values


by David McSpadden

by David McSpadden

We operate in a time of increasing complexity, where we frequently cannot control or predict what will effect change, where dynamic forces affect the broader movement ecosystem, and where interdependent relationships are vital to our work. To progress on the long arc of justice we need to get much smarter about how to engage the leadership of all who care about justice. We need to transcend the futile search for the one or two best leadership approaches and understand a spectrum of leadership—to know what kind of leadership is required by a particular context or task, and to create the conditions in people and systems to flex across these approaches to leadership. (Read more at MAG)

photo by Michael Thomas Alleman

Okay.  So it’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve updated this space.  Six months to be exact.  In that space a lot of incredible work, fun and learning has been happening. Where to begin?  Well I’ll start with where I left off.

Doug Paxton and I c0-led the inaugural iteration of the Leadership & Values Peer Coaching Program through the Leadership Center at Saint Mary’s College with six incredible participants.  We learned a lot, were really honored to be among an extremely diverse group of people all ready to do the inner transformation work necessary to do the external transformation work, and had some fun too!  So much so that we are doing it again starting March 21st.  (There are still a few spaces available as well as partial scholarships).  Also at Saint Mary’s we launched a Social Justice concentration within the MA Leadership Program in the School of Liberal Arts.  Amy Scharf and I co-designed and taught the first Leadership and Social Movements course in the program.

I also had a great time blogging as a fellow for ArtsFwd (a project of EmcArts).  In this space I got to talk with Melanie Cervantes of the Akonadi Foundation and John Killacky of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts.  Topics included considering arts in the social justice ecosystem, applying our learning as artists to our leadership and the coach’s stance.  Check me out!

In my own art practice, Everything Indicates, the anthology I edited with Tamsin Smith and Ben Davis celebrating the Bay Bridge, was released and we had readings and parties in several places including City Lights Books and Bissap Baobab.  The audiences/co-celebrants of the Bay Bridge at these events were really quite interesting and ranged from appreciators of poetry and photography with no connection to the bridge to employees of Caltrans who were toll takers and administrative support and quite overjoyed to see people expressing reverence and appreciation for this marvel hiding in plain sight.

There are several new connections in my life as well including a new relationship with Coaching for Justice, which unfolded in the last few months.  I survived the vetting process and am now officially an affiliate coach with C4J!  I also have a new professional home base with the Network Leadership Innovation Lab as the Program Catalyst.  I have only been in this half-time role for a month and have already been able to both learn and contribute in a way that feels quite good and useful.  Stay tuned for a lot more on this project in the coming months!

All this while continuing to partner with clients on personal and organizational capacity building.  It’s been full and it’s been wonderful!  Hope to re-connect with many of you in some of these circles soon!

Exploring Your Values and Making Your Personal Plan

Feeling pulled in many worthy directions?  Falling just short of where or how you want to be in multiple areas of your life? Interested in getting clear about your priority values and developing a plan and practice to help you stay focused on what matters?

Join me and Doug Paxton for an 8-week workshop that combines values exploration, coaching from accredited faculty, peer coaching and the development of a personal plan to help you distill your purpose and go forward with clarity, support and a plan. The workshop series begins and ends with an evening workshop on a Thursday and includes phone and web-based exchanges in-between with optional additional face-to-face time.

Doug & Liss in faculty regaliaThrough the Leadership Coaching Program you will:

  •  Identify your highest values and priorities
  •  Design specific goals and actionable plans to move forward
  •  Have access to executive coaching in a cost-effective manner
  •  Benefit from individualized, values-based coaching from Saint Mary’s faculty
  •  Participate in a learning and practice peer coaching group
  •  Develop and hone coaching skills to integrate into your leadership practice

The new group begins September 20, 2012 and runs through early December, 2012.  See the detailed Program Description for more information and to sign up! Some partial scholarships are available, access the Program Description for more information.  Hope to see you on the 20th!