“Justice is love on legs spilling over into the public sphere.” – Cornel West

To write without ceasing is the continuous undercurrent of my life. The text may take many forms – in my body, on trees that have been sacrificed to be born again for what one can only hope is a sacred purpose.

Some times there are long stretches between words, phrases, stanzas, paragraphs, chapters. The windows of this market, gallery, meeting place papered over. Remodeling, will reopen soon.

And I amass black type in great piles, images in smooth curves and harsh angles, bringing us sacred messages. Rumi said love is the way the great mystery tells us what’s important. Art is the way we tell each other.

The sacred is what’s possible when we all have what we need to show up in purpose and to return to it when we are drawn off center. I am a call to the sacred in everyone.

None of us have lived in the world we are creating, this is all faith-based work this speculative fiction. These stories are our stories. These stories are love. Treat them tenderly.

If you see what springs forth from this in the library down the street, in your minds eye, in the eye of your neighbor on the train…you have seen a bit of justice – a bit of love in public.

Thank you Stewart for the request that I post this.

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!

“If someone is trying to impact an organization or impact what’s external without having done any internal work or without being open to changing internally, we can’t do it. So transformative leadership is really the key.” 

“…being imperfect is a requirement to lead…”

Early one winter morning I was interviewed by the fabulous Rajkumari Neogy (scroll down for Raj’s bio) of the Queer Leadership Institute. Her questions were great and some of my answers still felt good and made me think or smile or say hmmm, all these months later. It’s not too cringe-worthy! A few winces and some useful points, at least for sparking more learning and conversation, if I may say so myself.  Take a listen and let me know what you think!

ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT TO REGISTER!

On July 31st the Alliance for Nonprofit Management will be presenting yours truly (and a possible special guest!) in a webinar on Shared Leadership.

Here’s the blurb:

Shared Leadership – What It Is, Why It Matters, and What It Takes

July 31, 2012 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
All times are EST

There are many buzz words around leadership as exercised by more than just the one person (or few people) with the most authority in an organization.  Phrases like collective leadership, distributed leadership, and collaborative leadership have been used to connote manifestations of leadership that share power, authority and responsibility to a group at greater levels than has been the norm in most organizations.  No matter what we call it, all of these phrases and approaches describe a way of sharing leadership in the direction of a common purpose or vision and put forth sharing leadership as an effective way of developing and leveraging capacity with more impact toward that vision.  In this webinar we will present practical information that summarizes current thinking and discusses experiences and lessons from developing shared leadership in nonprofit organizations and social change initiatives.

Register now!

A New Leadership Development SeriesDoug & Liss in faculty regalia

Doug Paxton and I are offering an action-learning-based leadership coaching program focused on getting to the work that matters to each of us and supporting one another through peer coaching to keep our attention there. This Leadership Coaching Program combines coaching from accredited Saint Mary’s faculty and with peer coaching and is for anyone who is seeking clarity about what is most important to them and wanting support to stay focused on that work.

Through 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 March 2012 and runs through June 2012 and costs $1200 (some partial scholarships are available).  See our Coaching Program Calendar, the detailed Program Description, and sign up!

Today I participated in a fantastic webinar led by fellow Earlhamite, Frances Kunreuther, and Caroline McAndrews of Building Movement Project on structures and practices for distributing leadership. Frances and Caroline recently published a report “Structuring Leadership: Alternative Models for Distributing Power and Decision-making” that outlines foundations, implementation strategies and indicators of success for distributing leadership and decision-making in organizations.  A podcast of the webinar will also be made available on the site.  It’s a useful, informative and engaging complement to “Doing More With More,” check it out when you get a chance!

mike-susan-elissa-photo-with-article

Susan Misra (left), Elissa Perry (that's me in the middle), Mike Allison (right) celebrate in person at the Pacific Coast Brewery in Oakland

Spectrum of Shared LeadershipThe piece I co-wrote with Mike Allison and Susan Misra was just published by the Nonprofit Quarterly! I was fortunate to be a thought partner and facilitator with Mike and Susan in a multi-year initiative with several California-based organizations focused on developing shared leadership. The article reports on and synthesizes some learning about developing and acting on shared leadership. Download and read it (.pdf) and let us know what you think. What are your experiences with Shared Leadership? Looking forward to hearing from you!