I am deeply moved by all the messages I received after Bryan’s passing. These messages, from all around the globe, expressed how Bryan touched and influenced people. I invite you to write your memories about Bryan using the form at the bottom of this page. Only a few messages are displayed on this page at any given time. Please refresh the page to read new ones.
With my deepest gratitude.
I was fortunate enough to get to know Bryan through the PSM course he ran in early 2020 for the DDPN group. I have to say that from the start, his gentle humour and deep wisdom were equally helpful in helping me navigate the “self-management” work. I’m not sure if it’s also because he recorded the meditations, but I found his voice grounding and will often hear that voice saying things like” be here now”, and that makes me smile.
Bryan held such depth of wisdom about the PSM material, not only because he literally co-wrote the book with Chris Forman, but because he taught the course many many times and above all, he lived it.
He explained things so simply and clearly that I found myself going back and re-watching snippets of the recordings to absorb more. The course has had such an effect on me personally that we were working with Bryan on being able to run it within Avivo. He was backing us all the way and was very keen that we make it our own. His generosity with the material and his support was just so typical of Bryan. I know that he would be delighted to know that the course is up and running and is deeply appreciated. I now consider Bryan as one of the many “teachers” who share their wisdom with us in the course. He is sorely missed, and yet the work he left behind will live on, in so many and for that I am profoundly grateful.
I got to know Bryan in 2019 through Robert Kegan’s work on deliberately developmental organisations and I had the chance to join his emblematic and memorable course on personal self-management.
What impressed me immediately was how deeply Bryan understood that all meaningful transformation must always start with ourselves. “Learning is not development”, he used to say. “Learning is knowledge, development is letting go”.
Like few other leaders, Bryan walked his talk. Before finding in Decurion a place that ”was committed to something more than financial return”, Bryan had spent a year to “read a hundred books” and research for more enlightened ways to do business.
And with all his celebrated achievements, he never stopped searching: with deep humanity, disciplined patience, humble willingness to continually improve himself, and passionate dedication to elevate others. He knew that we could only “wake up” the system if we “develop the capacity of everyone to wake themselves up.”
As John Quincy Adams once said: ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’
Bryan was such a rare, true leader. I deeply regret his passing, yet I shall always remember him for sparking in me and many others a desire to get better, in service of something larger than ourselves.
My journey with Bryan was full of light and fun, as well as depth and growth. I feel so blessed to have got to know Bryan one on one in a new environment – kind of like one of the definitions of development that resonates for me – doing something you’ve never done with someone you’ve just met. From our adventure in Iceland to our adventures with the DDPN and everything in between, Bryan enlivened my life as a constant delight and surprise. He was a friend, mentor, foil, teacher, peer; integrity embodied. Even now, he accompanies me – albeit not in the way I imagined, as persistent love.
This past week, I spent time reviewing and reading the books that Bryan gifted to me over the years. There were many books–many gifts. I came across a quote that felt appropriate to share today as it reminded me so much of Bryan.
There is a method for staying open. You stay open by never closing. It’s really that simple…you have to…decide whether you are willing to stay open…
Maybe that is, in part, what I found so remarkable about Bryan. He had simply decided…to be open.
Bryan was a board member at Citizens of the World where I worked–Bryan was with us from the beginning when we founded this national network of schools, and he was deeply involved as we sorted out our basic principles and tenets.
About ten years ago, I remember sitting at a table in the Decurion conference room–the topic of that day’s agenda–an agenda that I likely created–was measures of success. I had put together charts and graphs and all the other ways that we would measure and quantify our success.
Bryan, was–as always, listening. I was talking, and he was listening. I talked more, he listened more. And when he did finally speak, he asked a question. He asked:
How we would know that we had created the essence of our intentions within the schools. He was in effect asking me, how we would know that we had made our purpose real.
This was my first taste of the Bryan’s unique gift and talent.
Through his questions Bryan challenged us to open our minds to something so much bigger than what could be measured. Open our minds to something so much bigger than even what we could see or imagine.
Over the next decade there would be dozens of additional conversations. Those conversations always included questions from Bryan. Those questions continued to open our minds.
But now, many years later, what I didn’t realize at the time and what was also true. Bryan’s questions weren’t just asking us to open our minds, Bryan’s questions were influencing us to open our hearts.
The very process of asking questions was connecting a deeper part of himself with a deeper part of each of us. I now understand that the Bryan I experienced was delivering his essence –human connection.
And I know understand that human connection is the conduit for LOVE
Bryan Ungard, was influencing us to be open to the incredible power of love.
I experienced Bryan in person as sometimes quiet, often reserved and always thoughtful.
But as I carry his influence forward, which I intend to do. I will think of Bryan as RADICAL. Radical in his conviction and radical in the integrity with which he chose to live his life.
I am deeply grateful to have known Bryan and I will miss him terribly.
I worked as security at Decurion where I met Bryan and became very good friends until I retired in 2017.
When we were starting this non profit organisation in 2009, Bryan would give me one hour twice a week mentoring me on how to operate the organisation thousands of miles away at no charge
He was not only teaching me but was also a faithful Donor to the organisation.
An important thing I learnt from him was, it doesn’t matter how much a Donor gives, if he can not agree with your Vision let them go.
I miss his advice and just talking to him
My friend Bryan.
Working with Bryan at Decurion helped me understand that bringing my whole self to work and showing up honestly, even when it was challenging to do so, was not only embraced and expected, but led to tremendous growth – both for me personally and for the business.
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