The IACP Forum - Friday Night - Opening Plenary Speaker Tim "Mac" McCartney - One Person's "Take Away"

Discovery, Choice and Change - Part 1

Tim "Mac" McCartney is a quiet, calm and deeply thought provoking speaker. He moved the entire room at the IACP Forum in San Antonio Texas in 2013 with the "Children's Fire" and he was not even personally present. If you have not yet experienced the "Children's Fire" check it out through the BC Collaborative Roster Society website at You will not be disappointed!

This year's message was equally enlightening and inspiring. Each member of the audience will have their own 'take away'. The take away for my practice was to consider my journey, including what do I value?, what are my gifts? and what is my responsibility? Generally, Mac was inviting each of us to to consider our journey; where are we going, and what do we consider and how do we consider it as we go?

These are huge questions. What do I value? What is important to me? How far do I want to dig into each of these questions? Of course, this is deeply personal and the answers to these questions may well be different at different stages of life and practice. They require reflection and self-reflection, but not on a one time basis. These are questions that one needs to reflect upon on a regular basis during one's life and stages of our practice. I expect that the answers and considerations that come to mind will change for each of us as time passes.

This is not to say that our "core" values will necessarily change. It is more a question for us to consider the shifting landscape of our professional practices and the way in which we serve our clients. It is to recognize and consider the opportunity for a reconsideration of what we value and that this may be a constant and sometimes difficult search.

Mac then invited each of us to consider our gifts. He used this word in a broad sense. It was not used from the perspective of 'ego' but to reflect and to minimize any self-criticism and to truly ask oneself, what are my gifts? what do I have to give? We must all have them, but the invitation is to discover them; to truly understand them and to consider how our gifts may be used in our lives, our practices and, more generally, in our profession.

Mac's final word in this series, and the natural extension of the first two words, was responsible or responsibility. So we have discovered what we "value", and think hard to get passed our self-critical chatter to uncover our "gifts". Now the task is to consider what is our responsibility? How do we implement what we have learned? How do we take it to the next level? How can we each be responsible to do something now and for and in the future.

More thought and more reflection. Not easy stuff, but worth it stuff, for each of us, for our practices, for our clients, for our families, for our profession, for our society.