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Ensley Alive: A Network Leadership Model

Guest Blog by Bettina Byrd-Giles

 

During a recent Network Co-Creation Community of Practice that LLC is facilitating for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, one of the

participants talked about how the language and concepts were giving her a new lens for understanding the work she was already doing. She blogged about their work and talked about what network leadership looks like in practice and what they are accomplishing. I enjoyed reading about the work and learning from Bettina. I think you will too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Can Fog Teach Us About Living in a Disruptive World?

A guest Blog from Kathleen Allen, President of Kathleen Allen and Associates

Kathy Allen was an early LLC board member and source of inspiration in her ability to draw from the natural world to help us bring a more organic lens to the workings of leadership and organizational learning. She specializes in leadership coaching and organizational change across a variety of contexts, including collaborative networks. I was excited when she published her latest book, Leading from the Roots. She has been sharing excerpts from the book on her regular blogs. We asked if we could share one of her recent blogs to introduce you to Kathy, and it’s a must read blog. Enjoy.

 

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Standing for Love

I was at the closing session at the International Leadership Association (ILA) when the speaker who took the stage told us she had just heard there had been a mass shooting. Phones lit up as together we all learned the horrifying news that 11 people had been killed at the Tree of Life Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh. We stood in stunned silence honoring the lives of those who had died, and as an expression of deep sympathy for their families and neighbors, and for all of those reliving the loss of hate killings in their communities. I speak for all of us at LLC in expressing our love and support to the familes of those lost in Pittsburgh, the synagogue and the city, and to the families of Maurice Stallard and Vicki Jones, two African American who were killed by a white man in Kentuck who first attempted to barge into a Black Church.

 

I was filled with sadness, outrage, and overwhelmed by the tidal wave of attacks on people of color, immigrants, religious minorities, women, and LGBTQIA communities occuring against a back drop of hateful language that incites and condones these actions. I am fired up with anger about everything I am against. Over the last couple of day, I have been reflecting about what it means to be in a perpetual fighting posture defined by what I am against. Clearly I am against hate, and I don’t want the haters to be the ones defining where my energy is going, to the extent that I am losing touch what it means to be for love.

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Continuing the Co-Director Search: Additional Updates

We have been thinking long and hard about how to conduct the search for a Co-Director in a way that is equity driven, networked and collective i.e. aligned with all of our values. After all, there are some unavoidable power dynamics in the interview process that we can’t eliminate, but we do want to address and be transparent about them. We hope to get better at this, and for now, this is our best thinking about the process. So a huge shout out to all of the candidates who are being very patient with our process, which we hope reflects relationality, transparency and equity.

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Update on the Co-Directorship

We have received applications from a number of exciting candidates. We have interviewed people who are still of interest to us, and are keeping the position open a bit longer to meet additional candidates.  We are learning as we go, and have a great team of folks from the LLC board and network who are actively engaging alongside us in this learning. Here are some of our early lessons:

 

We are a relationale network and that goes for recruitment too:  I was in a hurry to recruit a co-director because we were holding off on hiring a FT Operations and Program Manager after Miriam left so that the new person could be involved. We also were holding off on board recruitment for the same reason. This was creating a sense of urgency about an important decision for LLC.  We need to create time to get to know potential candidates, and for them to get to know us. This will require more than two interviews. Getting to know more candidates is an important process for understanding what will contribute most to the future we hope to see. So, we are slowing it down so that we can engage with more people, and talk more with interested candidates.

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Developing Leadership that Contributes to Racial Equity

Our collective document is getting unwieldy, and in a good way. We want to allow for more generative contribution before working to integrate all of the comments and organize the content in more accessible ways. We continue to welcome comments on diagnostic questions, recommendations and resources, and we are getting great resources so please keep them coming. To add your comments or access this collective document, click here.

 

In addition, it would be helpful earlier in the document to describe what we are driving towards as the skills, ability, knowledge, practices and behaviors that we would expect to be present and observable in individuals and groups. In other words, what does racial equity compentency look like in practice. Answering this question if fundamental to understanding what it will take to help people and groups get there. We would love your help with this question in the document.

 

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Designing Leadership Support/Development Approaches that are Race Conscious and Contribute to Racial Equity

Appreciation and update: First of all, a huge appreciation to the many folks who have been contributing to our collaborative work to create a useful and rich racial equity resource for folks who provide and fund leadership development. We are definitely smarter together as those of you who have watched and supported the development of this will have seen.  We would like to propose some next steps to current and new contributors (it's definitely not too late to help.)

 

Creating diagnostics: Ultimately, what we would like to do with this document is create a supporting online diagnostic tool to help programs understand where they may need to double down in their efforts to offer race conscious leadership supports that contribute to racial equity. The diagnostic tool could also serve to provide a snapshot of how strong a specific approach will be in contributing to racial equity for potential funders. You will see in each section we are now creating a checklist to lay the groundwork for a tool. Ultimately, we would like to organize the recommendations/resources we are aggregating and link them to the major areas of the diagnostics. For example, a low score on designing and delivering leadership supports would direct you to specific design recommendations and models.

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What would it look like to bring a Racial Equity Lens to Leadership Development?

What would it look like to bring a Racial Equity Lens to Leadership Development?

You can help us to answer this question!

 

A couple weeks ago, I was talking to a funder who asked me about tools and resources that would be useful to grantmakers and people designing leadership programs; people who want to ensure that programs contributing to racial equity are supported. I shared some of the resources that I knew of, and then it occurred to me….there are tons of smart people doing great work at the intersection of leadership and racial equity.

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