En Masse, On Purpose

October 5, 2015 at 3:04 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

Ingredients for a good day; a good dose of curiosity and conversation (to me they go hand in hand). Not being a coffee drinker, I always contemplate what its effects must be like when I’m in the midst of a connection filled discussion. As the quote goes, ‘Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after’. Many of my Explore Discover Act conversations lately has seen people being curious about the facilitation structure of our L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program experiences. I have found myself in these discussions digging deeper into our philosophy of en masse, on purpose.

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Traditionally, leadership has been seen as the domain of the select few. Certain people, possessing particular skills, holding special titles or positions, whilst having the ability to control, direct and make choices for the many; those are the people who can call themselves leaders. This narrow view of leadership can disempower, disengage and displace individuals and groups from ‘being the change they wish to see in the world’. Therefore, we have developed and fostered a leadership lens made up of purposeful and empowered daily thoughts, words and actions that deepen connection to and make a difference for self, others and the world around us.

“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” – Ken Kesey

Many students, who at the beginning of an experience comment that they wouldn’t call themselves a leader, choose to put themselves into a now broader picture of leadership by the end of the program. Why is this important? Mainly because life is a journey of opportunities: interdependent, ongoing, and dynamic with varying degrees of complexity. We as individuals and groups navigate many choices and experience both successes and challenges. Instead of inaction, fear or disconnection affecting our own and others potential, we can adopt and continue to develop practices of Exploring the possibilities, Discovering potential and Acting authentically, remembering what Winston Churchill said, ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts’. But we have to choose, and continue choosing, over and over again.

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.”- Henry Ford

One thing that many of the participants say in our feedback process is that working with others they don’t usually work with or know that well is one of things they enjoyed most about the program. We all can get comfortable within our stories, groups and routines, until we are reminded through experience and reflection of the connection, potential and wisdom that lies within us all. We love being involved in the growth and development of leaders. Not just with the students, teachers and school communities with whom we work, but ourselves as well. We each, as individuals and groups, are dancing with opportunity in our journeys of potential all the time, will you lead or be lead across the dance floor?

“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” —Warren Bennis

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