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When I turned 50, several of my colleagues collected the reflections of current and former Decurion members and then presented the collection to me as a gift.  They asked two questions:  “Has Decurion had a meaningful impact on your life?” and “Have you flourished in some way because of Decurion?”  I assume that some people chose not to respond, and I recognize that the result is not a complete survey.  Nonetheless, those who wrote something about their experiences captured multiple perspectives of what it is like to be at Decurion.  I found myself informed and moved by their comments.  Here are some of their responses to the two questions, along with information about their tenure at Decurion:

“Working for Decurion has been challenging and exciting.  At times it has brought pain and joy.  Decurion has brought meaning into my life in ways that I did not imagine nor could have imagined before experiencing the journey of transformation with the company.  It has contributed to my development as an individual, a parent, and as a human being.”  [Decurion member for 30 years]

“Decurion has had a meaningful impact on my life.  When I first entered a professional relationship with Decurion, I was in a transitional phase of my life’s journey:  I had just been released from active duty with the United States Coast Guard and felt that I would never find an organization in the civilian sector that would satisfy my personal and professional needs and still allow me to develop others.  I was at a crossroad and felt it would be a long time until I found a new career that I could be passionate about.  When I was introduced to Decurion’s operating philosophy I realized that my journey was starting on a new path.  I embraced the axioms and values not as mere words in a handbook but as guideposts placed to help me.  They have not only helped me professionally and spiritually; they have enhanced the quality of my personal life.”  [Decurion member for 5 years]

“Decurion has been a fantastic life experience for me that has changed my perspective and view of the world and of myself.  It is not easy to work for this organization, and the hardest parts have brought me the most growth.  I was arrogant and overconfident when I joined this company.  I was hard on people and tougher on myself.  Through working with this company, I find myself engaging with people differently:  more kind, compassionate, and human.  The work that I have done on myself allows me to be more forgiving of myself and more willing to be willing.  There is acceptance of my own diversity and my own humanity.  Practicing self-management, I find my frustration levels lower, and I find a centeredness that I do not think I would have been able to find elsewhere.  These insights into myself have had a huge benefit on my working connections, my friends, and—most importantly—my family.  I accept them as they are and work to have them accept me as I am through honest conversation.  I am a better person for working here at Decurion, and for this I am eternally grateful.”  [Decurion member for 10 years]

“The impact Decurion had on me and my family was significant.  It better enabled me to be less inwardly focused and appreciate life and the people surrounding me more fully.  Finally, it gave me the courage to know when I needed to make a change in order to flourish.”  [Decurion member for 8 years, written 15 months after leaving]

“You provided me with an environment where I was constantly challenged and had opportunities to explore my own development.  I will always treasure my time with Decurion.”  [Decurion member for 7 years, written 12 years after leaving]

“I wouldn’t have thought that at the age of 50 I would be reevaluating what flourishing means to me…. It is not without some trepidation that I look deeper into who I am and answer some very difficult questions.  What do I want?  What is important to me?  It is a journey I would not have thought I would take again, and yet I feel some comfort that the outcome will be a place that I want to be in.  And, without my time here at Decurion, I would have never held as a possibility that I could—at any age—continue to grow and evolve toward the person I am truly meant to be.”  [Decurion member for 11 years]

“I sometimes am in wonder over the unexpected journey this job has taken me, which I would never have fathomed some 26 years ago when I took a temp job at Pacific Theatres.  The experiences and learnings I’ve gained at Decurion have taken me to places I never would have ventured on my own.  And while it has been challenging and difficult at times, with the challenges came growth, development, and awareness, both personally and professionally.  I never would have envisioned that I would engage in public speaking, that I would grow my business skills to the degree that I have, that I would muster the courage to engage in authentic and difficult conversations, or that I would experience the fulfillment that comes with being present.  I truly appreciate working for an organization which requires that people are treated with respect and decency, and the work environment here has been a safe place for me to flourish.”  [Decurion member for 26 years]

“There is an amazing quality of awareness and feedback which is present throughout the work at Decurion, and it is also explicitly present at the periodic evaluations of the people who work at Decurion.  As a result, I have been continually challenged to address my blind spots, while simultaneously receiving enough support that it is safe to experiment with my fundamental assumptions and ways of being and acting.  This allows me to find out for myself whether I can get different results by trying something different than what I have been trained or habituated to do.”  [Decurion member for 3 years]

“Decurion has helped me find my purpose and meaning in the world:  it has provided the place and the practices that are letting me become more and more myself.  I know now that I’ve been looking a long time for meaning and relevance in my life and in the universe.  My search was at first fragmented and unconscious, but more and more the search became explicit and then central to what I was doing.  But it was always out there, and certainly not at work (although I dreamed of this being true).  Decurion has become the central place where I work on figuring out myself while at the same time making a difference for others.  It is for me a combination of university, dojo, retreat center, obstacle course, examination hall, and home…Decurion has not only changed my life, but my very ideas of what a life could be.”  [Decurion member for 5 years]

“When I ask myself if I have flourished in some way because of my time at Decurion, it’s easy to think about how I am working differently.  But what really matters is how Decurion is allowing me to be my true self.  The gift I have received is finding a place where I am not asked to become a different person at work than I am privately.  I am a better businessperson, mother, and friend because of my time here and what I am practicing.  I have taken on challenges and had conversations both personally and professionally that I would have never trusted myself to have.  The ongoing learning is invaluable.  If I an act as a servant leader and develop others in business the same way I raise four amazing little citizens of the world, I will count myself successful.”  [Decurion member for 4 years]

“I moved to California from Texas a week before joining the ArcLight team.  In retrospect, I embarked upon this journey without a clear end state in mind.  Since joining ArcLight and subsequently Decurion, I have had the opportunity to learn about different aspects of the business and develop fundamental skills through the various roles I have held.  Most significantly, I’m learning so much about myself.  Rather than finding what to do with my life, I have been discovering who I want to be and defining what is truly important to me to lead a meaningful life.”  [Decurion member for 2 years]

“Being a member at Decurion is enabling me to flourish.  I am growing to better know myself and understand what brings meaning to my life.  I find it true that I can use work as an expression of meaning.  I have become clear about my own values and appreciate the journey of learning how to live my life with greater purpose and intention.  Decurion has helped to shape the belief that I can make a difference in the world.  Decurion is helping me to become a better person.  I am deeply grateful for the many gifts afforded to me by being a member at Decurion.”  [Decurion member for 28 years]

“Since I left Decurion, I am better able to see the positive, valuable education the members receive, the philosophy that they absorb (sometimes without knowing it and sometimes without desiring it), the sophisticated systems they create with realizing its sophistication, and the lessons they are learning that will serve them well, whatever their future endeavors.  That is your legacy.  One can do worse than to open eyes, enhance awareness, and help another take control of his own life.”  [Decurion member for 29 years, written 18 months after leaving]

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