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GUEST BLOG | Please Don't Start Meditating (Unless You're Willing to Change) By Lodro Rizler

A Buddhist teacher I respect a great deal once proclaimed a warning about meditation: Don't do it unless you're willing to change. If you're one of the two gazillion people aiming to launch a meditation practice in this new year, please heed that warning. But here is the good news about that warning: You will change for the better.

 

It's that time of year when self-reflection is at an all-time high, so I shouldn't be surprised at my wall. It's covered in all the various activity I'm engaged in, written out on yellow paper. Ranging from various formats of teaching meditation to writing books on meditation to writing articles on meditation to this one big piece of paper that reads, "The Institute for Compassionate Leadership."

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GUEST BLOG | Women's History: Not A Month - A Movement By Juana Bordas

Women in the Wild West - Leadership Pioneers

Wyoming was the first state to pass women's suffrage. It was an attempt to attract brave pioneer women to move west. This was quickly followed by Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, California, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Dakota. Out of the 15 states that passed women's suffrage before the 19th Amendment - 11 were from the west.

Women boarded wagon trains and headed to the frontier. They showed tremendous courage, risk-taking, inner fortitude, and a sense of adventure - traits that are greatly needed by women today. Women in the West had a pioneer spirit - defined as "a willingness to endure hardships in order to explore new places or try new things."

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GUEST BLOG | Leading Culture Change At The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation By Charles Palus & John McGuire

This article was originally published by the Center for Creative Leadership and is shared with permission from our partner Chuck Palus. He highlights the work being done in part by Chris Ernst who appeared recently in one of our joint webinars.
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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is focusing on culture development as a lever for progress because when culture and strategy are aligned, organizations achieve goals, amplify successes, and have greater impact. 
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Leadership and Trust

Trust comes up a lot these days in conversations about leadership, and especially in conversations about networks.  Recently I heard it mentioned numerous times in a recent SSIR webinar, The Network Leader Roadmap, definitely worth a listen. Webinar presenters David Sawyer and David Ehrlichman from Converge for Impact introduced the concept of ‘trust for impact.’  They explain the idea in an article they wrote called “The Tactics of Trust” and share tools for establishing trust in a time frame based on the premise that we don’t have the luxury of years to cultivate trust relationships.   Their article and other speakers on the webinar addressed the importance of having authentic conversations about difference as an important ingredient for building trust. 

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GUEST BLOG: Mindful Leadership: Aligning Brain and Body By Madeline McNeely

What do you do with the rush of adrenalin and cortisol that courses through the body when you get triggered? How do you move, mentally and physically, from an amygdala hijacked state (the reptilian brain) to a centered place where you’re thinking from the neo- and pre-frontal cortex?  As a leadership coach, I see my clients struggling with the unknown. I see their brains and bodies contract both physically and emotionally. Big-picture thinking and inspiration vanish in the face of stress and anxiety – too much to do and not enough time or resources to get it all done. Learning to recover “center” quickly and with mastery is a critical competency for any 21st–century social-change leader.

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Leadership and Systems: Identity, Purpose and Interconnectedness

This past week I found myself in one of those conversations that takes you somewhere you would not have anticipated. It started as a discussion about how the work of a professional development committee might be reframed with a network lens as an opportunity to activate peer driven learning.  The person I was speaking with was part of an emerging network of environmental centers and he wondered aloud whether this newly forming network could actually develop a shared identity that would bind them. Given the importance of diversity to networks, I asked if he might not instead mean a shared purpose.  He countered that environmental stewardship is a pretty big umbrella that does not necessarily help people working in different regions, with different populations, offering different kinds of programming to find the points of connection in their work.  I found myself thinking that this was not an issue of identity or purpose but a questions of systems and how people and organizations understand their interconnectedness within a larger system.

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GUEST BLOG: The Secret Every Successful Nonprofit Leader Knows About Being Productive By Beth Kanter

I’m facilitating a peer learning project on practical networked leadership skills for emerging nonprofit leaders. As we all know, living in a networked world creates opportunities for abundance. But having many choices and opportunities requires developing a special set of skills in order to be successful. These skills are: self-management and attention training. That’s the focus of one of the sessions – so I have been reflecting a lot on this topic to come up with some useful exercises, discussion questions, and session content.

Over the past few years, people often say to me, “I don’t know how you get it all done.” To tell you the truth, I no longer think in terms of “getting it all done.” I don’t bother with time management techniques because in a networked world, they don’t work – that is industrial age thinking. What is more important is managing your attention and energy. That translates to redesigning the way you work. A day that translates to 10 or 12 hour non-stop multi-tasking marathon is not a formula for success, but for burnout. Some workplace cultures in nonprofits encourage this approach.

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Leadership and Equity

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First, a huge shout out to Interaction Institute for Social Change and thank you for a great New Year gift, “As a gift to the world of equity practitioners, IISC engaged artist Angus Maguire to draw a new version of an old favorite (since we could only find pixelated versions of the original). Please feel free to download the high-resolution image and use in your presentations.”  I like this graphic a lot and I believe it raises interesting questions for leadership development programs.

 

Most leadership programs would likely say that they treat participants equally.  For example, cohort based programs generally provide the same leadership development modules/curriculum to all participants.  The components are also pretty standard when it comes to design elements like compensating travel, mentoring/coaching, action/learning projects, the size of award funds, etc. 

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Urgent Call From Michigan: Non-Traditional Leadership In Action

This month, I’d like to highlight some of the urgent work happening right now in Michigan where our social justice colleagues and friends are dealing with an environmental crisis and add my voice to their call for collective action. For a few weeks so much attention has been given to a  little town in Michigan. All major news channels are talking about Flint and the ongoing water crisis; finally. Though this has been a reality for many residents in Michigan. My first thought was for our Michigan friendships forged at Creating Space last year, where we heard directly from We The People of Detroit who are a part of The People’s Water Board Coalition.
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Networks and Leadership Webinar Series: "Unpacking Goal-Directed Networks" with Angel Saz-Carranza

           

Join us for the third session of the Networks and Leadership Webinar Series on "Unpacking Goal-Directed Networks" with Angel Saz-Carrenza (Director of ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics)

Monday February 8, 2016

9:00-10:00 am Pacific | 12:00 - 1:00 pm Eastern

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