Generating ideas, connections, and action

Deborah Meehan's blog

LLC: Looking Forward, Looking Back - So Where Are We Now?

Quite truthfully, we are struggling with an important tension. We have learned a lot in our 7 years of experience looking deeply into a number of programs and looking broadly across the leadership development field. What we have not yet done is synthesize the learning into a more definitive analysis of where we think the leadership development field needs to be heading and the implications for leadership development. We frequently get calls from folks asking for more direction, e.g. “What are the most important innovations we see?” The tension for us is one of how to put out a point of view based on what we are learning in a way the continues to invite learning and contributions from individuals and programs that have a different idea. We have very intentionally attempted to cultivate an environment in which there was a comfortable, safe and free marketplace of ideas. We still value a rigorous exchange that encourages all ideas and provides stronger leadership to the field. The costs of operating from old paradigms demand a shift in our thinking at a field level and we feel called to help. This is the juncture between learning and leadership and the “so what” of our learning. We want to provide leadership to the leadership field in a way that generates even deeper learning. We hope to engage you in the synthesis project and look forward to your input and involvement. read more »

Presidential Elections & Leadership Lenses

Observations on the “I” Fear Factor and the Hopeful “We”

Six weeks after 9/11 I found myself at the annual meeting of the International Leadership Association. We were all shell-shocked and eager for a chance to talk, heal and try to make some meaning of what was going on. An impromptu panel session formed over lunch as a number of scholars shared their thoughts and concerns about 9/11 and its aftermath. One speaker’s comments stuck with me and were unfortunately played out in the months that would follow. Jean Lipman Blumen talked about what occurs in a climate of fear and our willingness to abdicate leadership as we look for a savior and hand over our authority for the promise of safety. Of course during the years that followed, we saw Congress give new authority to the white house and our civil rights being slowly eroded as we responded to the promise, “I will make America safe.” read more »

Tear in the Matrix: Presencing Part 2

Read Part One

I guess you could say we reached a point in the Tuesday group where we had to choose the red pill or the blue pill (If you have seen the movie, you may remember when Morpheus offered Neo the red pill. If Neo chose the red pill and truth he was warned that he would never be able to retreat to the comfort of his current world and if Neo chose the blue pill he could go back ‘to sleep’ and the comfort of all that he knew and believed before.) Through the U Process we as a group chose the red pill. Many of us have experience with those “no turning back” lines of inquiry in our personal lives, “Is this the right job? Is this the right relationship for me? Do I want to have children?” It's something else altogether to engage in this type of deep questioning as a group!  read more »

A Tear in the Matrix: Inspired to Blog!

When was the last time you were in a conversation so riveting you waited uncomfortably for a break, afraid of what you might miss if you left the room, even for a quick trip to the bathroom? I was just in such a conversation that lasted for a day and a half. The discussion was incredibly tight without the usual tangents. In a world of chronic “know and tell” we were transformed to A+ listeners. We were engaged in the U Process and “Presencing” led by Otto Scharmer.  read more »

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