creating greater impact? This question has been recurrently gnawing at me.  How do we take the amazing insights and learning from these rich conversations, or any wonderful learning experience, and create better together?  My vision for what could be has been evolving since the spring of 2019. Our Humans First conversations inevitably led to offline 1 to 1 conversations which have allowed me to deepen relationships and broaden my perspective.

“You know you should just record your conversations with people.”

I began to receive invitations to be a guest on podcasts and other platforms to share my point of view on leadership, culture, the future of work, and related topics around being and putting humans first.  In October, my friend, Teresa Quinlan, invited me to join her TNTESQ podcast with her co-host Rhys Thomas.  We had a wonderful conversation on the work I do around Unleashing Human Greatness in people and teams.  After we stopped recording, Teresa said, “You know you should just record your conversations with people.” Teresa shared how she appreciated my insightful perspectives. In doing so, she inspired me to start creating videos and ultimately to create my own recorded video chat series, Insight to Action.

We Can Do Better Conversations

The first step would be mustering the courage to record and publish myself on video. This past November, after many years of procrastination and avoidance, I decided to create videos to share my point of view on topics that mattered to me, topics related to my story such as vulnerability and being nice vs being kind. As I created and shared my first video on LinkedIn, I felt many emotions:  relief for having published my first video, some lingering insecurity about what others might think, and more than anything, this sense of wishing I had mustered the courage to do this sooner.

I quickly moved to creating more videos, gaining confidence, learning, and becoming more at ease with every video recorded and released. After a few weeks of doing this, with Teresa’s words echoing in my head, I became inspired to invite others into HumansFirst type conversations.

Action: The Next Step

This past December I launched the We Can Do Better Conversations series. Inspired by the Humans First community, Founder Mike Vacanti’s book Believership: The Superpower Beyond Leadership, and the conversations we had weekly on our Humans First calls. I wanted to bring these types of engaging, inclusive, uplifting humanity-centric conversations and learning experiences to more people through my We Can Do Better Conversations platform. Thanks to the brilliance of my guests and their diverse experiences, stories, and perspectives, these conversations have organically evolved into rich learning experiences. Our listeners have enriched and extended the conversations by adding their experience-based comments to our social media posts!

The more diverse perspectives we can bring to each topic, the greater the opportunity for each of us to expand our perspective so we can create better together.

In April, this phrase kept echoing in my mind: “Insight to Action to Impact”.  The learning from our We Can Do Better Conversations was wonderful, yet I found myself again wanting more.   How might we take this to the next level?  What might that look like?

Action expresses priorities.

–Mahatma Gandhi

Action Party™

In a recent conversation with my friend, Cyndee Lake, we began to explore how we might collaborate.  The conversation turned to our experiences with workshops and similar facilitated learning events. We saw an opportunity to invite and support greater accountability and commitment to action to enable the participants and the facilitator to create greater impact. This opportunity to uplift others and multiply impact has evolved into the Action Party™.

What is an Action Party™?   An Action Party™ is a 60-minute facilitated experience where I, or one of our Champions, guide participants through our process for transforming their learning, insights, and new awareness into intentional, purposeful action to create greater impact in their lives and work.

Think of it as the spark plug to a deeper learning experience.

The Action Party™ can be as focused as an intact team working together to solve a business problem, or as flexible as a small group of individual participants each needing a supportive community to help them move forward with taking action on something personally important.

Individual goals might look like creating a new online course, identifying and getting started with a new exercise routine to improve your health, pivoting your business in this difficult economic environment, or simply how to care for yourself first. Whatever your goal, the Action Party™ is an inviting way to take the critically important first step as you help others do the same. For those who then are interested in continuing their learning and growth, our Action Circles™ program provides a cohort-style framework for you to deepen your personal development, gain clarity and focus so you can intentionally and purposefully take action to progress toward and achieve your chosen goals.

Impact: From Struggle to Spark

Having struggled with overthinking things, self-doubt, and being slow to take action, I hope the fruits of my struggles can be fuel for accelerating your personal development and taking decisive action to achieve greater fulfillment and impact in your life. What’s more, when we create a nonjudgmental, respectful, interdependent space where we can be confidently vulnerable, we create the conditions for strengthening our activation muscle.

Taking intentional, purposeful action leads to expanded learning, new ideas, enthusiastic experimentation, and greater feelings of empowerment. Experimentation ignites creativity. Creativity sparks innovation. Innovation leads to better.

