Ecosystem Leadership Principle 3: Naming

Pic Credit: Buddhist Naming Ceremony ©TechwithLove

“The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply” — Kahlil Gibran

The first principle of Ecosystem Leadership is Intention. It is defined as “Noticing, clarifying, and cultivating your deepest intention is at the core of the work. It is not something that you impose on the world. it is something that emerges from your being when you serve as vehicle for the future wanting to emerge. The intention sets the tone of the Work.” You can read my earlier article on Intention at:

The second principle of Ecosystem Leadership is Sensing. It is stated as “Always sense the emerging field of possibilities: around you, within you, through you. Take time to expand and deepen your sensing capacities. Develop a sensibility for coherence, health, rhythm and timing so that you can notice when something needs to shift.” You can read my article on Sensing at:

This article focuses on the third principle of Ecosystem Leadership: Naming. This is described as “As you deepen that sensing, notice, name, and amplify the resonances and spaces of possibility that you feel are wanting to emerge.”

What does deepening our sensing mean to me?

Sensing is essentially allowing ourselves to become aware of and perceive elements of what is wanting emerge. This requires a willingness to pause, notice, immerse and amplify. Stillness gives us the space to sense and patience gives us the time. Deepening what we sense would mean soaking and immersing in it so that we can feel the what is wanting emerge in every cell of our body.

How do I notice?

As I sense, I become aware of something I did not know before — I notice it. It comes to my awareness and I acknowledge it. Noticing, like Sensing implies attention. I am opening my awareness, tuning into the universe with softness. When we tune into a frequency (The entire being acts like a tuning fork) we hear it, see it and resonate with it. What is this thing telling me? If I am to notice something, I need to really see the system. I need to be able to sense what is moving, sense the energy people are holding and the result of their interaction on their energies.

What is in a name?

Even before a child is born, parents spend a lot of time thinking about the names and choosing one.

We have seen how names of certain cities have been changed: Bombay became Mumbai, Calcutta became Kolkata, Madras became Chennai and Bangalore became Bengaluru. There is history, story, culture and context to every name. Nomenclature becomes such a critical thing in all scientific fields.

The quote below is from Thirukkural verse #645 which talks about the importance of choosing the best words to describe something.

சொல்லுக சொல்லைப் பிறிதோர்சொல் அச்சொல்லை
வெல்லுஞ்சொல் இன்மை அறிந்து.

Choose the words you speak after being clear that no other word would be better. (#645)

It looks like Naming seems to be critical as well as emotional thing in human life.

So why do I think that it is important to name what we sense and notice?

We have heard the statement ‘Words create the world’. Any idea originates in our brain as a picture or an image. Sometimes it is vague and ambiguous, sometimes it is clear. When we convert through words the picture gets a name.

The names seem to give the following:

  • Identity to what it is
  • Acknowledgement of its presence
  • A language to communicate to others

What are the few things that I think that we need to take care while naming?

Meaning The name should capture the essence of what is going to emerge and its core.

Simplicity — This is something you can see being done by advertisers. One example would be the slogan of Nike “Just do it.” Simplicity helps in amplification and building resonance in more people.

Stickiness — again comes from principles of advertisements and communication. How can it stick to people so that they will never forget? An example is the Onida TV Advertisement that introduced the green Onida devil in the 80s, which even today is thought of as an iconic advertisement. The line, “Neighbour’s Envy; Owner’s Pride” caught and held the attention of people.

Possible Associations — We all have both positive and negative associations with words. For example, a usage like of the phrase, ‘exploiting the potential’, is something that most people working in a company will be comfortable with, whereas the same usage I have seen, evokes a very strong negative association with people who work with social development. Hence, it is very critical to think about cultural associations, and Mental Models we hold around the name.

Vibrations that the words create — One element of any mantra is the vibrations they create when they are chanted. There is a belief that the vibrations will heal or create possible impact. So, this also can be considered while naming.

What do I understand amplifying the resonances and spaces of possibility as?

In physics amplification means making it larger and more intense. So here, you amplify what is wanting emerge by painting the clearer, larger and intense picture. Also amplify by including more people.

Resonance in physics means two bodies’ vibrating in the same frequency. So here it would mean what is resonating in you and people around you. When this resonance and amplification of ‘what is wanting to emerge happens it opens up spaces of possibility.

Amplifying resonances and spaces of possibility is, in simple words finding a spark, an opening, and turning up the volume so others too may participate in the emerging future.

Journeying through this EL Principle #3 we are ready to take what is wanting to emerge in the inner world to the outer world.

With inputs from Deepa Ram Bhat


  1. Presencing Institute: Ecosystem Leadership Principles — Ecosystem leadership Program 2019 Workbook
  2. Kelvy Bird, Generative Scribing: A Social Art of the 21st Century, 2017
  3. Kelvy Bird: A Model of Practice Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)
  4. Thirukkural Thelivurai by Mu Varadarajan, 2017
  5. Original Onida TV Ads
  6. Pic credit: Naming Ceremonies Across the Globe, © 2013–20




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Raja Chidambaram

Raja Chidambaram

I enable transformation of systems - be it individuals, organisations or communities. I believe in creating a borderless, sustainable, world.

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