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Deborah Meehan's blog
Submitted by Deborah Meehan on Thu, 03/30/2017 - 12:34
Turn on the news and there is little doubt, equity is under assault... from attempts to repeal ACA, taxation proposals to cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy, to attacks on undocumented workers and Muslims. We need to build a new equity consciousness and set of practices into leadership development work to nurture our individual and collective resistance to stand up for social and racial justice.
Submitted by Deborah Meehan on Thu, 03/30/2017 - 12:19
Many leadership programs utilize some form of learning projects based on principles of adult learning and action learning. They are intended to strengthen the participant’s capacity to apply learning across different contexts. Of course, most action learning project participants hope to also deliver some value to the community beyond their own learning experience. Donna Dinkin, an action learning specialist describes action learning:
“ Action learning is a process (often coach supported) involving a small group of people solving real problems while at the same time focusing on what they are learning and how their learning can benefit each group member and the organization and community as a whole.”
Submitted by Deborah Meehan on Tue, 02/28/2017 - 21:58
In honor of Black History Month, LLC staff took a field trip to the Oakland Museum to see the Black Panther Party exhibit and celebrate Oakland’s rich history. There was a sign in the exhibit that caught my attention:
Toward the Future
Consider how current social issues relate to the conditions that demanded the creation of the Black Panther Party fifty years ago. The Party no longer exists as an organization. However, their ideas and spirit live on in former Panthers and generation of new artists, community organizers and citizens who will help to determine the future.
Submitted by Deborah Meehan on Tue, 02/28/2017 - 21:55
This year, in response to the current environment and the need for a significant uptake in racial justice leadership, we are departing from the traditional format for Creating Space, LLC’s national meeting. Creating Space has been a space for people engaged in leadership development to meet over several days to harvest learning across their experiences, share resources and build meaningful connection.
Our purpose this year will be to build greater awareness, access to resources and capacity among leadership development organizations about the opportunity and need to help their participants strengthen their knowledge, skills, connections and tools for contributing to social and racial justice.
Submitted by Deborah Meehan on Tue, 01/31/2017 - 14:35
Several years ago LLC had the opportunity to evaluate the Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program (MAR-L). It was an important evaluation that laid some groundwork for a research project we initiated the following year to explore the topic of ‘Leadership and Large Scale Change.’ We were inspired by MAR-L. MAR-L set itself apart from many other leadership programs because they were not content to simply focus on building the leadership capacity of young entrepreneurial conservation leaders, which itself would have been an important endeavor. They were also willing to ask tough questions about whether the investment in young people and their projects was making a difference in the health of the reef. Ultimately, most leadership programs are serving some larger purpose, and because of the challenges of understanding the contributions of their leadership development work to larger scale changes, most programs focus primarily on the ways in which participants of programs believe they have benefited. This is starting to change, and we are excited to be part of evaluating programs that tell a different story about the ways in which leadership development programs are supporting changes in the lives of people, and the planet.
Submitted by Deborah Meehan on Wed, 11/30/2016 - 13:02
If you missed our interview with Patrick Brown from Greenlining last month please check it out. He described the way in which as the Director of the Leadership Academy, he brings a number of contempletive practices into all of their leadership work. He described the benefits of different practices to those engaged in leadership. We are including another resource as a complement to Patrick interview. The link to the Tree of Contempletive Practices creates a scheme for understanding the different types of practices with more detailed descriptions. We hope you find it helpful.
Submitted by Deborah Meehan on Wed, 11/30/2016 - 12:54
We were heartened by the response to the “Transforming White Privilege: A 21st Century Leadership Capacity” webinar with over 540 registrants. This is even more significant after a year of divisive elections in which fear or anger was expressed and generated towards whole groups of people based on religion, race, sexual orientation and gender. There can be little doubt that we are profoundly in need of leaders who can bridge these divides with an understanding of why and how opportunities have been historically distributed in this country in ways that have unfairly disadvantaged people of color and low income white people. Leadership programs have a historic opportunity to help leaders build their confidence and capacity to see, name and address the underlying white privilege and its consequences, opening up a different kind of society based on belonging, fairness, and equity.
Submitted by Deborah Meehan on Wed, 11/30/2016 - 00:55
I find myself looking for inspiration these days, and thankfully it’s not hard to find. I draw inspiration from the protectors at Standing Rock who are standing firm in the face of freezing temperatures and violent assaults. Serendipitously, as I was driving home I also found myself recently listening to Congressmen John Lewis in an interview recognizing his work in the civil rights movement. In response to comments about his sacrifices and courage, he humbly reminded listeners that there was only one choice if you wanted to be on the right side of history. His comments resonated because this does feel like a historic moment where we are in danger of losing ground in gains made over the past decades, or where we will stand against injustice and hatred and usher in a new era of increased equity and humanity. This is a big charge that calls for leadership, but what kind? Like many of you, we have been trying to figure out where we can make the most important contributions to thinking about leadership and the practice of leadership that will help to move us forward as a society. This will be a long process and for now I have five suggestions to share and would appreciate your feedback. read more »
Submitted by Deborah Meehan on Mon, 10/31/2016 - 17:14
I was especially excited to interview Patrick Brown, Director of the Leadership Academy at Greenlining Institute, for our Mindfulness Matters column when I learned that he, as someone who directs a leadership academy with multiple programs, also has a strong personal meditation practice. I expected to gain important insights about the ways in which mindfulness practices support leadership development from Patrick. I did and I am sure you will as well.
How to Scale Your Leadership Development Work: Three Lessons from Experiments with Delivery StrategiesSubmitted by Deborah Meehan on Mon, 10/31/2016 - 17:02
When I reluctantly read the newspaper these days, I am sadly reminded of how desperately we need leadership (and lots of it) that can bring us together to heal the divides, close the wealth gap, and stop our destruction of the planet. Although there are thousands of social sector leadership programs in the country we reach and support only a small fraction of people who want to lead.
I like ‘what if’ statements, so here it goes. Most of us are working on problems of such magnitude, we have to operate from the frame that all we can do is ‘our part’ and we hope that if we are strategic about it that our piece of the work, along with the efforts of others, will get us where we are hoping to go. I get this. And, I also wonder how we are going to change the world, one leader at a time, reaching thousands when we need to mobilize millions. What if we were to individually and collectively challenge ourselves to figure out how we can support and unleash the energy of everyone who wants to take action with others to make the world a more equitable, sane and sustainable place where all can thrive? read more »