There is nothing as alluring as the complacency of the comfort zone and nothing as empowering as deciding to take that first step towards becoming and creating better. Growth is uncomfortable, yet active. I have learned to embrace the discomfort as the pain and paralysis of indecision have proven to be far more damaging.

If, as Napoleon Hill said, “Indecision is the seedling of fear.”, decisive action becomes the seedling of love, curiosity, and better.

What does your next step look like?


Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly is a visionary connector, community-builder and human development specialist who helps people and teams unleash their human greatness so they can create better together. Brian believes in each person’s unique human greatness and the power of harnessing this to amplify impact for teams, communities, and organizations. Brian is an ICF Accredited Coach whose three-decade career spans business, technology, finance, and human development. He is co-author of the book Becoming You to be released later this year. Brian’s encouraging energy and relational and strategic approach invite the inclusive business leaders and teams he works with to expand their perspective to strengthen their belief and their ability to create better together. Brian works with clients to understand the conditions that create greater contributions, fulfillment, and success and then works with them, using proven frameworks, to help them create those conditions through the lens of their strengths. The results are greater self-awareness, confidence, connection, teamwork, creativity and innovation producing better human and business results. Brian is the host of the We Can Do Better Conversations series, which invite inclusive conversations on topics relevant to bringing greater humanity to our workplaces, communities, families, and relationships. Brian serves on the Executive Board for Overcoming Odds where he helped the Executive Director with board development, strategic business planning and expanding the reach and impact of the nonprofit’s mission. Brian has also served on the Washington DC metro area chapter Board for several culturally-based National nonprofits focused on professional and leadership development.

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  1. Brian, thank you for sharing this with the BizCat community. Having participated in an Action Party, I can tell you that this is something everyone can find value in. We all have that “thing” that we want to do, should do, or need to do, but just can’t seem to get to. What is often the missing ingredient is the support we can find in people around us – if we just knew how to ask. My experience has been such a pleasant surprise and our cohort group has been amazing. I’m grateful for the opportunity!

    • Melissa, thank you for sharing your experience with our Action Party and for your contributions in shaping the Action Circles experience with and for our initial cohort.

      I love seeing each person’s progression with their insight to action to impact journey. There becomes this refined clarity, focus and accelerated movement forward in our small group environment and personalized focus on intentional, purposeful action to create better and expand your impact. The safe, nonjudgmental and interdependently supportive space helps each person grow as they help others do the same. We truly are better together.

  2. Uncertainty is a state of mind that, like fear or despair, can become a limiting condition that risks blocking us or preventing us from living our life with serenity. Failing to decide in life, from simple things to the most important, means that in the long run we can find ourselves in the condition of not choosing, letting life or others decide for us.

  3. Reading this, I had to go to our first correspondences from last year to find out when we also talked about doing more “execution” than talk. It was June of 2019. In one of the calls you named it better than me by saying this sounds like “Insight to Action” and that stayed with me. As you, I love to get out of my comfort zone to do the work among the most hesitant and suspicious ones. It is so easy to talk about these in our own groups of believers. Thank you for making this reality and adding “Impact” at the end which is why we do what we do” for positive impact. Cannot wait for our call tomorrow! Thanks for all you do Brian.

    • Thank you, Brooke! Looking forward to continuing on this journey with you to ignite greater impact through taking purposeful action that creates better for people, business and humanity.

  4. Brian —
    I just took the first step and contacted someone who I think would be a great talking partner, someone who could be involved in the ground level of what I discussed with you. You mentioned above “…our Action Circles™ program provides a cohort-style framework for you to deepen your personal development, gain clarity and focus so you can intentionally and purposefully take action to progress toward and achieve your chosen goals.” Is that framework something you can share, or did we cover it in our call? Thanks.

    • Jeff, glad to hear you have taken the next step in what you shared with me. I believe we did discuss the elements of the Action Circles™ program during our conversations though I have refined it some since then. Where the Action Party is the introductory part of my process, Action Circles™ is the next step where I take people through a deeper dive process, cohort style to ignite purposeful action that leads to greater impact.

      I am organizing Action Party gatherings (virtually) and so if you’d like to discuss this further and how we might do this for what you are working on, happy to do so. Please PM on LinkedIn and we can arrange a call to discuss.